Ok, I've found a school of herring...now what?

Bookseller

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My neighbor and I were discussing the best ways to fish for salmon in salt water once you've located a herring bait ball (school, or whatever). He says that one way is to toss a vibrax out and let it fall through the herring and wait for the hit when it comes out the bottom. Other people have told me that you should cast "around" the school and use the reel...pause...reel method.

So far, in my relatively short career of salt water fishing I've only found these bait balls while trolling and just kept motoring along letting the trolling rig pass right through them. Haven't hooked up that way either. I'm going to have another rod fixed up and ready to go the next time this happens but I'm not sure what to toss at them.

Anyone care to weigh in here with an opinion? Methods? Lures?
 

Bill S.

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I would stop and jig with the medium size silver jigs around and through the school. Remember to take out the trolling rig before you start jigging, the troopers have been nailing a good number of people lately for fishing with more than one rod out in the salt water.
 

flyfishak30

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Herring

Herring

I once came up on some herring with kings aroud them smashing the herring on the surface. I had a bass rod rigged up and casted just beyond the kings that I coud see. I had one follow but other than that no luck. Looking back I wish I would of jigged for a while but it was the end of a long week end and we were heading back in.
 

live2fish

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Candle fish ball

Candle fish ball

We had the same experience in Seward. We found a huge ball of candle fish by watching the seagulls. When we went over to them you could watch the silvers and puffins gorging themselves on the candle fish. We trolled, jigged and I had to grab the net away from one of my kids cause they wouldn't seem to hit anything we threw at them. I figured there was so much food there the didn't need to hit anything else. It was fun however watching the fish and birds, would have been a good day to have an underwater camera.
Good luck,
John
 

Bullwinkle50

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I vote on the stopping and jigging method based on my own expereince. We were fishing out of Homer over Memorial Day weekend this year when we saw a bait ball with larger echos under it. I circled back over it and stopped to jig. We picked up two nice Kings.

Bullwinkle
 

Steelieguy

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Bait Ball

Bait Ball

I like to drop back a fresh live or dead bait, and motor mooch on the edge of the bait ball, or try and stay in front of the them.
 

AKCAPT

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fishing the bait balls....

fishing the bait balls....

If you find a bunch of bait, at least in Seward, I would not try to catch salmon on it. You want to find the salmon that are not on bait balls. Try fishing on the edges of the bait up to 30 yards away from it. The salmon are most likely under and around the sides of the bait ball. That is why the bait is balled up, to look like a bigger fish and to keep the samon from picking off the weak ones. IF you present you bait or lure on the sides of the bait ball it will look like a weak one and get bit.
 

Ripface

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Would you mind elaborating on these "medium size silver jigs?" Coming from MN, I think jigs are considered slightly differently here vs. there. I think of a roundish metal head with a hook connected, then a wiggle-tail or minnow on it. Is this what you're refering to? Is the "silver jig" just a silvery rubber bait attached to a jig head? I'm not well versed in the tackle in this area yet, and I'm trying to learn.
 

Bookseller

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Oops

Oops

Bill S. said:
I would stop and jig with the medium size silver jigs around and through the school. Remember to take out the trolling rig before you start jigging, the troopers have been nailing a good number of people lately for fishing with more than one rod out in the salt water.

Good thing you brought it up. I forgot all about that. Thanks.
 

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