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Hello    fokes  any ideas on when the Smelts should start to run.    I have not had them in years.

 

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They start when the official says, On your Mark, Get set, BANG.  ?

They have a preferred river temp when they go.

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I don't know about down here but up North it's usually about the 2nd or 3rd  week in April.

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Have you seen what they charge for a small packet smelts at the market these days ? Crazy prices. There are lake and sea ones.  Lake Simcoe runs have all but diminished .

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Yup $9 a pound at Loblaws and to think when I was a teenager it was nothing to catch a green garbage bag full of smelts in Simcoe. Yummmmmmer havnt had a feed in years

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When I was a kid my dad took me to Parry Sound for smelt, there was so many you could barely lift the net out.

Later a buddy and I smelted Simcoe near Brechin, we had to work it but usually got a bucket or two.

Now both locations have no smelt. What has happened the smelt? Where can you get smelt now?  

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I remember one night the water was dirty. Had the 2 boys with me. They said dad,this is boring. I said just wait. We couldnt even see the net in 6 fow. I seen the rope ting. I pulled for the hell of it. It was loaded. The kids were jumping and grabbing and we filled a bucket quick. I said ok, that will do. They wanted nothing to do with it. We helped others get some. Boys had a great night.  Memories.

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Still tons of ice in the sault area. I was out today on an inland lake there was so much ice another inch and my auger wouldn't be long enough. Going to be a very late year. Although 3-4 restaurants are advertising fresh smelts saying they have a supplier getting them through the ice

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Took a handful of trips down to the lower niagara last spring, didnt run into a single smelt 

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3 minutes ago, blaque said:

Took a handful of trips down to the lower niagara last spring, didnt run into a single smelt 

Apparently once it starts it lasts about a week or so.   It's riot just to go down there and watch the madness, lol.

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The local Centra store has frozen bags of them. I have seen bigger shiners then whats in those bags.

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Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the lack of a spring smelt run do the the introduction of salmon and trout into the Great Lakes in the 60s?  

I remember my dad and uncles going smelting back in the day and dumping a bushel of smelt in the bathtub for my mom to clean.  She was overjoyed.

 

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37 minutes ago, Mike Pike said:

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the lack of a spring smelt run do the the introduction of salmon and trout into the Great Lakes in the 60s?  

I remember my dad and uncles going smelting back in the day and dumping a bushel of smelt in the bathtub for my mom to clean.  She was overjoyed.

 

LMAO, The good ole days. Hours spent cleaning, and it wasn't just mudder. We all pitched in. No sleep til they were cleaned,bagged and in the freezer. Thank goodness it was only a one night affair.

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I learned how to drink wine on Whitby pier fishing smelt.

It's was later about 14-15 I drank enough homemade wine to end that to this day.

Metal garbage cans then and if they netted rainbow  or brown they would disappear quick.

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34 minutes ago, Garnet said:

I learned how to drink wine on Whitby pier fishing smelt.

40 odd years ago we were fishing the Whitby pier when my Dad tripped over something and fell in the lake. It was a cold night so he was wearing a heavy coat and darned near drowned before we were able to pull him out. He had dry clothes in the car but he'd lost his wallet when he fell and we couldn't find it in the dark water. Probably an hour later another fisherman scooped it up with his net and came looking for Dad and returned the wallet with everything still intact.

I've always remembered the honesty of that guy.

Edited by lew
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Only tried smelt fishing once many years ago at the mouth of the Rouge River under the railway bridge...got lots and spent half the rest of the night cutting the heads off with a pair of scissors and running my thumbnail up the belly to remove the guts...I bought them ever since...I think they were from Georgian Bay...Bigger and tastier !

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My Whitby pier was about 7-8 years before Lew.

So a friend calls me 25 years ago tells me him and another father son friend

went to Simcoe for smelt and each had couple garbage bags. He had been cleaning smelt sense 6:30 am

and it's now 10:30.

What are you doing go get the large size zip lock bags and freeze then un clean.

When you want smelt just un thaw 15 -20 clean them good to go.

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16 hours ago, Mike Pike said:

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the lack of a spring smelt run do the the introduction of salmon and trout into the Great Lakes in the 60s?  

I remember my dad and uncles going smelting back in the day and dumping a bushel of smelt in the bathtub for my mom to clean.  She was overjoyed.

 

I think the introduction of those species sure impacted the shad, then the smelts. I did hear that the zebra mussels impacted them also by basically eating all the food that the fry would feed on.

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18 hours ago, Mike Pike said:

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the lack of a spring smelt run do the the introduction of salmon and trout into the Great Lakes in the 60s?  

I remember my dad and uncles going smelting back in the day and dumping a bushel of smelt in the bathtub for my mom to clean.  She was overjoyed.

 

Mike, you can probably debate cause and effect to death. A 2-3 pound Erie walleye can probably eat any smelt that swims, and given a choice? They would probably rather gulp a 6-8 inch smelt than a dozen tiny emerald shiners?

Just my experience from the few steelhead I cleaned in the past, emerald shiners, shad, perch in their bellies, if it fits? eat it?

It might be interesting to hear what some of the salmon and trout guys find in their bellies if they clean and eat them?

This was kind of interesting? https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/how_much_do_lake_trout_and_chinook_salmon_really_eat_msg17_okeefe17

Salmon don't get that big that fast just swimming around?

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Port Stanley when I was a kid. Two dip nets among 4 of us, too many smelt to clean! Two days with scissors in my hands and at least one full garbage bag into my mom's roses.

i have detested those little buggers ever since!

HH

Edited by Headhunter
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Another Ontario right of passage growing up. Whether it was L Ontario, Simcoe, Huron, Niagara R. it was the same drill. The only thing was the fights that broke out over someone crowding their spot.

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