Arripis georgiana, Tommy Ruff, Bull Herring
The lifeblood of recreational fishing in WA, Australian herring have distinct rows of golden or brown spots along their backs and can be distinguished from juvenile Salmon (for which they are often mistaken) by their large yellow and black eye and their black tipped-caudal fin.
Australian Herring are typically caught at about 25cm, although larger ‘bull’ herring can reach up to 40cm. Herring are an inshore schooling fish that form loose schools that can contain thousands of individuals.
Found from Shark Bay to the southern waters of Western Australia all the way to the South Australian border. They are found in coastal waters and estuaries and are often found associated with shallow seagrass beds or reefs.
Rigs and Techniques
These fish are hard fighters but only small, so 2-6kg line is all that’s needed when fishing for herring although this can depend on the type of fishing (heavier line for shore-based).
Berley such as Pollard, fish oil or minced up fish scraps is usually a good idea with this species as they come in droves when a good slick is going. Australian herring will bite on a bait, float and berley rig and maggots, bluebait or whitebait. Lures can be effective in red colours, spinning lures or those mimicking baitfish and even soft plastics will do the trick. When catching herring, retrieval of lures should be at a medium to fast speed, letting the lure or rig sink for a few seconds every now and then, before continuing with the retrieval.