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North Shore/ Smelt Fishing

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33 posts in this topic

52 mins ago, andy383 said:

Anyone ever have success smelt fishing during the day?  

I have. Perhaps night time maybe better? (like squid that hangs around lights)

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17 hours ago, Angler #1 said:

ccb we always had our lanterns lit one to keep the bait close so that the smelt would bite and second to keep the hands warm or the rear end when we sat on the lanterns. We used a smelt box that would hold the lantern and the rods for dead sticking and rod holders to actively fish . We would have a small dish of bait attached to a board we sat on between our knees. Some times it had worms, some times it was chubs The shrimp had to be in a closed container as they would jump out and get into the water. We would if we had  enough we would chum the water with crushed shrimp , cut worms or chubs. The larger ones loved the bigger bait; we called them Jack Smelt and at times they reached 24 inches long , now thems were smelt.  WE did not count how many , but measured them by the tomato basket    Peace and Prayers

WOW Carl! 24 inches? I could get some serious fillets off of that! Smelt that size would be quite the formidable critter on light tackle, real drag rippers to be sure. 

I think as Kevin stated (1life) the smelt outlook is "dead". He is a fishery biologist and has done up close and personal research on smelts in Quincy not too many years ago. Then (up to about 5 years ago, in Quincy), my friend Armindo used to get smelts "at will" when the tide was right (top of the flood) in a small creek in Quincy. Big stuff too with some being the "Jack Smelts" Carl is referring to, some over 12 - 14 inches. For the past 5 years though Armindo has drawn a blank. Not a single smelt to be found where they once were plentiful. Is that a water condition issue? Habitat issue?

I'll bet if Kevin shared here we could get a better understanding of what is going on with our smelt population as he is actually our "most educated opinion"....

Kevin?

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6 hours ago, jason colby said:

WOW Carl! 24 inches? I could get some serious fillets off of that! Smelt that size would be quite the formidable critter on light tackle, real drag rippers to be sure. 

I think as Kevin stated (1life) the smelt outlook is "dead". He is a fishery biologist and has done up close and personal research on smelts in Quincy not too many years ago. Then (up to about 5 years ago, in Quincy), my friend Armindo used to get smelts "at will" when the tide was right (top of the flood) in a small creek in Quincy. Big stuff too with some being the "Jack Smelts" Carl is referring to, some over 12 - 14 inches. For the past 5 years though Armindo has drawn a blank. Not a single smelt to be found where they once were plentiful. Is that a water condition issue? Habitat issue?

I'll bet if Kevin shared here we could get a better understanding of what is going on with our smelt population as he is actually our "most educated opinion"....

Kevin?

They are still in that creek jason...   just not as plentiful as before.  Usually a night time game.  I got 4 last time I was up but I was using heavy gear as I was up for canyon tuna.  They might be there now, as the water was warmer than I remember for that time of year.   Plus mackerel are just showing up from shore this past trip.  They should have been there the previous trip.

 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.mass.gov/doc/rainbow-smelt-spawning-habitat-on-the-gulf-of-maine-coast-bc-chase-2006/download&ved=2ahUKEwix2NWTuoXtAhVJiFkKHYBlB3QQFjABegQIIhAI&usg=AOvVaw07HEZ9LgjpK-TC6QOaIOKj

If you want to read, here you go.  Theres a madmf biologist that is more qualified and knowledgeable.  

 

They have been in a decline for quite some time.  They cyclical too but what I have seen is there's no recruitment. Yoy are not surviving,  but that is just my non scientific observation.  

 

Biggest I ever got was 17 inches.  I once saw one with its tail sticking out of 5 gallon bucket. Butterfish strips were the best bait for big smelt.  I prefer the little ones myself.

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On 11/14/2020 at 3:35 PM, Angler #1 said:

ccb we always had our lanterns lit one to keep the bait close so that the smelt would bite and second to keep the hands warm or the rear end when we sat on the lanterns. We used a smelt box that would hold the lantern and the rods for dead sticking and rod holders to actively fish . We would have a small dish of bait attached to a board we sat on between our knees. Some times it had worms, some times it was chubs The shrimp had to be in a closed container as they would jump out and get into the water. We would if we had  enough we would chum the water with crushed shrimp , cut worms or chubs. The larger ones loved the bigger bait; we called them Jack Smelt and at times they reached 24 inches long , now thems were smelt.  WE did not count how many , but measured them by the tomato basket    Peace and Prayers

24” smelt! That’s bigger than most of the stripers I catch. 

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17 is very big .  24”  iggrr  Years back Al Cappy would say they got big jacks over a Bakers chocolate 

A1. You fished Bakers years ago with Cappy didn’t you  

They say there getting them up in the Saugus River ? 

