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Author Topic: Higgins Lake Smelt  (Read 912 times)

Offline Hoserman

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Higgins Lake Smelt
« on: Sep 29, 2018, 08:34 PM »
Anyone else here fish Smelt on Higgins Lake? I have done it off and on, but last year we started doing it a lot more. Where we are fishing has become a small city at night with an strange green glow to the ice around the shanty's. We did quite well with our catches that turned into some great meals. Anyway, it would be great to meet someone from the forum out there this year.
Tried ice fishing with Dynamite, UGH... where's my shanty?

Offline Iceassin

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Re: Higgins Lake Smelt
« Reply #1 on: Oct 03, 2018, 05:52 AM »
May make it up there sometime this winter. Gull Lake down here to the south has been pretty dismal the last couple of years and did try Green Lake in Interlochen last winter with not much success either. I have a buddy who lives in Grayling and we have talked about going to Higgins so we'll see...weather permitting  :-\
"Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice."
 

Offline netminder34

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Re: Higgins Lake Smelt
« Reply #2 on: Oct 11, 2018, 11:48 AM »
I have never tried Higgins but might give it a go this year as it is a lot closer after the move.  Smelt on Green last year was not good from all the reports I got a few days of good fishing but few and far between.  Did ok on Crystal compared to most I checked with but there too was a fairy slow off year and then there was also the crash at Gull.  Never fished there just kept heading north with all the bad reports, hope they rebound but sounds like it will take a few years.

Offline Iceassin

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Re: Higgins Lake Smelt
« Reply #3 on: Oct 13, 2018, 10:50 AM »
I have never tried Higgins but might give it a go this year as it is a lot closer after the move.  Smelt on Green last year was not good from all the reports I got a few days of good fishing but few and far between.  Did ok on Crystal compared to most I checked with but there too was a fairy slow off year and then there was also the crash at Gull.  Never fished there just kept heading north with all the bad reports, hope they rebound but sounds like it will take a few years.

I was there during one of those times  ;)
"Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice."
 

Offline Hoserman

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Re: Higgins Lake Smelt
« Reply #4 on: Oct 15, 2018, 09:29 AM »
We also caught quite a few Cisco's, but after frying some up they are a little on the soft side for me. This year what ever Cisco's I catch will go right in the smoker.  ;)
Tried ice fishing with Dynamite, UGH... where's my shanty?

Offline netminder34

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Re: Higgins Lake Smelt
« Reply #5 on: Oct 15, 2018, 11:48 AM »
I have had cisco from Traverse Bay and was not really impressed frying it.  I have heard Smoking and Canning it are good ways to process it.

Offline Crappieman61

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Re: Higgins Lake Smelt
« Reply #6 on: Nov 03, 2018, 07:45 AM »
I live in the Higgins lake area/ I can see the lake from the end of my driveway. I don't get out as often as I like but plan on gettout more this winter. We were picking up a few smelt last winter on the west shore along with a few cisco's.

Offline Hoserman

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Re: Higgins Lake Smelt
« Reply #7 on: Nov 05, 2018, 08:03 PM »
I have had cisco from Traverse Bay and was not really impressed frying it.  I have heard Smoking and Canning it are good ways to process it.
Yep tried frying it but it is in the Whitefish family and the texture is on the mushy side for me. I think the smoker is the way to go.
Tried ice fishing with Dynamite, UGH... where's my shanty?

Offline Hoserman

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Re: Higgins Lake Smelt
« Reply #8 on: Nov 05, 2018, 08:05 PM »
I live in the Higgins lake area/ I can see the lake from the end of my driveway. I don't get out as often as I like but plan on gettout more this winter. We were picking up a few smelt last winter on the west shore along with a few cisco's.
Look for the green light town off N. State park. ;) ;D
Tried ice fishing with Dynamite, UGH... where's my shanty?

Online mi500

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Re: Higgins Lake Smelt
« Reply #9 on: Nov 16, 2018, 10:32 AM »
I was out there during the day once last year. Talked with a couple guys heading out for the night bite when we had to leave and Iím going to give it a go this year. 

Offline Iceassin

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Re: Higgins Lake Smelt
« Reply #10 on: Nov 16, 2018, 10:56 AM »
Yep tried frying it but it is in the Whitefish family and the texture is on the mushy side for me. I think the smoker is the way to go.

Yup...frying vs. smoking for either of them is the difference between night and day. If someone were to give me some fried, I'd take them just to bury them for fertilizer. Smoked on the other hand..."Can I please have some more"?  ;D
"Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice."
 

Offline scout 2

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Re: Higgins Lake Smelt
« Reply #11 on: Nov 17, 2018, 08:41 AM »
I was out there during the day once last year. Talked with a couple guys heading out for the night bite when we had to leave and Iím going to give it a go this year.


I never fish them at night. I wait until the end of Feb and then sight fish them during the day

Online mi500

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Re: Higgins Lake Smelt
« Reply #12 on: Nov 17, 2018, 09:42 PM »

I never fish them at night. I wait until the end of Feb and then sight fish them during the day

Me and my daughter had a steady stream of them all day but struggled to set the hook in them.   We were using tungsten jigs and spikes.  Iím going to try smaller jigs and a hali as the dropper weight. 

Offline scout 2

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Re: Higgins Lake Smelt
« Reply #13 on: Nov 18, 2018, 10:36 AM »
Me and my daughter had a steady stream of them all day but struggled to set the hook in them.   We were using tungsten jigs and spikes.  Iím going to try smaller jigs and a hali as the dropper weight.

I always used hali's with a waxworm. Some days when they hit the wax worm and all the little pieces come off it in the water they went wild other days it is hit or miss. You have to be fast. I started using yarn on the hook and catch rate improved. I tried ice flies with limited sucess

Offline Jim_MI

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Re: Higgins Lake Smelt
« Reply #14 on: Nov 18, 2018, 05:38 PM »
Yep tried frying it but it is in the Whitefish family and the texture is on the mushy side for me. I think the smoker is the way to go.
Cisco are actually quite good if cooked the same day as caught. If you have to freeze them, plan on smoking them before serving. One tip: bleed them as soon as they come out of the water and store on wet ice until cleaned.

Offline Hoserman

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Re: Higgins Lake Smelt
« Reply #15 on: Nov 19, 2018, 09:15 AM »
Thanks for the tip Jim, I'll give that a try.
Tried ice fishing with Dynamite, UGH... where's my shanty?

Offline Smelt 63

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Re: Higgins Lake Smelt
« Reply #16 on: Nov 23, 2018, 08:20 AM »
Cisco are actually quite good if cooked the same day as caught. If you have to freeze them, plan on smoking them before serving. One tip: bleed them as soon as they come out of the water and store on wet ice until cleaned.
   What do you mean bleed then. I hear different ways to do it. The cisco are good baked and pickle, like pickle Herring. Yes thereon the soft side because there in the Whitefish and Herring family.

 



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