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questions about smelt on the cape

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
are there any places on the cape or nearby (say within 10 - 15 miles of either end of bourne) where smelt can be caught and if so, where?
when you cook them, do you cook them with the skin and bones intact?
they seem pretty small to be skinning or deboning?
any feedback would be appreciated.
thanks.
bob
post #2 of 18
If any are around your specific area, and I'm not sure they are, you'd do best around some of the better known piers on the upper cape or Plymouth area. wink.gif

Remove head, gutt, dipped in corn meal, and pan fried is what I did. No need to scale, skin, or deboned. Bone will lift out in one piece once its fried and you butterfly it on your plate.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe G View Post

If any are around your specific area, and I'm not sure they are, you'd do best around some of the better known piers on the upper cape or Plymouth area. wink.gif
Remove head, gutt, dipped in corn meal, and pan fried is what I did. No need to scale, skin, or deboned. Bone will lift out in one piece once its fried and you butterfly it on your plate.

thanks joe.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by swellrider View Post

are there any places on the cape or nearby (say within 10 - 15 miles of either end of bourne) where smelt can be caught and if so, where?
when you cook them, do you cook them with the skin and bones intact?
they seem pretty small to be skinning or deboning?
any feedback would be appreciated.
thanks.
bob

Smelt......

I think you'd have a better chance of finding Joe G's PIN # to his debit card, or access code to one of his many banks accounts, before you'd ever find smelt on Cape Cod, or anyone willing to talk about it. cwm27.gif Next to lobsters and cod from shore, smelt are sort of the Holy Grail of winter time fishing. That's why so many guys from the Cape go to Maine each winter.
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by swellrider View Post

when you cook them, do you cook them with the skin and bones intact?
they seem pretty small to be skinning or deboning?
any feedback would be appreciated.
thanks.
bob



I remove the scale with a spoon. It comes off very easy. Then I gut them, but leave the head on because I like some of them. Let them air dry, cover with corn starch/flower, salt and pepper. Have the cast iron skillet on high heat with good amount of oil. Fry to golden brown and enjoy!drool.gif

 

 

post #6 of 18
20 years ago I used to catch them in late Oct off the floats in Onset. I fished by day and was lousy at it, but would get 6-8 fair sized ones some days in about an hour. The regulars did way better, and god knows what went on at night. The floats would be pulled by now,but if you snooped around up there I think you might find some spots.

I also knew an old timer who claimed he caught plenty in the Sandwich boat basin about 10-15 years ago. I'm not sure how reliable he was, and I think they may have blocked access to those floats for fishing, but it is probably worth a look if you are serious about smelt on the cape.
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by numbskull View Post

20 years ago I used to catch them in late Oct off the floats in Onset. I fished by day and was lousy at it, but would get 6-8 fair sized ones some days in about an hour. The regulars did way better, and god knows what went on at night. The floats would be pulled by now,but if you snooped around up there I think you might find some spots.
I also knew an old timer who claimed he caught plenty in the Sandwich boat basin about 10-15 years ago. I'm not sure how reliable he was, and I think they may have blocked access to those floats for fishing, but it is probably worth a look if you are serious about smelt on the cape.

What numbskull said. However, I need to preface things by saying my frame of reference was back in the mid 1960s.
When I was a kid, I regularly heard the old timers talk about catching smelt, often in large quantities off the docks in Onset, and in the Sandwich baot basin. Only at night.
Another hot spot was the dock are behind the old Caldara's bait shop (now East Wind Fish Mkt). There used to be a group of old timers who'd play cribbage inside, and drink adult beverages. In between hands, they'd take turns keeping a vigil on the smelt action out on the dock. When the smelt would show up, they all run out and try their luck.
Besides the liquor, they usually have a pot of venison stew going. I was there one night to buy some eel skins. It was early Nov, scallop season in those days. Someone had a cast iron skillet going on the stove top, fukll of oil, and they were deep frying fresh bay scallops and passing them around.
I also heard the bridge at the Pocasset River was another well kept secret among the smelt cropwd back in those days.
post #8 of 18
Ya can't fish off the floats at sandwich marina anymore....frown.gif.....but you still might find a few smelt fishin' off the bulkhead..........
post #9 of 18
Great way to cook them.....
Head and gut splitting the belly as far towards the tail as possible. Place split side down on a cutting board and flatten with your hand.Rub the back bone a few times and flip over. The spine will pull right out. What bones are left will cook to nothing.Whats left looks like a fillet with a tail, good enough to cook like this any way you like.

For a treat we used to make a simple stuffing out of bread crumbs, grated cheese, olive oil, garlic powder and maybe a little chopped tomato. Spoon a bit onto the flesh side of the flattened smelt and cover with another smelt. Squish together. Pan fry for a few minutes on each side till crispy. (be sure to cook the tails, they're awesome) Serve only to really good friends.

Gotta find them first and all the places mentioned could hide a few.......good luck
post #10 of 18

So people actually use rod an reel to catch smelt? Really?

post #11 of 18
No reel. Just a rod. It is fun.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by numbskull View Post

No reel. Just a rod........

..........................and a white bucket, turned up side down, to sit on. wink.gif
post #13 of 18

I have always liked smelt. The price is low, the flavor is good and they're easy and quick to cook. What kind of lures are used?

post #14 of 18
post #15 of 18
The smelt fishery is alive and well in maritime canada, maine and NH..........
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