I have very fond memories of herring fishing when I was little. My dad and I would head to this old wharf on the Delaware River, and launch 3 gold hooks strung on the line with a weight at the bottom for hours. This was long before Sabiki rigs were around, and it was simple, fun fishing.

We never kept any of the herring, but, man, was it a riot when the April run was thick and you’d hook triples on every cast. After a while we stopped going, and I didn’t herring fish anymore until I started striper fishing on the same waters years later. Nothing was more exciting than pitching a live herring behind a huge boulder and watching a bass flash and inhale it almost instantly.

Just this year, New Jersey and Pennsylvania outlawed the possession of river herring, which in turn really hurt the local charter captains that made buckets of dough on the Big D.

Truth is, unless you’re fishing livies, catching stripers on the Delaware is quite the challenge. But the fact remains that herring are in trouble, and it’s amazing how one little fish has such an impact on other fisheries an ecosystems. Check out the video for more details. We as anglers are always concerned about salmon and billfish stocks (as we should be) but you can’t forget the little fish. Who else grew up herring fishing? Does your state still allow it?