Originally Posted by fishhead
I havn't fished stripers in two years and I thought I remembered how to hook chunk herring. I red some forums on here about putting them under and through the back bone and that is easy enough. However I thought I remembered you are suppose to hide the hook in the bait. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to do it the other day when it was crunch time. I also couldn't find any real good pictures of what a hooked chunk should look like. Any help would be great.
I don't have any pics available but I had the same problem as you a few years ago. The key to hooking herring/mackerel, first and foremost, is making sure the bait you're using is fresh. I know a lot of guys freeze them, fresh frozen, old frozen, whatever the case, but in my experience they ALWAYS fall apart once ya toss 'em in the drink. When you head out to fish, keep your bait stored in a soft cooler on top of a couple of ice packs (emphasis on ice packs not actual ice) to keep it fresh as you fish. If ya put 'em on ice once it melts your bait will get soggy/mushy and you will drive yourself nuts trying to keep it on the hook. Cut your bait into thirds (quarters if it's large, half it's on the smaller side) and use a 6/0-7/0 "J" hook. Put the hook in through the back, under the backbone and out the other side 3/4 of the way through. Turn the point of the hook around at a 45 degree angle and put the point back in the fish (an inch or two at most) pretty much as far as it will go without the shank ripping through the meat. Never had a problem with this method, but ya gotta make sure your bait is fresh first and foremost. Hope this helps amigo, good luck out there this season!!!!!