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View Full Version : Smelt Fishing!!!



geogett
03-30-2011, 04:30 PM
okies - i've done it a long time ago - when i was but a wee, but not tiny babe.

but i want to smelt fishing this year... any help would be most appreciated

i know i need a smelt net, buckets.. but when, where and what else do i need? what's legal, what's not... anything anyone could help me with would be... again... most appreciated :)

thank you!!

kitca
04-01-2011, 11:43 AM
hi. there will be lots of postings when they are running, so keep checking. i grew up in goulais and went smelt fishing every year. my birthday is may 2nd and in every year that i have lived here the smelts have been running on my birthday. whether its the end of the run or the beginning i can always remember smelts on my birthday. you do need a licence that you can pick up at traders post (im sure other places too, but i dont know) i dont think its too much, $20-30?

i cant think of anything else, some folks use hip waders and go right out into the creeks. i dont know what creeks east, only north, harmony and chippewa and any other little ones along the way that havent been blocked off.

mmmmmmm, i love smelts!

jmtammi
04-04-2011, 12:24 AM
Usually they will start running in a week or so to the east, but with this weather, everything's probably gonna be a week or so late in running. Anywhere east of here that you can find any sort of current, you can find smelts. I've even heard of people going all the way to Algoma Mills for them. The usually start running to the north about a week after the east run starts. Harmony, Chippewa, and Stokeley (sp?) are the usual spots. If you're looking for a family friendly area, Harmony is your best bet. The water at the mouth of the river is usually not that deep and people usually have fires going to keep everyone warm.

As far as what you need, you DO need a fishing licence unless you are under the age of 19, 65 or older, or are legally physically handicapped. A bucket of some sorts or a large strong garbage bag to hold them in. You can get a net at Canadian Tire or any other place that sells sporting goods. I've seen them as low as $15 at times, but be prepared to shell out about $25 for it. A pair of waders is optimal if you don't like cold, wet feet. You can pick up a decent pair of hip waders at the Wal-Mart on the US side for $32 and chest waders for $43. The Trading Post may also have them on sale when smelt time comes, so watch for them as well. Hope this helps, and happy smelting.

geogett
04-04-2011, 09:21 AM
awesome :)

thank you both so much :)

seen the nets at walmart this side on sunday - and have some buckets around here somewhere :)

hopefully will be able to have a good enough catch for a good feeding anyway :)

kitca
04-04-2011, 05:00 PM
its the hours of cleaning thats a bummer!

jmtammi
04-06-2011, 12:35 AM
One of the trick that I heard last year was to get some cubed ice and fill a cooler with it when you get home. Put the smelts in, close the lid, and go to bed. Wake up nice and fresh and call up people you know to come help clean them. The ice keeps them cold enough so they don't spoil, but they don't freeze on you either.

They are also good garden mulch for the springtime.

I also freeze some of them whole in water, then thaw them out and use them for bass or pike bait. You are not allowed to use live smelt for bait, but you sure can use dead ones.

icecapp
04-08-2011, 11:44 PM
You definitly need a fishing licences, which is rules stated above, the cost is 27.20 for a full season full limit, that will allow you to fish from the day you purchase the licesnce(sp) to Dec 31 when this season (yr) ends. if you dont all ready have one you will need the outdoors card which is another 9.68 for 3 yrs, combined is 36.88, if you have an old outdoors card bring it in even if its expired 4 yrs, cause the MNR is clamping down and not liking us to issue new numbers out...

Our smelt nets are on the shleves and hip waders are out at the Post.

Happy fishing............................... :-)

jmtammi
04-16-2011, 11:11 PM
Anyone heard anything yet of anything running east or north? Water should be opening up by now.

SarahMac
04-17-2011, 01:30 AM
We just went out to the Island again tonight, and there was nothing. There is still ice on the lake there. We got stopped by RIDE on the way out, and the OPP officer said they just started running in Thessalon and Algoma Mills but people are only getting 3 or 4 smelts per scoop.

icecapp
04-17-2011, 09:46 AM
Anyone heard anything yet of anything running east or north? Water should be opening up by now.

as of yesterday at work Trading post, word has it, we are still selling minnows to Ice fisherman who go out North to fish, and there is still enough ice on the chippewa to Ice fish..

but had one customer in last night, who was headed east, (thessalon)sp for smelts, said they were running, which is about right as they were running in sprage appox a week ago.

jmtammi
04-17-2011, 11:15 PM
That sounds good to me. I have to work this weekend, but will be able to go north next Saturday and the weekend after that if they're still running. Thanks for the updates.

gouligann
04-21-2011, 11:29 AM
They are also good garden mulch for the springtime.

