Anyone ever net Smelt ?

Discussion in 'Fishing' started by Duster, Apr 17, 2020.

  1. Duster

    Duster 12 pointer

    Most of you have never heard of a Smelt I bet. They were most times 3 or 4 inches long. We used to use gill nets with small mesh to catch them each spring up north. On a good night (they only run at night to spawn) in a good place you could catch 5 gallon buckets full of those tasty things in just a few hours. Clean them by cutting off their heads and use your thumbnail to gut them. Roll in white cornmeal and deep fry. Scales were so fine it didn't matter just eat them like French fries. In the popular spots seem someone always had a propane fired deep fryer set up with peanut oil and anyone could cook them on the spot. The coolest thing about them was the smell of fresh caught ones. Lets play a game and yall guess the smell and I will give it away in a couple days. Some northern transplant will know for sure. But it may surprise you.
    Some guys at one spot they could wade out would use 20 to 50 foot minnow seines to catch them. The water was cold that time of year even with waders on so I preferred the gill net system.
     
    Carl likes this.
  2. 308

    308 6 pointer

    487
    7
    Sep 9, 2009
    Western KY
    Every spring for over 20 years up in Duluth MN. at the mouth of the Lester River. We would fill 55 gallon barrels. Sit up till six in the A.M. Cleaning them. Fry em up, eat and wash em down with a cold brew. Sure miss those times. Freeze up a bunch for Walleye bait also.
     
  3. Duster

    Duster 12 pointer

    We didn't have a run up any Indiana streams or rivers just in Lake Michigan. Do you remember the smell of them fresh caught ?
    Hint most rednecks know the smell....LOL.
     
  4. 1wildcatfan

    1wildcatfan 12 pointer

    11,276
    8,351
    Jan 2, 2009
    raised n Bullitt Co.
  5. Meatstick

    Meatstick 12 pointer

    3,599
    6,538
    Oct 25, 2013
    Washington County
    Smell like a cucumber. Been in on netting them once maybe 15 years ago. They're good, but hell to clean all them little bastards.
     
    drakeshooter likes this.
  6. DH13

    DH13 12 pointer

    7,901
    3,621
    Jan 13, 2012
    Shelby county
    I have and I like em.
     
  7. 308

    308 6 pointer

    487
    7
    Sep 9, 2009
    Western KY
    Worst part of cleaning them is getting covered in all their damn eggs. A real mess washing them off. Covered everything around you. They had a real weird fish smell. I remember every darn cat in area ending up at our house.
     
  8. Duster

    Duster 12 pointer

    Not a correct answer yet on the smell.....think summer time. And it is a weird smell for a fish. I never gave it much thought until a old timer told me and he was dead on.
     
  9. 308

    308 6 pointer

    487
    7
    Sep 9, 2009
    Western KY
    Been forty years since I last caught any. All I remember is they smelled like a smelt. Kind of stunk. Never caught them in the summer. Around the end of April. Snow still on the river bank, water temp upper 30's, ice chunks floating down stream, air temp upper 30's to low 40's.
     
  10. High Rack

    High Rack 12 pointer

    5,738
    3,039
    Dec 21, 2009
    in the hills
    I've never netted a Smelt, but I have Smelt alot of nets.
     
    invasion36, Carl, Dark Cloud and 5 others like this.
  11. Duster

    Duster 12 pointer

    You were close....we found they smell like Watermelon.
     
  12. Carl

    Carl 12 pointer

    5,404
    6,631
    Dec 1, 2003
    Western Kentucky
    If a feller had a jealous wife, he probably shouldn't come home smellin like smelt. o_Oo_O
     
    kyoutdoorsman likes this.
  13. Carl

    Carl 12 pointer

    5,404
    6,631
    Dec 1, 2003
    Western Kentucky
    Search " what does a smelt smell like"....:D:D:D
     
    kyoutdoorsman likes this.
  14. 1wildcatfan

    1wildcatfan 12 pointer

    11,276
    8,351
    Jan 2, 2009
    raised n Bullitt Co.
    Cougar
     
    Carl likes this.
  15. Gforcetrivers

    Gforcetrivers 12 pointer

    2,097
    2,243
    Sep 23, 2016
    Burkesville
    My Hometown in WI has a Schmelt Festival every year. I haven't dipped in years but I buy them in the store if I see them. There was a tavern in town that gave them away Thursday nights with 1.00 pitchers!
     

Share This Page