Al Bundy

Anyone go smelting?

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It’s about that time. Anyone else go out for these? Wondering if anyone’s tried yet. Might be a bit early still but should be coming soon. 

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I never have.  Cousin of mine used to. Still has a net his dad used many yrs ago. 

What's the best eating size? 

Edited by mowin

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Back in the eighties I used to go...a lot of fun, as long as I don't have to work the next day. Are there still good smelt runs in the fingerlakes? Ontario?

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I eat any size,  but try to leave the big ones for breeding.  My smelt creeks have become off limits over the years so now I have one small creek that if I’m lucky I may be able to get handful from. I’m going to try at some point soon. Used to be first warm rain in spring they would run. Been a bit chilly so thinking it’s not quite time. 

Also these make good bait, if legal. I’m not sure on that so check before using. 

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We use them up in Maine ice fishing.  I believe they were around $9 a dz this last trip. Die fairly easy too.

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Wait, I may just be putting this together.  My great aunt always fried whole smelt on Christmas Eve.  They weren't bad even though I am not fish lover.  That said, are they the little silver fish I would catch in creeks as a kid smelt?

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To my knowledge, they are only in creeks sprIng time for spawning. Other than that they are in the lakes. Anyone have different info? Likely Xmas dinner wouldn’t include these unless they were netted in spring and froze. Yes they are smallish silver fish though. 

 

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1 minute ago, Al Bundy said:

To my knowledge, they are only in creeks sprIng time for spawning. Other than that they are in the lakes. Anyone have different info? Likely Xmas dinner wouldn’t include these unless they were netted in spring and froze. Yes they are smallish silver fish though. 

 

you are correct. 


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3 minutes ago, Al Bundy said:

To my knowledge, they are only in creeks sprIng time for spawning. Other than that they are in the lakes. Anyone have different info? Likely Xmas dinner wouldn’t include these unless they were netted in spring and froze. Yes they are smallish silver fish though. 

 

I know in Maine they get them throughout the winter for bait. We usually get 8-10 dz for the 3 days. Bait shop owner usually goes out the night or two before to get our bait. Never asked how they get them.  

We got checked by the wardens on the 2nd day. He said fishing has been slow throughout the area because there was a fantastic smelt population this yr. We actually jigged several up around 65' when after Lakers. 

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Wait, I may just be putting this together.  My great aunt always fried whole smelt on Christmas Eve.  They weren't bad even though I am not fish lover.  That said, are they the little silver fish I would catch in creeks as a kid smelt?

Could be emerald shiners too


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3 hours ago, moog5050 said:

That said, are they the little silver fish I would catch in creeks as a kid smelt?

Chances are those were chubs. If you’re fishing, they’ll take a fly or bait. 

Fond memories of smelting along the shores of Lake Ontario. Bonfires on the beach and fathers in hip boots, wading into the surf with huge dip nets. Dip for a moment then pull up dozens of smelt. Swing the net onto the beach and the kids, thrilled to stay up late and help, would chase and gather the fish, and drop them into buckets. Moms, of course, would be tasked with cleaning the hundreds of tiny fish. 
 

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1 minute ago, left field said:

Chances are those were chubs. If you’re fishing, they’ll take a fly or bait. 

Fond memories of smelting along the shores of Lake Ontario. Bonfires on the beach and fathers in hip boots, wading into the surf with huge dip nets. Dip for a moment then pull up dozens of smelt. Swing the net onto the beach and the kids, thrilled to stay up late and help, would chase and gather the fish, and drop them into buckets. Moms, of course, would be tasked with cleaning the hundreds of tiny fish. 
 

But you weren’t hunting..... so does it even count?

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22 minutes ago, diplomat019 said:

But you weren’t hunting..... so does it even count?

Hah! Do you even smelt, dude? 

It really works for everything.

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11 minutes ago, sodfather said:

How do you fillet a smelt ?

Very carefully....

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27 minutes ago, Pygmy said:

Very carefully....

Very very small electric Barbie fillet knife works best.  

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Make slit in the belly and run your finger through. Rinse then into the frying pan. A bit on the gross side but works.

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5 minutes ago, moog5050 said:

Very very small electric Barbie  works best.  

Fixed it for ya....

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1 minute ago, Al Bundy said:

Make slit in the belly and run your finger through. Rinse then into the frying pan. A bit on the gross side but works.

Come on AL !!  Here's the way to do it....Scissors in right hand, smelt in left....Snip off head, then snip up body cavity..

WITHOUT  putting down scissors, run your RIGHT thumb through body cavity to clean it out....

Throw smelt in a pan of rinse water and grab the next one...

It takes perhaps 10 seconds per smelt...The KEY is to keep those scissors in your hand at all times..

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Fond childhood memories of my dad sitting in his recliner during the winter months weaving nets out of small gauge wire. Then fabricating the handles,  HD wire loops and attaching the nets to that. Then off we'd go in the darkness to tributaries of southern Cayuga Lake on a Fri/Sat evening. Some trips it'd take hours to 1/2 fill a bucket and other nights 8-10 blind dips filled the 5-gal bucket. And that was the fun part. If you got a 5-gal bucket full, you had a "ton" of fish to clean. That was always a 2-person assembly line. One with filet knife or scissors cutting off head and making a slit down the belly. Other person ran their finger/thumb nail down the inside removing the innards and washed off the fish.

IRC, once breaded & fried, you ate the whole thing bones & all less the tail.

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Very very small electric Barbie  works best.  

Fixed it for ya....

 
Oh Jesus.. we got political battles, everybody fighting, now Pygmy talking about his electric blow up dolls. Can things get ANY worse???? And btw where can I get one? 
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But does anyone smelt anymore? do we still have smelt runs or are they a thing of the past with changing ecology?

I understand folks on Lake Champlain used to fish through the ice for them too. 

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