How to Salt Herring

Updated November 21, 2016

Salting herring refers to the process of preparing herring as a bait for fishing. The salting, or curing process typically involves a rock salt brine solution into which the herring is placed over night. Salting the herring helps to toughen the bait and set the scales as a bait. An additive can be included in the brine to provide extra brightness in the water. Salting herring is a necessary part of preparing the fish as a bait.

Place a shallow plastic container with a tight fitting lid, on a work surface. Pour 1 cup of rock salt into the container and spread it evenly across the bottom of the container.

Pour 1 quart of clean water into the container. Allow the water and rock salt to sit for an hour or so as the salty brine solution is created.

Add several drops of bait brightener and anise oil to the brine solution. Add the brightener and oil based on personal preference, keeping in mind that a little of both can go a long way. As a rule of thumb, begin with 3 to 5 drops and add more if needed.

Place the herring in the brine solution in the shallow plastic container. Arrange the fish so that each is covered by the solution.

Cover the container securely with a lid and set it aside in a cool location overnight. Keep the container from direct sunlight or direct heat as it cures.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 cup rock salt
  • 1 quart water
  • Bait bright
  • Anise oil
  • Plastic container with lid
  • Herring fish
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About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.