How to Rig Cutplug Herring

By on February 10, 2006
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There are a hundred different ways to rig a herring for mooching or trolling. This is the most standard method know locally as the “Westport” cutplug herring setup.

Begin with either a fresh herring or a pre-brined herring. Do not use a frozen herring just out of the package, it will not stay on the hook as it becomes soft way too fast. Next, you need to use the right size hooks to get the proper balance and to get the herring to spin correctly. You want a tight spin on the herring as it’s pulled through the water.

The following chart indicates the proper hook selections for the size herring youre using.


Label color Herring size Hook sizes
Orange 3.5 – 4 inch 1/0 – 2/0
Red 4 – 5 inch 2/0 – 3/0
Green 5 – 6 inch 3/0 – 4/0
Blue 7 – 8 inch 4/0 – 5/0
Black 9 – 10 inch 5/0 – 6/0
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Tom Pollack
Tom Pollack is the resident fishing expert at Sportco. An avid salmon and walleye fisherman, Pollack is also an expert on crabbing and shrimping. When not on the water, Pollack serves on the Puget Sound Recreational Advisory Committee, the Northwest Marine Trade Association Fishing Committee, and the Inland Warm Water Advisory Committee.