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Thread: Fishing for Herring with Sabiki rig

  1. #1

    Question Fishing for Herring with Sabiki rig

    I am going to be fishing out of Valdez next month and was wondering what my chances of catching my own bait would be? I have never fished for herring and was wondering what might work best and where might I find them. I have been told to use a multiple jig rig that is called a Sabiki rig I think. Does anyone have any experience with this and are there good depths or structure necessary to find good concentrations of herring? Thank you for any advice you are willing to share.

  2. #2
    Member big_dog60's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    between wasilla and palmer


    Well when I was in valdez the summer of 01 we caught them right off the dock with a rig that sounds similar to what your talking about.
    I have heard recently though that you can no longer do this

  3. #3
    Member Daveinthebush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Valdez, Alaska

    Default Maybe

    The fish processer at the old city dock is gone.... whole building and everything. You might be able to catch some on a herring rig just outside of the harbor on the left, about 100 yards off shore and 100 yards north of the Crowley tugs as the remaining processor has a dump out there somewhere. The harbor also dumps the fish cleaning stations out near there.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    A, A

    Default Herring Rig

    How big are the Herring, I have a small hook Sabiki rig and a meduim size, wondering witch one to use??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Juneau, Alaska

    Default Take Both Sizes

    Sabiki rigs are very light weight and break-off if something like a coho decides to go for one of the herring you may have caught. We have been using the same principle with "herring jigs" in SE since the early 50s. We have used very small treble hooks (12/0) and about 6 to 8 hooks tied-off on stalks off the main line. A tiny (3/4-inch) piece of orange or chartreuse yarn tied off above the hook seems to add to the attraction when the contraption is jigged up and down in the water column. A 3 to 6 ounce sinker completes the outfit.

    If you don't have a sounder with a screen to see schools of herring at various depths you are at a disadvantage. It is possible to find them flipping on the surface feeding in the early mornings and evenings but they can be difficult to find. Feeding, diving birds and sealion or whale activity can indicate a large herring concentration but then you have to figure out how deep they are beneath the surface.

    We are always on the lookout for herring when out on the water. We are using the Sabiki-style hollow fishing rod (Cabelas) so we can keep a rig handy to jig as soon as we see a herring school on our sounder screen. Without the hollow rod to wind the jigs up inside - the loose, uncovered treble-jigs in the boat always are "a tangle waiting to happen" otherwise. We shut-down and flip the jig over the side and let it free spool down to the depth of the school. Short (foot and a half), quick jigging motions seem to work the best for bringing in the herring - I like to think that it looks like a swarm of plankton or other herring food when it is moved like that.

    When it feels like you have enough herring hooked, we strip the line in, swing the jig (herring and all) into the boat, grab the sinker, hold the line tight against the rod ahead of the reel, and whip the jig a couple of times to shake the herring off and send it down into the school again. If you have kids on the boat their job is to pick up the loose herring and put them into a bucket (always a big hit with the kids). Do this a few times and you have all the bait you will need for a day of fishing. It can get messy with scales flying all over the deck, but that's all part of process. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Member barleydog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Great idea with the hollow rods! Sabiki's seem to get hung up on everything inside the boat...

    If you use a boat, go to the location Dave discribed. IF you end up with a bunch of hooks missing, it's those pesky cod and salmon...


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