Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 41

Thread: Where to get decent halibut herring

  1. #1

    Default Where to get decent halibut herring

    I can't find decent herring this year. Bought some in Anchorage and when it thawed the skin came off and it was pretty much mush. That place buys their herring from my other source (so I see no need to go there to look for better herring) and told me straight out that their herring is bad and that they can't find any sources of good herring this year. There are several places in Anchorage to buy herring, but if you've bought good herring this year then please let me know. No trouble finding good troll herring. I know that I could maybe catch my own herring, but I'd rather spend my time on the water catching other stuff.

  2. #2
    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,258

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver View Post
    I can't find decent herring this year. Bought some in Anchorage and when it thawed the skin came off and it was pretty much mush. That place buys their herring from my other source (so I see no need to go there to look for better herring) and told me straight out that their herring is bad and that they can't find any sources of good herring this year. There are several places in Anchorage to buy herring, but if you've bought good herring this year then please let me know. No trouble finding good troll herring. I know that I could maybe catch my own herring, but I'd rather spend my time on the water catching other stuff.
    Sure would like to know as well. I've used the B&J stuff and (gasp) the Walmart stuff. Same result. I tried the rock salt to toughen up but that didn't work as well. My subsistence long-line now uses a some combination of cod, salmon bellies, squid and octopus when I can get it.
    In 1492 Native Americans discovered Columbus lost at sea
    _________________________________________________

    If I come across as an arrogant, know-it-all jerk, it's because I am

  3. #3
    Member bkbaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    773

    Default

    Chum works pretty well, the skin is tough on those suckers. Are you going out somewhere you can try to get some near a freshwater source? I try to keep pink, chum, and octopus for halibut bait. Throw them in the freezer whole. Oh yeah, a little P-Cod does pretty well. I know they prefer black cod to p-cod but its too good to waste.

  4. #4

    Default Halibut Goodies

    Take a heriing jig go off the end of the coal shute in Seward and catch your on herring. Use the fethered herring jig, it works best. Better than anything you will buy. They are there pretty much all year, last time we went (2 wekks ago) had 5 gallons in maybe an hour.

  5. #5
    Member RustyMonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    233

    Default

    I usually pick my herring up from the SportsShed in Homer. I have never had a problem with it and neither have the Halibut.
    "Safety does not happen by accident, it's a choice"

  6. #6
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,315

    Default

    Have you tried Alaska Bait Company? Off Potter near C street. Their bait wasn't always the best, but was often better than what was in the stores.

  7. #7
    New member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Got some decent herring from Ak. Bait Co. in Anchorage about a month ago. They are off 64th in Anchorage. It was from Kodiak..........usually they get theirs from B.C. or somewhere in Canada. But a 50# box is $74.00......so it ain't cheap in my mind for bait! Pretty good quality compared to other years.

  8. #8

    Default

    I get mine from the Ice and Bait place out East End Rd. and that's where the Sport Shed gets theirs from, too, and probably most of the retail places around Homer. If I need a "quick fix" I just stop at Sport Shed for some. I haven't had any problem with the herring I've gotten so far this year. Good stuff and some of it has been absolutely huge. They also sell octopus and squid. The octo has been great and it is by far my favorite. It will stay on your hook for multiple fish and I've actually caught butt on it with herring down there at the same time, though at times the herring seems to be the thing they're looking for, too.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  9. #9

    Default

    Alaska Bait Company is where I usually get my bait when I have time to go there. B&J is closer and that's where I got it last time. That's the herring that fell apart and B&J gets their herring from Alaska Bait Company. I'll try Alaska Bait Company today or tomorrow and just maybe it won't be crap. I usually save some salmon bellies for bait, but prefer herring. Bellies are also good for putting on after herring because they're tough and if the fish rips off the herring then usually the salmon bellie stays on.

  10. #10
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,315

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver View Post
    Alaska Bait Company is where I usually get my bait when I have time to go there. B&J is closer and that's where I got it last time. That's the herring that fell apart and B&J gets their herring from Alaska Bait Company. I'll try Alaska Bait Company today or tomorrow and just maybe it won't be crap. I usually save some salmon bellies for bait, but prefer herring. Bellies are also good for putting on after herring because they're tough and if the fish rips off the herring then usually the salmon bellie stays on.
    If you're buying it in the 1 to 5 pound bags, then that's usually twice-frozen stuff and it can be downright rank sometimes. You might be better off buying a 20 pound box (once frozen...but that's what they thaw and portion out into the smaller bags).

  11. #11
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kodiak, Ak
    Posts
    3,175

    Default

    Do any of you guys ever buy from the Fish Processing plants near your town?

