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Threadfin Herring

Another of my favorite baits is the Threadfin Herring (Opisthonema oglinum) or commonly known on my coast as the greenback. It has a very long thread-like fin at the back of its dorsal that accounts for its name. Again, like most baits, it has many regional names depending on where you live. It grows to 12" according to the books, but I have never seen them over 8". The greenback is usually found only when the water is fairly warm and is easily seen when on the surface. It has been my experience that they do not come to chum like whitebait, but you can occasionally net them in the same cast as whitebait and even on gold hook rigs. Usually to net greenbacks, you need a netter and a boat driver. The driver should maneuver the boat over the school and the netter should throw when the bait is seen on the fish finder. It takes a large, heavy net with a mesh size of 1 1/4 inches to 1 1/2 inches stretch mesh to catch full grown greenbacks. My net radius is12' and I would not suggest one smaller than 10'. As with whitebait, you need a great turnover of fresh sea water in your well as greenbacks are very tender and will die quickly in and overcrowded well. You can hook them through the nose in the same place as whitebait and they make a very good cut bait when bottom fishing with dead bait.

Capt. Charlie

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