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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Started tieing my own when the big blueback herring didn't seem to like the store variety.

Every spring the big blueback herring arrive in our back bays and along our inlets. Without a doubt my favorite strip bait for flounder, weakies and stripers. Big scales reflect all kinds of light and their skin is much tuffer than mackerel.

All through May around dusk schools of the bluebacks come in around the docks and tear into the massive schools of baby herring. You would think they were blues the way they attack. We caught a few on sibiki rigs but barely enough to warrent the number of casts. Tried the larger sabikis with tiny squid teasers and did a little better.

Two years ago I found some freshwater flutter spoons. These are very small and mainly used by trout fisherman and also for shad. I figured I'd give them a shot and on my first cast with a five hook rig I hooked up with four.

Simple to make. Easy to use and very effective. I just take 25 pound test mono and tie four dropper loops about ten inches apart. I use 25 because they fight like blues and hook up with more than one and you have a test of skills going on. Also have hooked a few decent size stripers with them.

I make my loops very large and tie them very tight. Then simply cut the loop right at the knot so you just have one piece of line off the knot. You end up with a long leader with four short leaders hanging from it. Then you just tie the flutter spoons onto each piece of line. a small shad dart at the end for weight and you are ready to go. Most effective sabiki rig I have ever used for the herring.

Fillet your catch and remove as much of the flesh from the skin. Place in a container with kosher salt and you have the best strip bait around.

When you strip the fillets cut them with a scissors. a knife will just tear the big scales off and make a mess.

Early season herring around the docks makes for some fun fishing and fantastic baits. Just wait for sunset and watch for the swirls. thats the big bluebacks.
 

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The Herring around my dock stick around all through the night with the lights shining. They stay just outside in the shadow line.

But i've caught many 3 and 4 multiple hookups on the store bought sabikis. They just seem to prefer the plastic shrimps (white or pink) rather than the little fly imitations.

I love when they run and jump like little tarpon. Great fun and great bait.
 

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Chunking,

You lost me when you said to cut loop at the knot. If you cut the loop don't you lose the leader?? Do you retie the loop to a new leader. I am new at tieing loops and leaders.
 

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he means you cut one side of the loop near the knot...this basically gives you a bloodknot with a long tag end...thats what you tie the spoon to....its clear as mud....LOL...
 

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I have found from fishing in the Delaware for herring that the smaller hooks seem to catch much more then the bigger hooks. I tried to use bigger hooks because if a shad happens to hit it they tend to bend the small hooks out and get off.
When I used the bigger I did not catch many herring at all.

I have also tied my own sabiki rig using shad darts and it worked but still not as well as the smaller sabiki's.

I have never fished for herring other then in the river though!
 

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Flutter spoons? I agree with Bgs, how about photo. And why remove as much flesh as possible from the skin? If your salting it, wouldn't it be good to keep flesh on the skins?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry guys, no photo unless Phil lets me use his camera. I will bring a few to Barnfest and you can see them there if you are going.

med has it right. I figured my discription was a little confusing.

I believe river herring aren't the same as the big bluebacks we catch at the docks.

I trim as much flesh off the skin for a few reasons. First is the skin and scales are the real attractant when fishing a herring strip. Second is if the flesh is too thick it tends to peal off the skin easily. Jig a bucktail a few times and you have big chunks of flesh falling off. Third is that with thin flesh you get a quicker cure and stronger strip. Fourth is by trimming it as thin as possible you get equal thickness all the way across the fillet.

One reason I favor herring over mackerel is that the flesh is just perfect when salted. Mackerel have thin skin and small scales. The flesh starts to peal off very fast and it only takes a minute for a bucktail to start wearing a big hole where the hook penetrated. Flounder bangs the bucktail and the mackerel strip can and will bounce right off.
 

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I have been fishing for shad for many years. Flutter spoons are smaller then the ones you just looked at .Flutters have a gold hook soldered to it and a small split ring at the line end. Flutters catch more shad than darts so it stands to reason the big bluebacks hit them. They are all in the same family.The blue back herring we catch in trenton are a smaller variety which are the prime baits used in trenton falls for big stripes. Flutters are so easy to make . I use a pr. of forsepts to hld the gold hook to the brass spoon. ( solder will not take to chrome)Then with a BIC LIGHTER , solder and paste, I solder the twwo together. You only need a small piece of solder about the size of a large pin head! Then you can polish the brass with steel wool and clear coat. , Or you paint them white then add any color you like. My favorite color for sea herrig or river herring and of coarse SHAD is orange and black. LONDON LURE AND RIG CO. WORLD CHAMPION FLUKE FISHERMAN, CHARTER CAPTAIN OF THE STANLEY ROSE.
 

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Good info, im definately gonna try that rig this spring, sometimes herring are the only fish I can find in early season, and a little action is always better than none!!
 

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Red Cherokee, I saw those spoons on Cabela's too. Way too big for herring.

Stevelondon, I have a good idea what the spoons are now. I seen them in the Sportsman Center around Shad time. Thanks!
 

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i never have fished for herring.do they catch em in cape may docks of just in wildwood.i would like to learn how. sounds like they would help in catching certain fish more than your basic squid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If anyone is interested I will bring a partially made up home made sabiki to the Fest. Along with some of the spoons so you can see what we are talking about.
 
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