's Ice Fishing Community

IceShanty Main => General Ice Fishing Chit Chat => Topic started by: Da_Roc on Oct 19, 2003, 03:36 PM

Title: Smelt Fishing
Post by: Da_Roc on Oct 19, 2003, 03:36 PM
Hi Gang!
   Does anyone smelt fish in here?
  Does anyyone know what size net or where to get one even?  I am going to smelt fish this next march to may season on southern lake Michigan in Indiana waters any suggestions where to go do it??  
                    Thanks ,
Title: Re:Smelt Fishing
Post by: kenelz on Oct 22, 2003, 08:38 PM
Call or email Jann's Netcraft in Maumee, Oh (a suburb of Toledo). They specilize in nets, net building, rod building, fly tying  and lure making materials. Have them send you a catalog.
Title: Re:Smelt Fishing
Post by: Da_Roc on Oct 27, 2003, 05:47 PM
Hi gang!
   I e-mailed Janscraft no info yet but still waiting.
  In the mean time any comments on smelt fishing would be interesting!  Do any of you have experience at it.
Let me know Guys!
Title: Re:Smelt Fishing
Post by: dachmation on Oct 27, 2003, 06:43 PM
Da Roc:
I have smelt dipped on the east coast (lake huron) but not lately. We always called it smelt drinking. I can only remember two times of getting very many. We fish for smelt, hook and line up here in Northern Michigan on Higgins Lake which is only about 5 miles from me here at Houghton Lake. Its a lot of fun and I think Ive caught more in the last couple of years then I did in the 20 or so I went smelt drinking. I know I remember them better anyway!lol About the nets I have no idea where to get them anymore. You used to be able to buy them at about any sports store in Northern Mi.There are also other lakes where you can catch them.

Well good luck.

Title: Re:Smelt Fishing
Post by: Da_Roc on Oct 28, 2003, 05:00 PM
Hi Gang!
  Well Janscraft couldnt help me in my search for a smelt net!  I  Was hoping to find a few smelters on line to help me with my quest.   I was told by a friend that there is no one who smelt fishes any more cause there are no fires allowed at the beach and all the new peires dont have anywhere to attach or put the rigging for smelt nets.  I was also told smelting is almost extinct.   My wife talks how she went with her family when she was young and how much fun it was  for the adults and kids.  I have talked with the local trading post guru he said he would try and find out more info for me.  So if any of you know anything about smelting let me know cause I am  interested!  Even if it is about memories of smelting when you were a kid.  
   Thanks Gang!
  Da-Roc   ???
Title: Re:Smelt Fishing
Post by: dachmation on Oct 29, 2003, 05:59 PM
Da roc:
They have a smelt dip net in Cabelas, go to fishing, landing nets and you should find it.

Title: Re:Smelt Fishing
Post by: smeltshack on Oct 29, 2003, 06:54 PM
Ahh the wonderful world of smelting. Up here in Maine its basically a March/April Ritual for some. I started smelting when i was a kid with my dad and remember some good nights of catching the little devils. As i got older i kind of stopped going for some reason. Maybe it seemed like a lot of work for those little guys or i didnt particularly like standing in the freezing water wishing my waders were insulated. Anyway we basically went out to the edge of a lake or mouth of a brook just after ice out and dipped them in the nets,  usually the smelts didnt run so well. When they start running black its fun but those times is far and few between (i must not know where the good spots are). I do plan on going this spring but i have to get in some good ice fishing since i just moved back here from the midwest where the ice fishing is not as good.  Anyway i'm not a die hard smelter like some here but it is a great time to get together with your kids or friends.  Im not sure where to get netting material. We have a little local shop that used to sell it.
Anyway keep us informed.
Goood luck out on the hardwater this winter.
Title: Re:Smelt Fishing
Post by: mngonefishing on Nov 01, 2003, 01:17 AM
we used to go just north of duluth. when i was a kid, we had v screens. staked them down and used dip nets on the closed end. (take 4 old window screens use 2x2 and put them end to end. two screens per side. the open end is 8' wide the closed end is 1' wide.) we would use them as pig food what we did not eat or cann right away. check your fishing reg. I don't think you can do that in MN any more.
Title: Re:Smelt Fishing
Post by: fishinnut on Nov 01, 2003, 07:10 AM
I have smelt fished the Chicago area for quite some time. The best gill net to use is a Filipino net. It's made with monofilament. With the clear water this net is less visible to to the smelt. You will need a trolley, anchor and some type of standpole. If you stop by any of the area bait shops (Henry's, Ed Shirley's) someone should be able to point you in the right direction. The fishing has been spotty the last few years but if you hit it right you can still have a good time.
Title: Re:Smelt Fishing
Post by: Da_Roc on Nov 01, 2003, 03:26 PM
Hi Fishinnut,
   Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!  I found out smelt fishing is a Chicago tradition  not many people know how to do it.  I am going to go to the bait shops you said and ask for a filipino net.  Is there a paticular size i should ask for?
     I know this is probably a secret but when do you go smelt fishing the season in Indiana is from march 1st to may 31st.  
     So the pole is on the shore and you throw the weight in attached to a line (Like cloths line??)  then slide the net in.  Is this off a peir or shore??  I am totally ignorant about smelting sorry for dumb questions!  How deep do u send the net.   Can Ya give me some more details.  
It seems kinda complicated but really fun?
Title: Re:Smelt Fishing
Post by: fishinnut on Nov 04, 2003, 06:25 PM
If you want a Filipino net call 708 567-4198, ask for Freddie. He handmakes the nets and walks the lakeshore selling them during smelt season. Maybe he will ship you one. I use both the 5/8" and 1/2" size nets. Sometimes one is good sometimes the other. One net per person but I fish with my son. Get whatever else you need from the bait shop. You will need a trolley anchor(lead weiight with wires protruding to snag bottom), chalk line, and a trolley. Attach chalk line to weight. About 3 ft. above weight tie on a 4 inch piece of wood dowel. Lay out remaining line on ground. Grab dowel and swing anchor around and throw into lake. Hopefully you have enough line. Pull in slowly, trying to snag bottom. Sometimes it's easier said than done. Attach line to top of standpole and then tie back to something (I stake to ground). At top of net,attach trolley, to other top attach a length of chalk line. Also add weight to bottom of net (both bottom corners) Use about 4- 6 ounces each side. You want the net to sink.Attach trolley pulleys to anchor line and slowly lower into lake until it stops. Hard to explain but if you go out and watch others setting up you'll understand.I made a wooden tripod that folds for storage to use for a standpole.Whatever you use for a standpole it should be about 6" -6"6" tall.
Title: Re:Smelt Fishing
Post by: Da_Roc on Nov 05, 2003, 06:18 PM
Hey Fishinnut!
  Your explaination of how to smelt is great I totally understand what you mean.  I have 6 friends who all are going with me now cause of your help.  We will follow your directions.
One question how often do u check your nets or do u see the smelt get caught up in it? I know if they are really running you have to check your nets often.  I was told you have to clean them on the spot.  I was told that you cut the head off with sissors then just slice the gut and push out the guts then your done is that correct way of cleaning them.  O yeah they said to deep fry them too.  One last Important thing is when its smelt season let me know where you'll be at I'll bring ya a case of cold beer!  Any one who is so willing to help me deserves it because  of all the dumb questions I ask.  I have been told beer  brings you luck while smelting too!
Title: Re:Smelt Fishing
Post by: mngonefishing on Nov 06, 2003, 09:52 PM
talking about free beer on this net may get you more friends then you bargined for ;D good luck smelting