Well, the smelt run is all over with for Ashland, everyone. Roger LaPenter, proprietor of Anglers All, said there was no action at all last night. He believes the run has ended for the season on this side of Chequamegon Bay.
Roger advises smelters to try their luck over in Washburn, up in Cornucopia, or farther along the Lake Superior shoreline west toward Duluth. PLEASE NOTE:
Smelt can no longer be purchased
from Anglers All. River Rock Inn & Bait Shop does not
have any smelt for sale at this time either and is not
accepting any orders.
Visitors and locals alike love the short but sweet smelt season on Chequamegon Bay. The smelt usually run late at night and are brought in with a seine net or dip net. The seine net is used on the shores of the big lake and some smelters use a dip net in the creeks.
Smelting is always a fun time with the smell of the clean air of Chequamegon Bay and the awesome sight of the many campfires along the shoreline. Smelters light campfires and enjoy the outdoors as they wait for the run to come in heavy. At times, the smelt may start running at 9 p.m. or they may be running at midnight or later. They are unpredictable little fish (approximately 4 to 5 inches in length) that only answer to Mother Nature.
Smelt were planted in the lake many decades ago and are not a native fish to Lake Superior. There is an old tradition that you bite the head off the first smelt brought in. Of course, you don’t actually eat the head, but you would be a brave smelter for sticking with the custom.
For more information on smelting season in the Ashland area, call us at 1-800-284-9484 as we currently have a smelt hotline set up. (NOTE:
If you call before 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, you will reach one of our Chamber staff members who can give you the smelt report. If you call after 5 or on the weekends, you will hear the smelt hotline recording.)