While most ice anglers are concentrating on ice lakers, whitefish, walleye, jumbo perch and crappie, some are incidentally and intentionally catching chunky lake herring.
I have been getting reports from as far south of Lake Simcoe, ON on common “juvenile” herring catches, good adult herring being caught from the Haliburton, ON area like Gull Lake, and as far north as Thunder Bay, ON. Herring are opportunistic feeders that can cruise at any depth to feed from just below the ice, to over 100′ on bottom. Key is locating them in the water column and that’s when an ice sonar is invaluable.
Small 1/8 down to 1/32 oz jigs tipped with just a piece of small, fresh baitfish, or even a small W2 or W3 Jigging Rapala tipped with a small piece of minnow on the bottom treble hook is one of the best combinations to catch them with. While most people don’t target them, they are scrappy fighters and are excellent eating filleted and fried or baked.