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Fished with Al Cappy at the head waters to the Charles river under the highway into Charlestown back in the day. The jack smelt we often would catch was with a  inline weighted single line down deep in Southy and Hingham . Yes they often would only hit on strips of meat from Butter fish and smelt them selves. Besides sea worms and blood worms and shrimp ,along with small chubs for the jack , We often caught another small fish among the smelt that was also great bait[the name eludes me at this time I only caught the one 24 inch fish and that was on the old abandon pier next to the well known fishing restaurant that has been changed over in South Boston near the Old Army and Navy  Building on the fish piers and it was one of two smelt caught that night between myself and Peter Cochis. WE often spent many a night fishing from the bridge next to the Lobster House and that was  along drop down and a long way up . The water was clean enough so that most times we could pick out the smelt we would catch . WE used a two hook spreader rig and just had the hooks in the water with the edge of the spreader, watching it to move when the smelt was running with the bait. Loved fishing Bakers and the Neponset River, the old abandon barge and the Ice cream piers. At times we would catch cod from the same locations , now that was different time for sure. We had enough places to fish that it was a challenge each week end as to where we would go. From the piers in Plymouth, to the rivers in Gloucester and Newburyport. and all in between . At times we would fish on one side for cod and on the other for smelt. The Boston Harbor areas where boats left from Atlantic Avenue to Revere, Nahant, Moon Island, Long Island, as well as Nantasket, Weymouth became well know smelt areas, with some piers so good that the owners charged a small fee to fish for them . Those were the times as also the Sandwich marina, Onset and Buzzards bay would hold smelt during the year . So many places I can not list them all , but you have a small idea that it was a very popular fishery, where many friendships were born. Peace and Prayers

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I fished with Al Cappy  on Atlantic Ave in back of Cook’s as you went over  the bridge on the right,  a couple of times.  Was a good spot, there was a warm water pipe that came out from the water exchange in the lobster pools .  
On Saturday’s sometimes it was hard just to get a spot on the floats down in Hingham

Crystal Cove was good also , but it’s locked up now. 
Places to fish are harder to find these days 

Was on Facebook and there were some guys getting some nice size Smelt yesterday 

Ine picture had one next to a Mackerel, same size 

Edited by ccb

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15 hours ago, jason colby said:

I just can't wrap my head around the thought of a 24 inch smelt.

The friggin' thing can rip drag!

I Winthrop years ago we had Small Stripers mixed in with the Smelt.   Your rod would bend in half.  

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We used to fill buckets on the floats of Norwood Marine (Stewies) at Neponset Circle as well as at Boston Harbor Marina which charged a $1 to fish the floats. Shrimp was the favored bait and the season started Labor Day thru March. Spent many a day sitting on a milk crate in a snowmobile suit.  Al Cappy made a super telescoping smelt rod in white fiber glass.

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5 hours ago, mackerel hunter said:

We used to fill buckets on the floats of Norwood Marine (Stewies) at Neponset Circle as well as at Boston Harbor Marina which charged a $1 to fish the floats. Shrimp was the favored bait and the season started Labor Day thru March. Spent many a day sitting on a milk crate in a snowmobile suit.  Al Cappy made a super telescoping smelt rod in white fiber glass.

Mackerel Hunter during that time frame smelt fishing in the fall was a happening thing to do with the family especially as the Month of November approached TUrkey day. White was the preferred color of our smelt rods and to this day I have at least four pair ready to go when ever the smelt decide to show again. I made two smelt boxes that would hold two or four rods , plus a lantern a place for bait and stacking the smelt when the fishing was good. I had a nice what we called Hot seat, that we sat on and helped to keep the rear end nice and warm. I also had what is known as an Ice suit , good for minus 35 degree. Well insulated with a hood, especially during the hard months it always kept you warm . My boots once called mukaluck white rubber from the Korean war when they jumped out of the planes. Every one thought that they pumped air into the boot, but it was only a valve to relieve the pressure at high altitudes in the plane  I later bought some great rubber insulated boots good also to Minus 35 . Rubber boots were the preferred boots when fishing on the piers and or places where you had to sit on granite or cement to fish . The old navy foul weather leather gloves lined with wool [still have all today ready to go] Many a night I would lend my navy foul weather gloves to others to help them get the feeling back in the fingers, when the bite was on. Thems were the times for sure and a lot of sharing went on all winter that carried over to the spring flounder and bass seasons. It was so popular that I was asked to put on free seminars on how to smelt fish for the local clubs and do a story on the hows and why and where. 

Peace and Prayers

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