How to find, identify and catch Herring in WA and Australia

What does a WA herring look like?

Herring in WA have a black tipped fin, distinctive rows of brown or golden spots on their backs and large yellow and black eyes.  Herring are around 20-30cm long and are in abundance in Western Australia and South Australia. Herring are mostly found in estuaries and on the coast and travel in large schools.


How to catch herring in WA? What rigs and techniques should I use to catch herring?

Herring are little but put up a good fight so you only need a light line, up to 6kg at the most, maybe slightly more heavy if you are fishing from the shore.  Good bait for herring is berley, fish scraps, maggots, white/blue bait or even fish oil.  Your rig can include coloured or moving lures to attract the little guys and I suggest you let your lure sink for a bit and then pull on it at a pretty fast pace to secure your catch.  Then retrieve your herring and repeat. 

The herring bag limit in WA is 12 per day due to depleted stocks so don't take too many. (updated August 2017)

Herring

Best Fishing Spots for Herring in Perth and Western Australia?

Perth - E-Shed Markets in Fremantle, North and South mole in Fremantle, Woodmans Point near Munster, Scarborough Beach, Success boat harbour and Cockburn Sound.

Regional WA - Myalup & Binninyup, Jurien Bay, Esperance (Bay of Isles)

Uses for Herring?

If you catch too much herring there are many uses for it.  Obviously herring as bait is a top idea, only use it fresh though as frozen herring for bait is rubbish in my opinion.  If you are into cooking and spending time in the kitchen then herring will be your friend as smoked and pickled herring is delicious.  

If you are into sushi and that type of thing then herring can be eaten raw and herring roe is a delicacy in Japan so try it out. Herring can also be fermented, cured and even made into kippers.  

Herring is a great fish to eat as it is high in long chain Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.  So don't disregard the herring, they may be little but they are mighty.  Oh one last thing, rock lobsters love herring so if you fancy catching some tasty WA rock lobsters then WA herring is the best bait. 

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