SCIENTIFIC NAME: Opisthonema oglinum
AKA: herring, Atlantic thread herring, threadfin, greenback, greenie, hairyback, thread,


Thread herring have a dark blue-gray back, silvery sides, a white belly and a
small head. It grows up to 15” in length, but the average fish is 6” – 8”. It has a very long thread-like fin
at the back of its dorsal that accounts for its name. Thread herring are often confused with the pilchard
or scaled sardine.


You can hook them through the nose in the same place as whitebait and they make a very good
cut bait when bottom fishing with dead bait. Thread herring can be rigged and trolled, or used whole or
as cut bait when bottom fishing. If there is no current or it is light you can hook the thread through the
area where the pelvic fin is attached to the body. A popular bait fish for tarpon, king mackerel,
mackerel, blacktip and spinner sharks, jack crevalle, redfish and snook. The threads make a great chum
when cut into very small pieces and dropped overboard into the current or dropped to the bottom in a
chum basket. Thread herring are also ground into frozen chum sold in dispenser bags and bulk boxes.
One of the best baits for snappers, grouper, kingfish, inshore fish like snook and trout as well.


Thread herring are related to the much larger silver king – tarpon, and ladyfish. They
share the long thread-like fin at the back of the dorsal just like its larger relative.


Whole fish – 1 lb bag
Whole fish – 5 lb boxes
Whole fish in bulk boxes
Ground as chum in 5 lb dispenser bags
Ground as chum in 7 lb & 25 lb boxes