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Smelt Fishing Report 2014 - - - 14 messages. Showing 1 through 10. Go to page: 1   2 
Domino Dave
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Daily Subscription Msg 1 Posted: 10:28 AM 03/19/14 (CST)
Well folks, it's getting close to that time of the year when the smelt start running, and memories of the great smelting in the 60's and 70's starts popping back up. Well I'm here to say that the last 2 years of smelting have been some of the best that I can ever remember! This includes the hay days of the 70's. Of course, there are just not as much smelt now as back then. I get that, but with todays internet, you just don't have to guess when they are running and where anymore.

I participate in a smelting forum at http://alakesuperiorfishingcharter.com/smelt.htm

We discuss the how too, when too, and where too. And how we did. You can get info on Duluth, MN. Ashland, WI. And the north shore rivers and streams. And of course, the beaches of Park Point, and Wisconsin Point.

So if you are in for a fresh batch of smelt, and feel like dusting off your old dipping nets, and can patch up those leaky waders, and mice abused seine nets. You can get all the current info you need to resurrect those old memories of the past yet again.

Now smelting is smelting, there are no guarantees of success. It can be very frustrating. But if the last 2 years are any indication of what one would expect...I think this year could be real good yet again. Mostly due to the long, hard, and most likely extended winter. Now I'm not one to usually push another forum on another forum...but I think these folks aren't likely to post twice on separate sites. I'm just hoping for a little cross pollination. Besides, both of the last 2 years threads have seen over 25K views each, and hundreds of posts a piece as well! So you are getting very good info and it's resulting in great success.

Good luck to anyone who joins in the fun. Keep us posted.
Sand Burr
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Daily Subscription Msg 2 Posted: 12:09 PM 03/21/14 (CST)
When does the "run" usually happen?



Domino Dave
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Daily Subscription Msg 3 Posted: 02:45 PM 03/21/14 (CST)
The timing of the run can vary greatly every year. It usually starts in Ashland, moves to Park Point in Duluth. Then kicks in on the rivers and progresses right up the shore all the way into Canada.

In 2012, we had a very early spring, and the run would start and stop depending on the weather. But April 5th or so people started to catch them.

In 2013, we had a very late spring, and once the ice allowed us to get into the water, they were already there. April 30th was the 1st day we got them. But once they started, they pretty much kept going. and we were getting them well after opening fishing too!

Smelting in the rivers can be very tricky year to year. Droughts, heavy snow pack, heavy rains, cool weather, can all play havoc on trying to figure out the timing of the run. The massive flood a couple years ago completely rearranged things too. Seining on the sands on Park Point seems to be a bit more predictable. And a bit more safe as well. No getting washed away in a fast moving river.

So with all these variables,(and a lot more), one needs reliable and current info. That's where this other forum becomes very valuable. I used to try and follow the DNR website, and I would always miss the action. Nothing worse than hearing the phrase..."you should have been here last week!" uugg!!! My time and gas money are just too valuable to me to make too many swing and misses.

I will make a few posts again here when things starting heating up. Anyone that feels like joining in is always welcome to tag along.

I would be willing to guess this year will be a very late start, similar to 2013. Thus compressing the run and making it a good season again. We shall see.
Sand Burr
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Daily Subscription Msg 4 Posted: 05:18 PM 03/22/14 (CST)
Lets just say I am a rookie, ok not lying here, and I wanted to get into these littl buggers. What type of equipment am I looking at purchasing? and how much $$$ do I need to fill my belly!



Domino Dave
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Daily Subscription Msg 5 Posted: 10:21 AM 03/24/14 (CST)
Equipment is a question we get a lot. The reality is you don't need much more equipment then an avid sportsman probably already has. But here are some basics.

A good pair of chest waders. There is no way around these. The water is cold. I recommend neoprene, but any will do if you wear good warm stuff underneath.

A good dip net or seine. Now a good new metal dip net is hard to find these days. The sporting goods stores in Duluth sometimes carry a limited supply in the spring. Usually around $30.00. But the reality is that many of your old time friends still have them hanging around in rafters and will either give them to you or loan them with happiness. Don't forget to drop off a couple of packages of fresh smelt for them either. Don't buy a mesh one! They don't last an evening of dipping! and are not big enough, and will frustrate you to no end!

Seine nets is where you could spend a few bucks. I don't advise anyone to go cheap here either. The best one out there is a 4'x25' with a pocket made by Christiansen Nets up in Duluth. They run about $200.00 or so. They will last a long time if cared for. But have your buddies throw in on it. Because you can't pull these puppies by yourself.

Hear me now, and believe me later! There is nothing worse than getting your hopes high, timing things right, being in the water when they are running good, and watching others pull big piles out of their nets, while your crappy net is getting only a few or none at all!!!! Been there, done that, will never be there again!!!!

All the other stuff you likely have: A change of warm dry clothes... because there will be wetness! a cooler, headlamp if needed, water proof gloves, lantern, 5 gal bucket, minnow bucket if working a stream, beer, well conditioned arms and shoulders, and of course a strong back for carrying your smelt back to the truck!

So if a guy bought new waders, dip net, and a seine, like $400.00 or so. So split that up over 10-20 years, it's pretty cheap. Plus you need a fishing license. But I'm sure you likely already have your new one.

Now if you come hang out with me, I have all the nets, spare waders, and experience! We just need something to drink....hmmmm?????

Sand Burr
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Daily Subscription Msg 6 Posted: 09:56 PM 03/27/14 (CST)
I like the way you think Dave....



Sand Burr
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Joined 02/27/2004
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Daily Subscription Msg 7 Posted: 11:33 AM 05/13/14 (CST)
Dave are you knocking down the smelt out there?



Domino Dave
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Daily Subscription Msg 8 Posted: 09:44 AM 05/15/14 (CST)
The ice has finally moved out of Duluth far enough to allow the water to start warming. The rivers are plenty warm enough already to start to draw in the tasty little buggers. Reports from the Lester river were good last night and the night before. Park Point has been ice free for only 2 days, and they were getting some there last as well.

Reports seem to vary in Ashland. Some people on private beaches have been doing very well. Others in the usual public spots haven't seen the same kind of success.

This is the latest I've ever seen the run start. But I guess that goes with the ice conditions as well. It doesn't matter now though. The run has begun!!!!

I'm hoping you can make it out at least one night SB. It's all on me if you do!
Domino Dave
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Joined 05/22/2009
Posts:439

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Daily Subscription Msg 9 Posted: 04:05 PM 05/16/14 (CST)
FYI. The smelt are in big time up in Duluth. The run is on! A friend and myself picked up 40 gallons last night!
Sand Burr
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Joined 02/27/2004
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Daily Subscription Msg 10 Posted: 08:59 AM 05/19/14 (CST)
Domino Dave you are a great man!!!!
I cleaned enough to make me stink last night and froze the rest!!!

Turkeys were right on schedule at 7pm last night. The same turkeys were on the neighbors property at 6am and is probably why I see them around 9am over on mine.





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