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Herring In Goat Island


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#1 brandon hagopian

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 03:10 AM

Last Year, the herring were everywhere. This year, there is very limited...
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#2 ahgigi

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 02:33 AM

I had seen people catching herring using the sabiki rig and they were catching 2 or 3 fish when a school came in on Goat Island. I used to tie a herring hook or a sabiki hook about 12" above my squid jigs and I would catch herring when squid were slow. One time I even hooked a striper! Then someone told me that you can't keep herring so I stopped doing the practice. Not sure about RI but I am sure Mass you can't keep herring. I never bother to find out whether you can keep herring in RI or not since I didn't want to invite trouble so I just stopped doing it.
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#3 Squid_Man

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 03:43 AM

I had seen people catching herring using the sabiki rig and they were catching 2 or 3 fish when a school came in on Goat Island. I used to tie a herring hook or a sabiki hook about 12" above my squid jigs and I would catch herring when squid were slow. One time I even hooked a striper! Then someone told me that you can't keep herring so I stopped doing the practice. Not sure about RI but I am sure Mass you can't keep herring. I never bother to find out whether you can keep herring in RI or not since I didn't want to invite trouble so I just stopped doing it.


People that told you that you cannot keep herring definitely are not fishermen. You can keep see herrings you just can't keep the fin types that go up river. Any herring you catch on a sabiki in the bay I'm 100% positive you can keep. Unless you snag the a blueback at the mouth of rivers. People are so dumb sometimes... <sigh>
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#4 ahgigi

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 04:48 AM

People that told you that you cannot keep herring definitely are not fishermen. You can keep see herrings you just can't keep the fin types that go up river. Any herring you catch on a sabiki in the bay I'm 100% positive you can keep. Unless you snag the a blueback at the mouth of rivers. People are so dumb sometimes... <sigh>


Thanks for the info. If I go down to RI again you can be sure that I will have my herring hook back. ;-)
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#5 Squid_Man

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 05:01 AM

Thanks for the info. If I go down to RI again you can be sure that I will have my herring hook back. ;-)


Although this does apply...

11.17 Atlantic Sea Herring Season -- No person shall, in any manner, take and/or possess in Rhode Island any Atlantic sea herring between October 1 and October 21 annually.
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#6 1tym

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 10:05 AM

Did you know river herring spend most of their lives in coastal waters before traveling up rivers only to spawn?

Did you know sea herring primarily stay offshore and under certain circumstances come inshore to feed (here in mass we see them in march and late fall, every so often fish get blown in shore)

Its quite to difficult to distinguish a sea herring from a river herring just by catching them in the bay. Especially with small sizes, if one gets an adult sea herring then its quite the different story.

Again its only herring, then again its only the law.
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#7 Squid_Man

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 10:45 AM

Did you know river herring spend most of their lives in coastal waters before traveling up rivers only to spawn?

Did you know sea herring primarily stay offshore and under certain circumstances come inshore to feed (here in mass we see them in march and late fall, every so often fish get blown in shore)

Its quite to difficult to distinguish a sea herring from a river herring just by catching them in the bay. Especially with small sizes, if one gets an adult sea herring then its quite the different story.

Again its only herring, then again its only the law.


River herrings tend to be a bit bulkier and have blue backs. Alewives are a little yellow in color. Sea herrings have a skinnier profile and have a distinctive purplish/pink sheen to them. And also their scales fall apart faster as they're not built to swim through rocky streams. I've caught herring at GI and I can confirm that they're sea herrings. When Alewives were legal I took them to the causeway and they stood out compared to the herrings there. If EPO have anything to say I'm sure it can be refuted. "Dude, that's a sea herring man".
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#8 Squid_Man

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 10:45 AM

Did you know river herring spend most of their lives in coastal waters before traveling up rivers only to spawn?

Did you know sea herring primarily stay offshore and under certain circumstances come inshore to feed (here in mass we see them in march and late fall, every so often fish get blown in shore)

Its quite to difficult to distinguish a sea herring from a river herring just by catching them in the bay. Especially with small sizes, if one gets an adult sea herring then its quite the different story.

Again its only herring, then again its only the law.


River herrings tend to be a bit bulkier and have blue backs. Alewives are a little yellow in color. Sea herrings have a skinnier profile and have a distinctive purplish/pink sheen to them. And also their scales fall apart faster as they're not built to swim through rocky streams. I've caught herring at GI and I can confirm that they're sea herrings. When Alewives were legal I took them to the causeway and they stood out compared to the herrings there. If EPO have anything to say I'm sure it can be refuted. "Dude, that's a sea herring man".
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#9 1tym

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 11:23 AM

River herrings tend to be a bit bulkier and have blue backs. Alewives are a little yellow in color. Sea herrings have a skinnier profile and have a distinctive purplish/pink sheen to them. And also their scales fall apart faster as they're not built to swim through rocky streams. I've caught herring at GI and I can confirm that they're sea herrings. When Alewives were legal I took them to the causeway and they stood out compared to the herrings there. If EPO have anything to say I'm sure it can be refuted. "Dude, that's a sea herring man".


your right with the color, but unfortunately color does not justify everything. Fish can change color, most times your right, an alewife is yellowish, bluebacks have blue backs. But as I was saying, juvenile or sub adults can be hard to identify, especially if they are not bulked up, alewives I find are more rounded off on the bottom and blueback tend to be alot smaller than either alewives or sea herring.. But subadults and juvies are hard.

I am not here to argue with you, I am just here for an educational view as I see countless people who go out flounder fishing and call black backs yellowtails cause theres no limit on yellowtails.

Again its only herring..

Here is a great guide to identifying this fish with out counting rays and bones
http://www.mass.gov/.../herring_id.pdf

Edited by 1tym, 11 May 2011 - 11:24 AM.

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#10 Tatonka

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 02:00 AM

Here is a great guide to identifying this fish with out counting rays and bones
http://www.mass.gov/.../herring_id.pdf



Thanks, 1tym

This is a great reference. I just printed one out to hold on too.:thumbsup2:
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#11 Squid_Man

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 12:23 PM

your right with the color, but unfortunately color does not justify everything. Fish can change color, most times your right, an alewife is yellowish, bluebacks have blue backs. But as I was saying, juvenile or sub adults can be hard to identify, especially if they are not bulked up, alewives I find are more rounded off on the bottom and blueback tend to be alot smaller than either alewives or sea herring.. But subadults and juvies are hard.

I am not here to argue with you, I am just here for an educational view as I see countless people who go out flounder fishing and call black backs yellowtails cause theres no limit on yellowtails.

Again its only herring..

Here is a great guide to identifying this fish with out counting rays and bones
http://www.mass.gov/.../herring_id.pdf

Thanks for the ID documents! That's awesome! Although they're only herrings they have accounted for many flukes and impressive stripers for me off the causeway when squid aren't avaiable for bait. Wouldn't want to deny anyone of that opportunity to catch fish when the squid aren't around.
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