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Smelt run
Supporting Member
Joined:
12/13/2006
From Vadnais Heights
Posts: 3698
Does any body net Smelt any more? I never hear anybody talk about it any more .I guess back in the 70 tys it was like a zoo up along the North shore with people netting smelts any way they could get them.Do they still do that? Is the Smelt numbers down? tomcat

Posted on: 2007/4/2 22:29
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2008 LSF Walleye Champion
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Re: Smelt run
LSF Member
Joined:
11/29/2005
Posts: 1862
They still do but I believe you cant hit some of the rivers anymore.Park Point is one place you can still try.Back in the 70s we used to go down there every year and was quite a party and a lot of fun.I think the numbers are down from what it used to be but guys used to fill up pickup boxes with them back then.Im sure most of them got turned into fertilizer.How would you ever clean that many.The good old days.

Posted on: 2007/4/2 22:45
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Re: Smelt run
LSF Member
Joined:
12/22/2006
Posts: 216
I'm from Upper Michigan and we use to smelt all the time. It was a yearly ritual as much, if not more than deer season. The river banks would be lined with campfires and people in waders with nets so full you could barely make it back to shore to empty it. Now, it's all but disappeared. Not sure what caused it,but
I would love to do this again!


Putts

Posted on: 2007/4/3 6:58
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Re: Smelt run
LSF Member
Joined:
03/03/2005
From Eveleth, Mn.
Posts: 476
Smelt generally enter streams in mid to late April when the water in the tributaries warms into the upper 40 degree F range. Smelt are light sensitive and run in shallow water at night, so most smelting takes place at night, when the fish are moving into the streams. A few of the most popular smelting rivers, moving northeast from Duluth, are the Lester, Knife, Stewart, Gooseberry, Split Rock, Beaver, Baptism, Cross.
REGULATIONS
1.You need a fishing license.
2.You may not use a flashlight, or other artificial light to locate or attract smelt.
3.You must kill your smelt at the stream. It is unlawful to transport or possess live smelt. This is to prevent the spread of disease and smelt introduction to inland waters.
4.Any fish netted other than smelt must immediately be returned to the water.
5.Dip nets or seines may not be more that 25 feet long or 4 feet deep.

Posted on: 2007/4/3 7:33
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Re: Smelt run
LSF Member
Joined:
05/25/2005
From Duluth
Posts: 217
where are you from in the UP? We used to hit the rock river on a regular basis in the spring.

Posted on: 2007/4/3 11:02
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Re: Smelt run
LSF Member
Joined:
01/14/2007
From Central MN/Blackhoof
Posts: 346
Some friends and I got into smelt quite by accident last spring while fishing steelhead. Saw an odd looking rock on in the bottom of a pool suddenly move, then change shape. Took me a second to realize it was a smelt "ball". Tied on a size 16 copper john and proceeded to catch about 20. I recommend something smaller than an 8wt. though if you are looking for a better fight... Very odd since it was in the middle of the day though, I've never seen that before.

Came back that evening and netted 60 or so for the first time in 20+ years.

A week later, another fishing bud got about 4 gallons worth out of the Lester. I did see quite a few on the Sucker on and off over the course of the run, but of course, smelting is prohibited there.

Posted on: 2007/4/3 16:05
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Re: Smelt run
Pro Staff
Joined:
12/08/2006
From Duluth
Posts: 1939
I've gone down to Park Point for 3 years now. It usually takes about 5 passes with the seign net to fill up a 5 gallon pail. That's probably nothing like the good old days, but good enough for my bait run for the year. I've eaten a few too, but I would rather wait and fillet a Crappie or wait and fillet a Walleye.

A good breezy night, a week or 2 before opener seems to be good time to go.

Posted on: 2007/4/3 16:20
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Re: Smelt run
LSF Member
Joined:
12/03/2006
From West St. Paul
Posts: 302
stronger the wind the better for park point it blows them all close to shore, it makes for tough seinin but it pays off

Posted on: 2007/4/3 16:21
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Re: Smelt run
LSF Member
Joined:
11/30/2005
From Hermantown, MN
Posts: 1201
The days of filling garbage cans are over, man what a party it was. Now I will usally get enough for bait for the year then I am done. Usally takes about an 1/2 hour, Then I will have a couple of meals out at Mr. D,s or the Tappa Keg. That is my smelt run for the year. One more thing I miss: United Northern Sportsmans smelt fry that would be in the large tents at Park Point. The good ole days.

Posted on: 2007/4/3 16:39
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Re: Smelt run
LSF Member
Joined:
03/03/2005
From Eveleth, Mn.
Posts: 476
I have been smelting in a few years. I remember a night of smelting, they came in so thick that you could grab them by the handfuls out of the river no dip net needed. Do you guys remember the smelt fry tent on the Lester. Was that the american legion who put on the fry? I cant recall being so many years ago.

Posted on: 2007/4/3 16:49
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