*Sharper Hooks*
*Tighter Lines*
Pacific Herring




Pacific Herring


Latin Name
Clupea pallasi

Group Name


Pacific herring are distributed widely throughout the north Pacific, from the Beaufort Sea to Baha California in the east and from Siberia to the Korean Peninsula in the west. Their range also extends westward into the Russian Arctic, overlapping with that of the Atlantic herring. A pelagic, schooling fish, Pacific herring are migratory, and move closer to the coast during spawning. In Canada, they are fished commercially for food (including for their roe, a delicacy in Japan) and for bait.

An inshore schooling species that moves into bays and estuaries during late winter, and spawns inter-tidally until the spring. Their adhesive eggs cling to eelgrass, kelp, and pilings, and attract many fish.

Species Description

Small and slender silver fish with an elongated body and a forked tail, Pacific herring closely resemble Atlantic herring. They have a bluish to olive-green coloured back, becoming iridescent silver on their sides and belly. Their body is covered with large scales. They can grow to about 30 centimetres, and live to approximately 15 years.

Pacific Herring Fishing Tips, Tricks and Tactics

  • Piers: Pacific herring are caught on Sabiki-type Herring rigs at most piers. Typically, the schools move in with the high tide and it is a hit-or-miss proposition as anglers cast and retrieve from the piers. If the fish are present, you will often get three at a time; if absent, you will get none.
  • Shoreline: Can be taken by shore anglers when they show in nearshore areas.
  • Boats: Rarely taken from boats.
  • Bait and Tackle: Herring are mainly taken with bait rigs. A person can make their own using small, size 8-12 hooks (light and sharp) or use a commercial rig such as a Sabiki or Lucky Lura. To the end of the leader is attached either a chrome torpedo sinker or a heavy spoon, just heavy enough to cast out the line. Generally, a long cast is made, the outfit is allowed to sink part way, and a slow retrieve, with an occasional twitch, is made.
  • Fishing: Generally best at high tide, especially at night if there are lights on the pier. Check with local tackle shops to see if the herring are running; best times are generally December to May along the BC Coastline. In coast rivers a few are possible almost any time during the summer.

Herring Fishing Resources

Below you’ll find some additional resources to help you catch Herring. We hope the information provided on this page will help improve your Herring fishing success and your success as an angler overall. Feel free to share this website with your fellow anglers to show your support for our website. I know, who wants to share the fishing secrets but the best way to thank us is to promote our website.