Killing fish for mulch IMO is just a discusting thing. There are lots of other organic mulches you can put into a garden, rather than this ugly practice.

kitca
04-21-2011, 07:56 PM
Killing fish for mulch IMO is just a discusting thing. There are lots of other organic mulches you can put into a garden, rather than this ugly practice.
TOTALLY AGREE!!!! put the heads and the guts in your garden, but dont waste. this is why they dont run so thick and creeks are closed for fishing and the smelt are so tiny nowadays

jmtammi
04-22-2011, 12:50 AM
Smelts are actually an invasive species. The amount that is 'wasted' for garden mulch is small compared to those who come out and get garbage bags upon garbage bags full so they can try to illegally sell them for either the people would couldn't go out or for people who want them for garden mulch. Would it be a waste if people were using Asian Carp or Sea Lamprey instead?

gouligann
04-24-2011, 07:43 AM
Smelts are actually an invasive species. The amount that is 'wasted' for garden mulch is small compared to those who come out and get garbage bags upon garbage bags full so they can try to illegally sell them for either the people would couldn't go out or for people who want them for garden mulch. Would it be a waste if people were using Asian Carp or Sea Lamprey instead?

Smelts might be an invasive species but they are also edible. The Aisian Carp and Lampreys aren't something many people would choose to eat unless you are into "weird" delicacies. There should be a limit on how many pounds of smelts one person can have in their possesion, fresh or frozen (like other fish limits). With so many smelt fishermen/women, I realize that keeping control of them would be virtually impossible.

People should just respect our natural resources and take what they need for personal use and maybe family and friends, that's all I'm saying.

icecapp
04-24-2011, 10:13 AM
with the amount of licenses I issued last night, I dont know how there would even be enough room in the river to fish, Id hate to be a smelt.. lol

kitca
04-24-2011, 01:13 PM
I AGREE WITH you gouligann. i didnt realize they were an invasive species, where did they come from? how are they invasive? what i know is 30 some years ago they would be 2 x the size they are now and they would run black for days and days. people used to fill the back of their pickup trucks to use as fertilizer and there was a terrible waste. now many creeks are shut down to allow them to reestablish (and because people trashed the area)

and i dont agree with wasting any living thing. i like the way they are dealing with the lampreys by sterilizing them.

gouligann
04-25-2011, 08:57 AM
I remember those days too, when one scoop filled half of a 5 gallon pail and the fish were much larger. I also remember the horrid smell of a garden full of rotting smelts that the gardener didn't quite bury deep enough. Disgusting! Even as a kid, I thought the waste of life was terrible.

I didn't know that smelts are an "invasive" species either. I was just going on what jmtammi said, but maybe he/she is wrong about that. Invasive from where? They've been in the Great Lakes for years.

kitca
04-25-2011, 11:17 AM
i just did a google search. the only smelts that are invasive is called a rainbow smelt and it can be a problem in inland lakes in wisconsin. http://dnr.wi.gov/invasives/fact/rainbow_smelt.htm
i have pasted one link, but a google search only brings up the rainbow smelt.

gouligan, what part of goulais are you in? i grew up and my family still lives on pine shores, and we always went smelt fishing at kellys creek (and of course later on at harmony)

Xzavia
04-25-2011, 01:42 PM
They were running really good at Stokely on the weekend. But my advice (from what hubby says) wear hip waders or chest waders and go out in the current a bit, him and my son were scooping up at least 30 each time they dipped their nets. The people sticking to the shallows were complaining of not getting any. They're were running earlier than normal too, about 10:30pm. He was home just after 1:00am, the group he went with were sticking to the shallows with the rest out there and not catching any, until they realized how many Hubby was scooping up where he was.

Hubby just takes a five gallon pail to dump them from the net into and when it gets a good amount in it he dumps them into a blue tote, don't have to worry about a bag ripping or anything this way. He had his FIL & Uncles calling him to see if he was going out this year, they're all older and just can't jump around like they used to but still want their feed or two of smelts. LOL....everyone's happy now.

gouligann
04-26-2011, 08:33 AM
So jmtammit your info is wrong.

Kitca, I sent you a pm.

SarahMac
04-26-2011, 09:57 AM
We went to Gawas Bay lastnight and they were running, they started around 10:20 and were slowing down around 11:30 when we left.

jmtammi
04-26-2011, 10:08 AM
I agree, my information was incorrect. I was looking at something different and got them confused with another species.

There is no difference between a smelt and a rainbow smelt. It seems the MNR uses habitats that are high in smelt populations to stock salmon as they feed heavily on smelts.

Has anyone heard if they are running at Harmony yet? My little guy wants to go out this weekend, but with the price of gas, I don't want to be wasting fuel to make a trip out there for nothing.

jmtammi
04-28-2011, 03:58 PM
Was out at harmony on Tuesday. Picked up just over 12 dozen in about 30 minutes once the run started. The way people are talking and the way the weather is, it may not last long. I plan on going again Saturday and hope they're still running them.

For anyone who may be looking for some, chest waders are still on sale today at Canadian Tire for $35.