Author Topic: Best way to rig smelt?  (Read 490 times)

Offline LimerickShaw

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Best way to rig smelt?
« on: Feb 13, 2020, 12:43 PM »
So I tend to avoid using smelt as bait at all costs because those lil *****s always go crazy and get my stuff tangled. However, I'm going to a place with a rich smelt population and I'm looking for salmon so thinking I might have to use a couple. Luckily, because I'll be looking for salmon I won't be putting my traps very deep but I'm looking for any tips for getting less tangles with smelt. I don't want to give them the ol' flick on the head because it's so rich I want some nice lively stuff.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Generally, I just use my ice line to a swivel to mono.

Offline Seamonkey84

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Re: Best way to rig smelt?
« Reply #1 on: Feb 13, 2020, 01:29 PM »
Split shot about 10-18” above the bait, then another 18” to a swivel. Lip hook them so they don’t swim up and sweep around the weight.

Offline claymore6

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Re: Best way to rig smelt?
« Reply #2 on: Feb 13, 2020, 01:32 PM »
try clipping the tail fin and fins on one side with nail clippers to keep the smelt from being too active; the wounded smelt will also give off more scent and vibrations.

Offline LimerickShaw

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Re: Best way to rig smelt?
« Reply #3 on: Feb 13, 2020, 01:35 PM »
Split shot about 10-18” above the bait, then another 18” to a swivel. Lip hook them so they don’t swim up and sweep around the weight.

Ah - didn't think about lip hooking. I usually go through the back but I usually only use shiners.

Offline Seamonkey84

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Re: Best way to rig smelt?
« Reply #4 on: Feb 13, 2020, 02:01 PM »
Ah - didn't think about lip hooking. I usually go through the back but I usually only use shiners.
That’s the way I prefer too, but lively bait can cause problems. Otherwise just a jighead and no other weight between then swivel.

Offline BlackDucksAndBrownDogs

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Re: Best way to rig smelt?
« Reply #5 on: Feb 14, 2020, 06:10 AM »
If you're rigging out for salmon, consider leaders without any weight.

In my experience, if you add a splitshot to a leader, it must be close to the smelt.  About 6" is perfect.  If you position the weight further from the bait, the smelt will weave a tapestry out of the leader.

I only lip hook baits if using a small jighead.  Only one of my traps is rigged this way.

The remaining baits are "threaded" on the hook.  Insert the point just under the skin about midway between the dorsal fin and the head.  Work the point forward until the bend is covered.  Then twist so the point exits and faces up.

You can do the same thing between the dorsal and the tail.  These baits put out more vibration but wear out quickly.

Threaded baits don't foul.  That is, the smelt won't hook themselves.


Offline flagup!

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Re: Best way to rig smelt?
« Reply #6 on: Feb 14, 2020, 08:44 AM »
LimerickShaw,  where do you put your weight?  On the leader or just above the swivel on the main line?  Just asking(curious) because I used to put my weight above the swivel on the main line and my leader would always get tangled.  That was 30 years ago.  Ever since then 8"-12" from the hook on the leader no more issues.  As far as where to hook them, I don't fish with smelt,  but this forum is a wealth of information and I would try all of the above and see how they swim...….I would watch them down the hole and see how they look.   Like every 10 minutes. 

Offline TRT

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Re: Best way to rig smelt?
« Reply #7 on: Feb 16, 2020, 11:18 AM »
I rig smelt using a small hook 4 or even size 6 an hook them along dorsel fin with hook lightly under the skin. Hook should point towards tail as big fish will swallow it if given time. Bait stays fresh an often use 8 to 12 pound floor leader. I don't add any weight an like at least 8 feet of floor leader.


 



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