The Art of the Cut Plug Herring

The secret to fishing success in the Queen Charlotte Islands.

Whether you’ve fished the waters of northern British Columbia or not, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It’s a secret that all veterans of the Queen Charlotte Islands know, and it’s the secret to catching a trophy Chinook or feisty Coho. The key ingredient in a recipe for success is… the cut plug herring.

Cut plug herring - good looking if you're a salmon...Rigged properly (see diagram on the right), the cut plug herring should turn over smoothly in the water in a spiral roll, presenting the hooks in such a way as to allow you to set them properly. In using a cut plug, you get the best of both worlds; the hook at the side is perfect for the Coho’s hit & run type of strike, and the hook in the lower tail targets the typical Chinook strike of nibbling from behind.

Make sure the initial cut is made at an angle allowing the herring to roll smoothly and properly mimic a wounded baitfish. For Chinook, troll slowly through the target area, allowing your bait to roll slowly. To target Coho, cut the herring at a sharper angle, creating a faster and tighter roll.