Salaka, the Baltic herring is a fish, a subspecies of the Atlantic herring from the family of the same name. In appearance – a typical representative of herring. The fish has a spindle-shaped body and a fairly large head with large eyes. The mouth is medium, there are small sharp teeth on the vomer. In the sea, herring forms local herds, which may differ in habitat and spawning time. Fish living off the coast of Germany or Sweden are somewhat larger and can reach sizes of 35 cm, but these are fast-growing subspecies of the same fish. Near the northeastern shores of the Baltic Baltic herring is smaller and rarely exceeds 14-16 cm in length. Baltic herring is a marine fish, but easily tolerates desalinated and brackish waters of the Baltic bays. Herring populations are known in freshwater lakes in Sweden. Migration and life cycles of fish directly depend on the temperature regime of the sea. Salaka is a pelargic fish whose main food is invertebrates living in the upper and middle layers of the water. The fish adheres to open areas of the sea, but in spring it comes to the shore in search of food, but when the coastal waters are excessively warm, they go to deeper places and can stay in the middle layers of the water. In the autumn-winter period, the fish migrates far from the coast and adheres to the bottom layers of water. In search of zooplankton, Baltic herring competes with sprats and other small species, but large individuals can switch to eating stickleback and juveniles of other species. At the same time, herring itself is a typical food for larger species, such as Baltic salmon, cod, and others.
Industrial fishing is carried out with net gear. But amateur herring fishing is also very popular and can be carried out both from the shore and from boats. The main methods of fishing are multi-hook tackle such as “tyrant” and so on. It is worth noting that experienced anglers advise using whitish or yellow tricks.
Catching herring with long-cast rods
Most of the names of multi-hook rigs can have different names, such as “cascade”, “herringbone” and so on, but in essence, they are similar and can completely repeat each other. The main differences can appear only in the case of fishing from the shore or from boats, mainly in the presence of different types of rods or their absence. Baltic herring is often caught from the shore, so it is more convenient to fish with long rods with a “running rig”. In general, most of the rigs are similar, so the general recommendations for fishing with multi-hook gear are suitable. Fishing for “tyrant”, despite the name, which is clearly of Russian origin, is quite widespread and is used by anglers all over the world. There are slight regional differences, but the principle of fishing is the same everywhere. Also, it is worth noting that the main difference between the rigs is rather related to the size of the prey. Initially, the use of any rods was not provided. A certain amount of cord is wound on a reel of arbitrary shape, depending on the depth of fishing, it can be up to several hundred meters. A sinker with an appropriate weight of up to 400 g is fixed at the end, sometimes with a loop at the bottom to secure an additional leash. Leashes are fixed on the cord, most often, in an amount of about 10-15 pieces. Leashes can be made of materials, depending on the intended catch. It can be either monofilament or metal lead material or wire. It should be clarified that sea fish is less “finicky” to the thickness of the equipment, so you can use fairly thick monofilaments (0.5-0.6 mm). With regard to metal parts of the equipment, especially hooks, it is worth bearing in mind that they must be coated with an anti-corrosion coating, because sea water corrodes metals much faster. In the “classic” version, the “tyrant” is equipped with baits, with attached colored feathers, woolen threads or pieces of synthetic materials. In addition, small spinners, additionally fixed beads, beads, etc. are used for fishing. In modern versions, when connecting parts of the equipment, various swivels, rings, and so on are used. This increases the versatility of the tackle, but can hurt its durability. It is necessary to use reliable, expensive fittings. On specialized vessels for fishing on “tyrant”, special on-board devices for reeling gear may be provided. This is very useful when fishing at great depths. If fishing takes place from ice or a boat, on relatively small lines, then ordinary reels are sufficient, which can serve as short rods. When using onboard rods with throughput rings or short sea spinning rods, a problem arises that is typical for all multi-hook rigs with the reeling of the rig when playing the fish. When catching small fish, this inconvenience is solved by using rods 6-7 m long, and when catching large fish, by limiting the number of “working” leashes. In any case, when preparing tackle for fishing, the main leitmotif should be convenience and simplicity during fishing. The principle of fishing is quite simple, after lowering the sinker in a vertical position to a predetermined depth, the angler makes periodic twitches of tackle, according to the principle of vertical flashing. In the case of an active bite, this, sometimes, is not required. “Landing” of fish on hooks can occur when lowering the equipment or from the pitching of the vessel. When fishing for herring from the shore, various wiring is possible, but a uniform one is often recommended.
Places of fishing and habitat
The main habitat of the herring, as can be seen from the second name, is the Baltic Sea. Taking into account the fact that the Baltic, in general, is a shallow and low-salinity water body, many herring populations live in shallow desalinated bays such as Finnish, Curonian, Kaliningrad and others. In winter, fish adhere to deeper parts of the reservoir and move far from the shore. The fish leads a pelargic way of life, migrating to the coastal zones of the sea in search of food and for spawning.
There are two main races of herring, which differ in spawning time: autumn and spring. The fish becomes sexually mature at 2-4 years of age. Spring herring spawns in the coastal zone at a depth of 5-7 m. Spawning time is May-June. Autumn, spawns in August-September, it happens at great depths. It should be noted that the autumn race is quite small.