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Thread: Herring in passage canal, Whitter?

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    Default Herring in passage canal, Whitter?

    When can one expect to catch herring in decent numbers in passage canal near the harbor? Are they there now in any numbers?

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    If there's seagulls near the fish processing plant, try it. The herring feed on the waste as well. Pitch a sabiki rig from the end of the little restaurant circle road out into the canal and let it sink for a while....they tend to hit it as it falls.

    Sorry, I haven't timed the run, I just know if there are seagulls flocked up, there's probably herring below.

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    Saturday we motored around the area where they discharge waste. Saw small schools of herring on the sonar but it was small enough it was nearly impossible to stay on top of. They are discharging some bits of fish or something. The seagulls are there and they seem to sit directly on top of the herring but they fish were hanging out.

    There was a lot of bird diving activity in the shallow bay closest to the tunnel but I just looked from the road.

    Out in Passage canal, we saw almost no feeding bird activity but we did jig up some very small herring about the size of the red labels. There seemed to be lots of them hugging the shorelines. Maybe they will congregate a little later in the season.

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    Went to Whittier today and got a couple gallons of big herring no problem from shore. Sabiki rig cast to the gulls nailed them. Wasn't even there to fish but thought I'd prospect for later...lol. Our visitors needed to get back to town, otherwise I would have fished more. They are definitely there, and not small. Trick is casting far enough and into the gulls without hooking one.

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    Thought I'd throw a pic of some of the herring up here. Most were around 8-9", although one was almost a foot.





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    MAn Smoked herring My mouth is watering. When I was in Germany use to have them at the fair Smoking on a stick. Smoked herring and a good Plisner beer whoooowe

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    is it best to fish on the incoming tide for the herring?

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    Quote Originally Posted by s_wright121 View Post
    is it best to fish on the incoming tide for the herring?
    Honestly don't know for sure if it makes much difference. They hang out kind of in the same spot all the time because of the fish processing plant waste being dumped there. I was fishing almost exactly at low tide today, but that wasn't on purpose, it's just when we were there.

    If you need directions on where to go, let me know. It's easy to find, but hard to explain...lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    Went to Whittier today and got a couple gallons of big herring no problem from shore. Sabiki rig cast to the gulls nailed them. Wasn't even there to fish but thought I'd prospect for later...lol. Our visitors needed to get back to town, otherwise I would have fished more. They are definitely there, and not small. Trick is casting far enough and into the gulls without hooking one.

    Good to know... thanks man. I'll maybe try for some tomorrow. Nothing is better than fresh herring for bait. I have never tried to eat one though.

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    Wow...was in a kayak where eveyone catches herring. Sonar just lit up so I dropped my sabiki rig. I got nothing but salmon smolts. After moving around trying to avoid the smolts, I gave up because I didn't want to hurt the ones I was hooking. Every time I dropped, every hook came up with salmon smolts. Love to see so many, my sonar was black with with fish, but not a single herring. It was amazing the size of the mass of fish I sitting on. Maybe it bodes well for future salmon runs.

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    Wonder if you timed it with when F&G released the silver smolts for that fishery? Can't really think of any other reason there would be so many so concentrated....

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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    Wonder if you timed it with when F&G released the silver smolts for that fishery? Can't really think of any other reason there would be so many so concentrated....
    Yah, it was simply amazing. My sonar was reading black from almost top to bottom. I thought I had hit the herring motherload! First few drops I couldn't even open the bail on my reel before the bottom hook caught smolts. Later I switched to a heavier weight to get it through the top layer faster thinking maybe they just were on top and it didn't help. Then I cast out as far as I could from my Kayak away from the school drug it in along the bottom and reeled up thinking maybe the herring were at the bottom. But once I again I caught the smolts. About 10 tries and 100 smolts dangling on my hooks, I thought better to leave the poor salmon alone.

    Glad to hear you hit them. Might have to go try again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    If there's seagulls near the fish processing plant, try it. The herring feed on the waste as well. Pitch a sabiki rig from the end of the little restaurant circle road out into the canal and let it sink for a while....they tend to hit it as it falls.

    Sorry, I haven't timed the run, I just know if there are seagulls flocked up, there's probably herring below.

    Where is the fish processing plant?
    Is it near Smity's cove?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Gray View Post
    Where is the fish processing plant?
    Is it near Smity's cove?
    Smitty's is too the right of everything. The plant itself is in that little industrial strip you have to drive through to get to Smitty's, on the opposite side of the street from the police, I think.

    But, the effluent flows from it, across the ferry dock area, and to the tip of the harbor jetty. That's where I fish. Just take the road like you're going to the harbor but go all the way past it. At the very end is the little restaurant/shop circle. Instead of going into the circle, there is a little pullout that looks straight up Passage Canal (it's about wide enough for 4 vehicles). That's where you want to be. Walk down the rocks and find a place with some room for a strong back-cast, because you have to really wing it to get it out far enough sometimes.

    I use a 2 ounce ball weight on the end of a Sabiki rig. Let it sink. They hit it on the drop. You'll know if you found them because you feel it. Once you hit one, reel just enough to keep tension, and you'll likely pick up a couple to several more on the other hooks.


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    Can anyone tell me if there is a particularly good time to find the herring or are they there all summer? Sounds like a good excuse to finally see Whittier.

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    Since the herring are that close to shore, are there any predatory fish there too? Feeder kings?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kimjn View Post
    Since the herring are that close to shore, are there any predatory fish there too? Feeder kings?
    I was thinking the same thing. Jigged for a couple of hours total on several occasions from my kayak and even slapped on a live herring right after I caught some but so far all I have gotten is pollock, P-Cod and Irish Lords. Maybe I have watched one too many Discovery Channel Shows but you got to believe something is out there just eyeballing those herring.

    I have heard a few folks catching halibut. Next time I get a small cod, I might just send that back down to see what happens.

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    I've seen a good sized (50lb+) halibut and a salmon shark caught where I fish. Don't know how the guy got the shark in, it was pretty big. He was the talk of the town that day, tourists taking pics, the whole deal...lol.

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    Slayer, you mean to tell me one guy caught a salmon shark off the bank in Whittier?

    Where about do you go to have a chance at halibut? What's the bottom structure like out there? Seems kind of rocky to me.

    Hubby and I caught several lingcod and rockfish from shore last year. They were all small save for a ling of about 10 pounds. This was in September right in front of town. Decided to give it a go since the silvers were so slow.

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    was down last saturday (6/19/10) with the boys and the fishing for herring was going strong! I was throwing sabiki rigs out from the sea wall with a 1/2oz ball weight on the end and letting the boys do the retrieves (didnt feel like getting hooked with a half dozen little hooks due to an inexperienced cast) and they were frequently bringing them in 3 and 4 at a time.....

    Fast retrieves brought in herring, and a slow retrieve brought in little tom-cod. Oldest boy also caught a little jack-king on a fast retrieve.... he was about a foot long and exactly 1 lb. Fun stuff.
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