Blueback Herring (Alosa aestivalis)

Background:

The blueback herring is like the alewife in that its origin is the ocean. It has been stocked into many southern reservoirs as an alternate food source for deep-water game fish. It's habits are much like the Alewife. It spends the hot summer months in deeper water around the thermocline. Common size range is 3-7 inches with large adults over 12" not uncommon.

Availability:

Blueback herring are abundant in many reservoirs throughout the southeast. They will quickly populate a reservoir in a few years and provide a great food source.

Acquisition:

During the day, look for any current. Below dams is a productive area. They can be caught much in the same manner as alewives by bringing them to your boat at night with a bright light. The typical wait for bait under a light (provided the moon isn't too bright) is about an hour. The bait will stay deep in the summer, so the largest radius cast nets perform the best (10-12 foot radius, open diameter 20-24 feet).  Turn your light off just before the net reaches the school to disorient them.  They have also been known to strike on small flies known as sabiki rigs. This is a string of 6 small flies with a small gold hook (size 8 or 10) that can be jigged among the herring to produce fish.

Storage:

Similar to alewives with 2 baitfish per 1 gallon of water fairly standard.

 

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