Herring / Bait Balls

Herring Ball

By definition: A bait ball, or baitball, occurs when small fish swarm in a tightly packed spherical formation about a common center. It is a last-ditch defensive measure adopted by small schooling fish when they are threatened by predators. Herring are the reason we have successful marine wildlife tours. Herring balls are the food source of humpback whales, dolphins, porpoise, ducks, eagles and salmon. The salmon in turn bring the killer whales into the area every summer. The above picture is what your guide hopes to find and then parks the boat within camera range and waits for the humpback whales to lunge feed through the herring. If it is possible to find a bait ball in an area away form the whales it is possible to move very close (as in the picture below) to see the herring. The bait balls vary in size from basketball size to boat size.

herring ball close