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Smelt feeds?

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by schlot, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    I use to go to smelt feeds in NW Wisconsin years ago. Any place still hosting them?

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  2. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Huh, didn't know smelt existed other than in northern Maine. You all have fiddleheads too?
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  3. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    OK what is a smelt feeds?
  4. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    We do
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  5. nate379

    nate379 Guest

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  6. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    I don't think they are native to Wisconsin and I thought I heard the runs don''t produce the fish since the DNR's are cracking down on invasive fish...but I might be wrong.
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    There are smelt in all the great lakes as far as I know. For sure lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior. In northern MI folks can get 3 runs at smelt. They usually start first coming out of lake Huron, then MI and lastly Superior. I remember one fellow who came for me one night because the smelt were running really good. He had his pickup filled with old barrels. We let the kids do the dipping and we stayed warm by the fire and also enjoyed some drink... It took the kids about a half hour to fill all the barrels. Never dreamed they would be that thick but I swear one could have almost walked on water that night because of so many smelt.
  8. bmblank

    bmblank Minister of Fire

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    Yes lots of smelt on the south side of the up. I've never heard of a "smelt feed" and don't know what that is.
    I'd imagine they're mostly done running by now. Its hard to say with this weird elongated winter/spring.
  9. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like fun. Do you need a license for catching them or does the DNR encourage it?

    I saw online that Ashland WI runs usually are the last week of April.
  10. Wildo

    Wildo Feeling the Heat

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    when water temp is 42 ::F / about when the peepers start peeping.==c It's time to go smeltin'
  11. Wildo

    Wildo Feeling the Heat

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    Fry 'em up like French fries.
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  12. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    If I remember right, the feeds I went to they just chopped the heads off and you ate the rest.

    We use to go to the Lutheran church feed in Hayward, lots of fish and potato salad!
  13. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I haven't had them since I was a kid (80's) and they were still plentiful in one of the finger lakes of NY. My dad used to go up and bring home a bucket full, do as you described (gut / de-head) then lightly coat them with breading and fry the rest.

    Been a long while, but I still remember them being premium eats.

    pen
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  14. Wildo

    Wildo Feeling the Heat

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    If you icefish/icedrink or just fish iceshanty and myfishfinder are good forums to be on to keep current on when they are running in your area.
    schlot likes this.
  15. MishMouse

    MishMouse Minister of Fire

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    It all depends on when the ice gets off the bay.
    Though for some of the more longer winters they have been know to run under the ice.
    Haven't been smelting in years, last time I went was in 88, caught quite a few on the Whidlesy creek just using a dip net.
    From what I heard the smelt have been very limited as of late, either due to comercial fishing, becoming fish chow before they can start their run, or even pollution.
    I am originally from Ashland, left in 89, now I only get back there when I vist my parents.
  16. MishMouse

    MishMouse Minister of Fire

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    If anyone wants to go smelting and you are not from the area it is required that you use a fishing pole with a hook and a worm. ;lol

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  17. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    I really enjoy Ashland. Took the kids up many times to dive off the old ore dock. The small one that is. LOL.
  18. MishMouse

    MishMouse Minister of Fire

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    They are taking down the Ore Dock, one of the biggest man made structures.
    The main reason was due to drought conditions, the water level in the lakes have been down for the last few years and it is causing the pilliers to decay.
    So if you haven't been there in a while better get there soon before they finish there job.

    Fished off it many of times when I was younger, even fished inside it (the diamonds), when it was cold and windy.
    Good place to catch Perch and Brown Trout.
  19. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    The tall one right....the old swimming dock is still there right?
  20. ChipTam

    ChipTam Burning Hunk

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    Smelt have to be the cheapest form of protein known to man. Back in the day, they kept many a grad student from starving. Here in the mid-west they're available in grocery stores around this time of year.
  21. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Cut the head off with scissors, then cut along the belly, pull out guts, poop, etc with finger, rinse and cook in a pan with some butter. mmm.
    My Mom used to bread them sometimes too.


    I have done night fishing with hook and line for smelt sitting in the ice fishing cabin. Can't dipnet in the winter. We'd catch our limit in a few hours usually.
  22. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z Minister of Fire

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  23. MishMouse

    MishMouse Minister of Fire

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    Here is a funny Smelt story.
    When I normally go smelting I typically keep some for bait.
    Well my mom got into my bait and cleaned them (cut off heads and de-gutted them).
    When I went fishing with them inside the diamonds in the dock, I seen a fish swim up to my bait (a headless, guttless, butterflied smelt), it swam around it a few time (bubbles came up I could actually see what looked like a smile on its face), then it swam away. About 3 minutes later the same fish came back with another fish both swam around the bait (bubbles came up).
    You could imagine what was going on; the first one after seeing such a funny site, went and got a friend and they both had a good laugh.;lol
    Needless to say, it wasn't a very good fishing day and I came home with no catches.
  24. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    For sure a license is needed.

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