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Thread: soft herring

  1. #1

    Default soft herring

    I recently caught a good number of herring and froze them to fish with through out the season. After they thaw out they seem to be softer and not hold together like the store baught ones. I was wondering what i could do to tuffin them up. thanks

  2. #2

    Smile Brine will tighten them up

    Soak in heavy brine & powdered milk before you freeze. Or even put the brine mix & herring in the freezer over the winter (if you have room). It works well. BTW: the milk powder keeps the scales stuck to the bait.
    We never really grow up, we only learn
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Juneau, Alaska

    Default Hot Herring

    If the herring were feeding heavily when you caught them they will soften-up right after they thaw. Between the digestive juices in the gut and the oil content in their flesh they can deteriorate in a hurry. Gutting them helps, as does brining them before you freeze them. In most cases the commercially-packaged herring have been starved for a period prior to being shocked and frozen. BTW - There have been some good recipes posted on here for brining herring - I'm not going to share mine. Check out the following link, they come pretty close to my recipe: Have fun and good fishing.

  4. #4


    thanks for the advice i have just had a chance to read them. i wound up putting some salt on them and then just letting them soak in that for a few days. we used them out in bartlet cove to catch a few halibut. thanks for the link

  5. #5
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Anchorage, Alaska, United States


    To harden them also couldn't you use rock salt?
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  6. #6
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default i like borax.

    shrinks the skin nice an tight. don't bother the fish at all. rock salt seems to prevent them from freezing solid. Borax is the easiest way to just poor it in and shake a little to cover all the fish and done. But even soft herring will stay on the hook better than hooligan. It will be fine whatever you do. If nothing else you just create a good scent trail.

  7. #7
    Member fishmaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Wasilla, Alaska


    I use a little water and a lot of salt. You can use regular salt (non iodized) or rock salt. Also if you are using them for halibut, dump a little herring oil in the bait bucket.


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