    You'd need to buy in 50lb box (sometimes they have 25lbers) but you could let it thaw enough to break apart and portion it up for your individual fishing days usage then refreeze in smaller packages. It's usually pretty good stuff, often local Herring (tho the stuff from the East Coast is usually best).

    Some of the problems you are mentioning, skin coming off, falling apart, etc. RARELY happens with commercial bait, they'd lose their fleet over selling bad bait.

    I'm thinking in Homer, Kenai, definitely Seward there are plants that have serious longline fleets and might sell a box or two to anyone, not necessarily their own fleet.

    Should be around 45 cents a pound or so. You can get Squid from a lot of places also which is comparable to Octopus for Fishiness. Go straight to the dock foreman at the biggest most professional plant in town. Trident, Icicle, etc. then pay at the office with paperwork he gives you( he may send you to the office first tho).

    Don't try the funky fish buyer officed in a shack.
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  12. #12
    Member FISHFACE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    535

    Default

    Captain Jack's in Seward has the best bait around. Only sells by the box though.
    Boatless

  13. #13

    Default

    The best herring I've ever gotten was when I used to buy the big white boxes in Seward. Would open it up and all the herring would be intact, firm, and nice and bright. Then would thaw the block just enough to peel off the outer later of herring and put in a baggie for the trip. The mush stuff I've been buying lately looks like it's been thawed and then refrozen. That'll sure mess up a good fish.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    (tho the stuff from the East Coast is usually best).
    That's interesting you would recommend that. Is that the general concensus of the longline fleet? I usually buy the 25# boxes. Last year for most of the season we were getting herring processed in British Columbia. Then, around August (give or take), the boxes said processed in Nova Scotia I believe. Anyway, the Nova Scotia stuff wasn't too good. Very small in size and mushy. Now skip to this year. It's the same East Coast stuff, but seems to be normal size (by my standards), certainly larger than the stuff I was getting last year. It also is much better quality.

    Incidently, whatever bait I have left over from a trip or "gone bad", I re-freeze, then grind it up (grinds up easier frozen) and put it in an onion bag and send it down. It really doesn't go to waste.

  15. #15
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kodiak, Ak
    Posts
    3,175

    Default

    Hard to speak for the LL Fleet, but for years, all the guys I knew agreed the East Coast stuff was better, sometimes a little smaller, but there was something we couldn't really put a finger on, maybe more oily, maybe better taken care of as there are more dedicated Bait Fisheries over there.

    It used to be that to buy local AK Herring meant you were getting stuff that had been Roe Stripped from the Commercial Roe Fishery (Roe Stripped means the fish was left to soften up til you could squeeze the roe out with your hand, as in rotten to a degree, you will see this by ripped bellies in about 50percent of the fish, DON'T BUY) then they sell the males that are "Cured" along with those females all into the Bait Category. Not sure that happens much anymore but buyer beware

    Now days, there is some mighty good stuff put up by Trident out in Dutch and Akutan, Huge Herring and is of very high quality.

    But as a standard, if I see East Coast anywhere on the box I am pretty happy.

    Also, a note you should open the box to take a look before buying, this is very accepted in the business, if you see ANY yellow in there, ask for a different box. Sometimes the dock crew will try to pawn off the stuff that has been in the back corner of Cold Storage for a year or more on unsuspecting guys, like someone standing there in hipwaders and camo coat looking for one box just teasing you guys,

    but Really, Check it out first!!
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  16. #16

    Default

    I would say if you really want the best bait you can get catch your own herring. It really is not hard to fill 5 gallon buckets fast with some sabikis and a couple rods. Just don't go with your instinct to pull it up right away, let it sit for a couple seconds after the first hit and you may have a bunch on each line. Doubles and triples are very common.

    Nothing beats freshness.
    Alaska Fishing Forums : They are my addiction!

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, Washington
    Posts
    1,210

    Default

    If the fish turns to mush upon thawing, it's been frozen at least twice. I would avoid those places again.

    I'm headed for Ketchikan in early Sept. I hope to be able to catch my own, but I'm not sure where to start fishing.... Maybe I'll look for a bait-ball of herring and start there.

  18. #18

    Default

    So I went by Alaska Bait yesterday. They pretty much said that they couldn't get any good herring this year so I went ahead and bought a 5-lb bag for this weekend. After telling them about my previous purchase turning to mush, they gave me a couple of trays of troll herring (one tray a little bloody, one tray had broken vacuum seal) for free and it's good enough to use this weekend. Was good of them to acknowledge the quality issue and to voluntarily try to help me out with the free troll herring.

  19. #19

    Default

    I agree. It was good of them to give you some free stuff at least to try to make up a bit for the quality issue. Good luck and I hope you slay em this weekend.
    Alaska Fishing Forums : They are my addiction!

  20. #20

    Default

    i get mine from silvertip on k beach road and have not gotten anything bad this year

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •