GBS

Smelt fishing camps

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Hi guys, not looking for any specific spots but thought it might be fun to take a trip up to one of the ME smelt camps with the kids in late Dec or Jan. However, I have no idea about tides/rigs. I heard that you usually get more if you don't use the camp set lines, but jig them on sabiki rigs? Any insights or ideas to follow up on would be appreciated.

Edited by GBS
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I would personally recommend Leightons smelt camps in Bowdoinham. He runs a pretty tight/small operation and doesn’t put up with any of the b/s that a lot of them allow. If the smelt are there they’ll hit anything. Sabiki rig wouldn’t hurt and would probably better your chances, might be worth bringing a flasher if you have one too. Like any kind of fishing, it’s all about being there when the fish come through - last year was a pretty dismal smelt run for the camps. 

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On 10/25/2018 at 11:53 AM, GBS said:

Hi guys, not looking for any specific spots but thought it might be fun to take a trip up to one of the ME smelt camps with the kids in late Dec or Jan. However, I have no idea about tides/rigs. I heard that you usually get more if you don't use the camp set lines, but jig them on sabiki rigs? Any insights or ideas to follow up on would be appreciated.

I recommend Leighton or Riverbend...I did really well last year.I take my 2 sons and those places are pretty good and dont put up with bs....i put a 1oz. weight on with two dropper loops about 12-18 inches apart with 8 hook.. good luck, waiting for ice to harden up..They are expecting to open by the 1st or second week in Jan!

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17 hours ago, The Rev said:

I recommend Leighton or Riverbend...I did really well last year.I take my 2 sons and those places are pretty good and dont put up with bs....i put a 1oz. weight on with two dropper loops about 12-18 inches apart with 8 hook.. good luck, waiting for ice to harden up..They are expecting to open by the 1st or second week in Jan!

Oh wow. I was up there twice last year and both time was a bust. Both times were evening hours, fished once incoming and once outgoing tide. I was close to not wanted to take the 6 hours round trip drive again....

 

I was reading about an article that smelt mature in a 2 year cycle so you will do well one year and the next not? 


Any tips on making me go again? Used worms that they gave us, had self made fishing rods and also using their stuff. Used jigs, little gulps, etc and only caught 3 total both trips......

 

Oh and a white perch..... 

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On 12/31/2018 at 2:32 PM, foxfai said:

Oh wow. I was up there twice last year and both time was a bust. Both times were evening hours, fished once incoming and once outgoing tide. I was close to not wanted to take the 6 hours round trip drive again....

 

I was reading about an article that smelt mature in a 2 year cycle so you will do well one year and the next not? 


Any tips on making me go again? Used worms that they gave us, had self made fishing rods and also using their stuff. Used jigs, little gulps, etc and only caught 3 total both trips......

 

Oh and a white perch..... 

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were you fishing on the bottom? Not sure of that life cycle theory but don't seem legit to me..Last year I killed them and if this fall was any indicator of what's to come then it will be better than last year..i had an epic year down in Boston area...We were having 100 fish nights down there !!I've never seen it like that and I been fishing this spot for 12 years or so...

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9 hours ago, The Rev said:

were you fishing on the bottom? Not sure of that life cycle theory but don't seem legit to me..Last year I killed them and if this fall was any indicator of what's to come then it will be better than last year..i had an epic year down in Boston area...We were having 100 fish nights down there !!I've never seen it like that and I been fishing this spot for 12 years or so...

For the past few years I've been trying to get out to target them. Last year I went up to the camps with friends and only got a few for both trips. 

 

I rigged some rods and use their beam fishing lines and have them set to different depths. Most had worms on it and I used some with gulp pieces when some said those works too.

 

I started off fishing down in Hingham area in one November day in 2016 and caught more than I went up to the camps...... /sigh 

Edited by foxfai
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not sure what else you said but for one their shack lines suck...I guess they work sometimes but not so much and always fish the bottom especially at night...They are more up and down in the water column during the day..Night time you will find them on bottom .

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20 hours ago, The Rev said:

not sure what else you said but for one their shack lines suck...I guess they work sometimes but not so much and always fish the bottom especially at night...They are more up and down in the water column during the day..Night time you will find them on bottom .

Shack line did suck, but I had the most luck on them when I was there. My noodle rod didn't do much. I was even using sibiki that go from bottom to about 2 feet high with multiple rods and different depths. Maybe.... maybe next time..... it's too far to drive for nothing.

 

I never thought smelt is so hard to catch!!

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