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mnhunter79

SMELT ?

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So, i have never used smelt before for pike. how well does it work? Where do you hook them? Tip-ups or rods? Thinkin about givin it a try, if i can find any. Any info on this would be great. Thanks.

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It's hard to beat smelt on a tip up!!!! I don't use anything else. I use a quick strike rig and hook them so the bait lays horizontal. Pike can't turn down a nasty smelling smelt!

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bmc    4

Smelt is the only way to go! I've never tried jigging w/ them, I just put them on a tip up and jig w/ another rod in the other holes.

Brian

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I wish I could still use smelt. The VHS put an end to that here in cheeseland, unless you go through this long agonizing process which isn't worth the hassle.

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Viral Hemorrhagic Septicema, yet another lovely virus or pathogen that can create large die offs in game fish. States from the Upper Midwest out to the East coast are taking steps to slow this down.

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My boys and I have had great luck with Smelt on tip-ups with quickstrike rigs. We experimented with coloring them green and yellow using food coloring. If you try to mix for chartruese,use about six parts of yellow to one part of green or you'll end up with green. ANYHOW,he continued, the green smelt just hammered them,especially later in the season when they were feeding on a lot of winterkill. And you don't have to carry a bait bucket.

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Viral Hemorrhagic Septicema, yet another lovely virus or pathogen that can create large die offs in game fish. States from the Upper Midwest out to the East coast are taking steps to slow this down.

Yep, it's a problem in Wisconsin. If you buy minnows and take them with you fishing, you must dispose of them after fishing. You cannot say take 2 dozen crappie minnows with you ice fishing, use only a dozen and take the other dozen home to fish another day. The good news is it hasn't spread far, and hasn't had too much of a negative impact on the fisheries it has been found in.

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Not trying to hijack this thread, just want to make one last statement.

Yeah, the VHS is a subtle problem thus far in Wisconsin. There hasn't been much talk lately about it since it came out and the new rules were imposed. Other than being very selective in how many minnows we should take out one day at a time, the only other problem other than no smelt is the prices for said minnows, which has gone through the roof. $7 to $9 for 1dz of lg shiners, it was around $4 before this kicked in. Ouch!

I've resorted to taking 2 means of transport now for fishing. Leave truck at launch with 1 minnow bucket with extras in it. Then take another minnow bucket with me on the Snowmobile with about a dozen to start off with. If I need more I run back and get them. This way I'm able to take my extras home instead of dumping them. Can see myself disposing of a dz or plus minnows after a bad day of fishing. Hurts the wallet.

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Good points GatorBait, not a hijack at all, VHS and bait transport is now a hurdle for sure in Wis and neighboring states. $7-$9 a dozen? Ouch is right.....

Almost bad enough to make me resort to jig-rippin' bare spoons and jigs....

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Sorry to change the subject a little....but has anyone ever used the smelt that you get for smelt frys? They are gutted and have no head. Just wondering if anyone has noticed a difference in whole smelt v.s. smelt that are gutted and no head?

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Doop, I've never used them, but can't imagine they won't work. The oil is in the flesh, and that's the stinky, er, I mean, attractive part.

Selmer

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Smelt look like an oversized golden shiner that is about 8inches long. They are usually sold in a package with a styrofoam tray and wrapped in plastic. If your grocer has them, they will be by the frozen fish/seafood section. Not all places carry them, so you may have to do some searching.

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They also sell them in plastic bags, about gallon sized. They are flash-frozen and in the bag loose, kind of like when you buy chicken wings.

Selmer

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picked some up at LOTW when I was up there last week and cant wait to soak a few of them.

Doop I have used the ones that are cleaned and they seemed to mork just as well as the whole ones.

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So do you guys usually suspend them under your tipup so the pike see dead floating smelt or do you drop them down so they lay on the bottom? I am intrigued about the idea of not lugging a bait bucket on some of the longer hikes I take to get to lakes.

thanks for the info!

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Peepers,

We usually suspend them maybe 2-4" at most to keep them above the muck in some of the flooded sloughs we fished in SD. We also always used teaser minnows on each treble of the quick-strike rig. Never seemed to hurt, although occasionally you'll get a false flag from a perch robbing your minnow.

Selmer

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Peepers,

We usually suspend them maybe 2-4" at most to keep them above the muck in some of the flooded sloughs we fished in SD. We also always used teaser minnows on each treble of the quick-strike rig. Never seemed to hurt, although occasionally you'll get a false flag from a perch robbing your minnow. In the spring while smelting for pike open-water we don't use teasers and still catch lots of pike, so you'll probably do fine just taking out your smelt.

Selmer

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I will run one just under the ice from 1ft-3ft and another 3 or4 ft off the bottom thats in 12 to 16 fow and in shallower water less than 12ft I ussally run them half way down for example if its 10ft deep I run them at 5ft

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We usually buy our smelt from Cash Wise Foods. Very reasonable price and the size of them is awesome. Most of them are 10 inches plus. We always bring them up to canada and fish jacks in the spring. One can cast spoons all day up there and maybe get a few 10 pound northerns in a day, plus all the hammer handles you can stand... toss out a smelt and it's a given that your gonna get one 15 - 20 lbs right away, and thats just the beginning!!! The big boys like them smelt!!

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