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I enjoy doing fun things outdoors. Family adventures, hunting, fishing, hiking, photography, 4 wheeling, etc. Get out there and enjoy ... NOTE: IF YOU CLICK ON MY PHOTOS IN THE BLOG POST THEY WILL BECOME LARGER.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Smelt Fishing - What's with the name?

Rick, Doug, and I went smelt fishing in Maine on Saturday.

I have no idea what Smelt taste like. The name “Smelt” doesn’t seem very appealing. Who picked that name anyway? Rick said “You fry them up.... fabulous!” I guess I will find out!!

We are going to the River Bend Smelt Camp in Bowdoinham, ME. It’s about 2 1/2 hours north of us. The camp supplies a fishing hut, wood/stove in the hut, and bait. We will fish the incoming tide. Saturday low tide is 8 o'clock AM. Our thought was to be up at 4:30AM and on the road by 5:30AM. Doesn’t everyone do that on a Saturday?

Rick called the camp to find out more. They said we don’t need to get on the ice until 11:00AM. It takes that long for the tide to come inland to where we will be fishing. Rick brought venison stew. I brought the coffee pot.

We were in Hut 7 which was a 3 person hut. It was set up well with the stove on one wall and the ice channel on the other. There were 14 lines with a double hook set-up above the channel. We changed many of the hooks, put a piece of worm on each hook and lowered the lines. We started to heat up the venison stew and put the coffee on. The wood stove kept us very warm.

What depth do we drop the lines? How do we know when a fish is on? Do you set the hook or just keep pressure on the line when pulling the fish up? We had no idea. It seemed like we had more luck when the bait was closer to the bottom. When a fish gets hooked the line starts moving in a circle. We lost several fish pulling them up as they shook loose.

Smelt are schooling fish so you would think when one is hooked you would catch a whole bunch. They say that does happen but we were only catching one at a time. The guys in the hut not far away caught 100 fish. They were using jig poles with different set ups.

We fried the smelt we caught right on the wood stove with flour, salt, and pepper in a hot skillet with some oil. So here goes! The name “Smelt” does not sound very appetizing but to my surprise they were excellent (similar to haddock or cod).

It would be a lot of fun with families and kids. Next time we will set up jig poles as well.

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