Northern CA Saltwater

Crescent City herring run begins, creating great excitement

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Feb 12, 2019

CRESCENT CITY — Crescent City folks became really excited when the annual run of herring began during the week. This much heralded event is when people load up on a precious commodity that sets them up with a season’s worth of bait.

BIG BAIT — Herring spawns provide a great opportunity for getting bait for Pacific halibut. WON Field Reporter Lonnie Dollarhide said “we brine them overnight in salt, then vacuum seal them.” Capt. Tim Klassen of the Reel Steel went out of Crescent City last week to take advantage of the beginnings of the run, pictured. PHOTO BY LONNIE DOLLARHIDE

The anxiously-awaited herring run inside Crescent City Harbor kicked off this week and on Friday, anglers who fished from boats or kayaks were able to get all they needed, thanks to a really good start to the run.

There are two typical ways of catching these herring. One is with a throw net and it is a sight to behold watching people who are very practiced with their throw nets, swing them around, make the toss and watch the net open in the air and come down right on top of the fish. The other oft-used method is to cast Sabiki rigs and get them as they bite or get stuck somehow on the hooks.

The easiest ways to locate the big schools is to look for the feeding birds or sea lions or using your fish inder. Following the critters who feed on the herring is the time-honored way. When relying on fishfinders it sure helps to have a side-scanning system to search all around the boat or kayak.

The importance of this annual run cannot be overstated. WON Field Reporter Lonnie Dollarhide said, “The herring run is a yearly event enjoyed by boaters and shore-based anglers for the whole family. We use these herring for our baits for Pacific halibut during the season. Once caught, they are put in a salt brine overnight, then vac-sealed the next day.”

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