Herring season is in full swing and reports, although a bit inconsistent, have had them biting at many of the traditional hotspots along the coast in recent weeks. While these silvery fish are really quite willing to mix it up with anglers who dare to brave the chill and winds of winter, having a little extra edge does help sometimes. One way to gain the upper hand on herring is to add a little more flash and action to your herring rigs. This isn’t hard to do and makes for a fun way to pass some time as we all await warmer days ahead.
LIGHT ‘EM UP
Rather than tie herring jigs from scratch, I like to start with flashy, pre-tied Sabiki rigs and make some slight modifications. These are readily available for between $1 and $2 at just about any local tackle shop that remains open through the winter (you can also find them online). I prefer Sabiki Rigs tied with Mylar as they seem to produce more flash, resulting in better fish attraction. I also like the rigs with smaller hooks rather than larger ones. When pulling these rigs from their packaging, be careful not to get them all tangled. There are six to eight very sharp hooks on each rig and these will snag just about anything they touch.
Once you’ve pulled out a rig and given it a little stretch to take the curls out of the leader, tie it onto your rod of choice using a clinch knot. My preference is a for a 7-1/2-foot spinning outfit with a Shimano 4000 spinning reel filled with 20-pound-test Power Pro line.
BRING THE BLING
With your herring hooks now set to be highly visible beneath the glow stick, adding some extra flash in the next step. You can use anything silver that will imitate another herring on the line. I have four-inch spoons that I like to use but you can simply cut a CD in half, drill a small hole in each half, add a snap swivel in the drilled hole, and attach the entire gizmo to your line. I usually tie in a small a small section of 20-pound-test leader material between my Power Pro line and the Sabiki rig. It is to this section that I’ll add both the flasher and glow stick. When adding the flasher, put your swivel in a dropper loop before you tie it. Now put your flasher or the CD half on the snap swivel. It makes the flasher work a lot better. For even more flash, try adding an additional flasher in the middle of the Sabiki rig.