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Smelt fishing

3/25/18 @ 7:09 PM
ORIGNAL POST
fireguy1954
User since 3/2/04

I'm looking to get back into smelt fishing after years of not fishing them. Has anyone done well in the last few years? What ports have been good? Thanks for any input!

DISPLAYING 1 TO 9 OF 9 POSTS
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5/11/20 @ 4:55 PM
Coach Rob
Coach Rob
User since 1/6/09

I went out on a Lake Michigan tributary for the first time in many years this spring. 

Not like 30 years ago, but I did get some. Talking to a few others, same for them. No one was filling buckets, but a 1/4 to 1/2 bucket was possible on the right night and a few hours of steady work.

I heard 2nd hand reports that it was similar all along the west shore ports. Heard 1 report of a really good night/run, but W/O 1st hand proof, I take that one with a grain of salt.

Sorry, but keeping the spots to myself. The trial and error part is a big part of the fun for me. I don't want to do the work and find 20 people there next spring. 

5/2/20 @ 5:42 PM
ducks forever
User since 10/15/07

got a couple last night. Barely enough for a taste

5/1/20 @ 8:21 PM
ducks forever
User since 10/15/07

Headed out to try tonight hopes are not high but who knows

4/2/20 @ 11:52 AM
Gill-bert
Gill-bert
User since 6/19/16

Check the fish reports page!  Chequamegon Bay Ashland county.  All city beaches, docks, and piers are closed thru May 5th then after the 5th 

3/31/20 @ 1:12 PM
Tommyray
User since 1/22/07

Did better last year than in long time- Went 5 times, caught around 25 twice,  & around a 100 the other 3. Went from 7pm till 2am each time about.

3/26/18 @ 7:53 AM
BugleTrout
BugleTrout
User since 9/27/01

I think Superior is your best bet if you really want to get a decent haul. They don't run like they used to on the Michigan shoreline.  I don't remember when it happened but they basically evolved to spawn on the sandbars in the lake rather than in the tributaries.  

We had a tributary creek that ran through my folk's property when I was a kid.  We used to build bonfires at night and catch washtubs full of them with square nets during the spring run and then stay up all night cleaning them with scissors and drinking all of dad's beer out of his garage frig.  Awesome memories but long gone now.

Festival Foods has them a lot in their fresh fish section.  That might be your best bet for a good old fashioned smelt fry.

3/25/18 @ 9:19 PM
fireguy1954
User since 3/2/04

Thanks for the great reply!

3/25/18 @ 9:07 PM
WInorthOutdoors
WInorthOutdoors
User since 3/25/18

Crap shoot at best.  Can't rely on the Chamber web site for accurate info, their always running.  What has proven successful is to take your boat up and troll the bay during the day - that means you get out and fish, catch a few.  Any crank will do, fish follow the smelt in (oops).  Later in evening you can hit a shoreline and give smelt a try.  Usually runs after April 15th, so gets close to WI opening and creates problems for timing, this year could be later as the snow is not gone past HWY 10 yet, and ice on lakes by Milwaukee area just going out this week.  This week should help that situation, Alma water temp was 32 the last 2 week ends.  First time I took a boat, over 12 years ago, had no clue what to do, caught 5 fish in a few hours, and a big mess trolling 3 rods-wasn't expecting to catch anything.  Last year we fished the north side, too cold, the bay warms up much earlier, but managed a couple decent ones.  Smelt, too many (more than 5 gal bucket, many), cleaned for 5 hours the next day with 6 people, never again.  Pretend your fishing a new walleye lake on the depth breaks.  It's definitely not smelting like it was in the 60's (garbage cans full), but still fun, will bring the grands in a few years to experience.  Lets just say I felt like Lynus Van Pelt waiting for the great pumpkin a few years ago, except everyone was there with me on the shores of  Ashland.  Take your boat with.

This link may not post: Ashland Smelt Report

DISPLAYING 1 TO 9 OF 9 POSTS
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