Author Topic: Frozen smelt vs suckers?  (Read 728 times)

Offline stinkyfingers

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Frozen smelt vs suckers?
« on: Dec 16, 2017, 02:43 PM »
In Colorado, live fish for bait are prohibited above 7000' which rules them out on the good pike waters. Instead, we can use live waterdogs (mudpuppys) or frozen fish. Frozen  suckers are popular. My local bait guy will be charging $5.75 per copy on dogs this year (ouch) but he tells me he has brought in some frozen smelt, maybe 6" typical length. Any of you fellows fish smelt for deadbait? Are they as nasty as suckers?
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in the West. Now throw down that box.

Offline northernnyice

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Re: Frozen smelt vs suckers?
« Reply #1 on: Dec 17, 2017, 01:51 PM »
They work great

Offline esox_xtm

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Re: Frozen smelt vs suckers?
« Reply #2 on: Dec 17, 2017, 01:56 PM »
All the time. In fact when targeting pike I usually have at least one dead swinging. Since rules changed here in WI that also prohibit bait preserved by freezing alone I've salted and or brined mine with very positive results. Other pluses with salt include bait never really freezes even in subzero temps and a tougher bait that stays on the hook better in addition to that salty flavor/smell that fish seem to love.

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Offline Iceassin

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Re: Frozen smelt vs suckers?
« Reply #3 on: Dec 18, 2017, 06:24 AM »
In Colorado, live fish for bait are prohibited above 7000' which rules them out on the good pike waters. Instead, we can use live waterdogs (mudpuppys) or frozen fish. Frozen  suckers are popular. My local bait guy will be charging $5.75 per copy on dogs this year (ouch) but he tells me he has brought in some frozen smelt, maybe 6" typical length. Any of you fellows fish smelt for deadbait? Are they as nasty as suckers?


We actually target and eat them here...even sold in restaurants...tasty!
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Offline Nevsky

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Re: Frozen smelt vs suckers?
« Reply #4 on: Dec 20, 2017, 10:47 AM »
I'm glad to hear salted smelt works.  I just bought 4 dozen as I was unable to find any head-on frozen smelt anywhere.  I like to use dead bait a lot  and I have found smelt more effective than suckers on most lakes.

Offline Kobey

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Re: Frozen smelt vs suckers?
« Reply #5 on: Dec 20, 2017, 11:56 AM »
I'll second what Esox said.  Definitely try salting some of the smelt if they aren't already.  The salt just seems to attract them, especially in waters where visibility is an issue.

Offline stinkyfingers

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Re: Frozen smelt vs suckers?
« Reply #6 on: Dec 21, 2017, 07:37 PM »
Esox was gracious enough to share his recipe via a PM for dry brining followed by a wet brine. I'll have the process completed by Christmas day and am planning the first trial of this new (for me) bait the day after.
In Colorado, trout fishing is King, so much so that there is no limit on Northern and DOW encourages any pike caught to be killed. Personally, I've caught enough precious trout to last a lifetime and I value what great fishing Northern really are. I take a few for table fare and put those big ones back down the hole.
Merry Christmas, my friends.
Stinky
 
Nobody said it was going to be easy out here
in the West. Now throw down that box.

 



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