Sea herring: description and methods of catching sea fish herring

All about sea herring

There are many types of fish, which in Russian are called herring. In addition to, in fact, sea herring, they include freshwater, anadromous, semi-anadromous species, both related and not related to the herring family. Including some species of whitefish and cyprinids. Scientifically speaking, herrings are a large group of fish that live in predominantly salt water. Freshwater or anadromous species are described in a separate section, while sea herring (Clupea) is a separate genus of fish living in the northern and, to some extent, the southern hemisphere. In addition to it, several more closely related genera (about 12), including more than 40 species, live in sea waters. The appearance of herrings is quite recognizable, it is a valky body strongly compressed from the sides, a notched caudal fin. The mouth is medium, the teeth on the jaws are most often absent. The back is dark, the body is covered with easily falling scales. The presence of a swim bladder, with an open system, suggests that herring are pelargic fish capable of living at different depths. Herring is a medium-sized species, most individuals grow no more than 35-45 cm. It is believed that fish are able to spend a significant part of their life at depth. The way of life is quite complex, one species has populations that make long migrations, while others can stay near the coast of birth all their lives or never leave the shelf zone. Some groups live in semi-enclosed brackish lakes or lagoons. At the same time, other huge flocks of the same fish migrate in search of food and periodically appear off the coast “as if out of nowhere.” Fish feed on zooplankton, in search of which they move in various water layers. The main sea herrings include three types: Atlantic, Eastern and Chilean. It is worth mentioning here that the well-known “Ivasi herring” is not a herring from a scientific point of view, it is a Far Eastern sardine. Sardines are also fish of the herring family, but belonging to a separate genus.

Fishing methods

Despite the fact that most people associate herring with fishing with industrial trawls and nets, recreational fishing can also be very exciting. Given that herring is the main food for many predatory marine fish, this fish can be caught not only for “sports interest”, but also for bait. The most popular and lucrative tackle are various types of multi-hook rods with a “running rig”, which use both artificial and natural baits. During the “move of the fish” they catch on any equipment that can cast imitations of the main food or medium-sized natural baits.

Catching herring on the “tyrant”, “Christmas tree”

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 small local differences, but the principle of fishing is the same everywhere. It is also 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, this 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. Leads can be made from 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 side rods with throughput rings or short sea spinning rods, there is a problem, on all multi-hook rigs, with the reeling of the rig when playing the fish. When catching small fish, this problem is solved by using rods with throughput rings 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. “Samodur” is also called a multi-hook equipment using a natural nozzle. 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.


In most cases, the simplest “tricks” are used, made from various bright materials, sometimes, literally, “on the knee”. In the option of fishing with natural baits, it is possible to use fish and shellfish meat, even maggot, the main characteristic of such baits should be the condition of resistance to frequent bites.

Places of fishing and habitat

As already mentioned, sea herring live in the boreal part of the oceans. They inhabit temperate and partly arctic waters in the northern hemisphere, as well as off the coast of Chile in the southern. Off the Russian coast, flocks of herring can be found along the Pacific coast, as well as in the White and Barents Seas, and so on.


Fish mature at 2-3 years of age, before spawning they gather in huge flocks. Spawning takes place in the water column at various depths. Sticky caviar settles to the bottom. The spawning period depends on the habitat, and therefore, taking into account the whole species, it can occur almost all year round. For the Norwegian and Baltic herring, the spawning period is spring and summer.

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