Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Spring Smelting

  1. #1
    Just starting out

    User Info Menu

    Default Spring Smelting

    Sitting here thinking about some spring smelt fishing. Yes I am old enough to remember netting in the glory days with pails of smelt, beach cook outs of frying smelt, and taking naps on the rocks beside the fire. I was lucky to fish the big runs of the early70's growing up and later the smaller runs of the 80's and then the Niagara runs in the 90's still bringing home a pail or two to last the family for the year.


    I know the old runs are gone but I also know that there are still a few smelt along the Port Maitland pier and I wonder about the Port Dover pier. Does anyone on here watch for them along either of these spots? I know come about the 2nd week of April I will be out looking in the old haunts and then about the 3rd or 4th week plan to be heading up Huntsville / Dorset way to meet up with a couple of friends to see if we can connect with a few for the pan.
    If anyone is catching them through the ice I would love to hear about it as I have not tried this yet, although I am hoping to if the Welland River freezes up or if I can get some information on trying this on Simcoe.


    Thanks All

  2. # ADS
    Advertisement
    ADVERTISEMENT
     

  3. #2
    Mod Squad

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Me too. Remember many a great evening around the bonfires on Port Stanley beach netting enough smelt for the year.
    Can't answer your questions, but the fishing experts will .

    (Welcome to the forum. )
    " We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote A. Bartlett


  4. #3
    Has too much time on their hands

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MistyHollow View Post
    Sitting here thinking about some spring smelt fishing. Yes I am old enough to remember netting in the glory days with pails of smelt, beach cook outs of frying smelt, and taking naps on the rocks beside the fire. I was lucky to fish the big runs of the early70's growing up and later the smaller runs of the 80's and then the Niagara runs in the 90's still bringing home a pail or two to last the family for the year.


    I know the old runs are gone but I also know that there are still a few smelt along the Port Maitland pier and I wonder about the Port Dover pier. Does anyone on here watch for them along either of these spots? I know come about the 2nd week of April I will be out looking in the old haunts and then about the 3rd or 4th week plan to be heading up Huntsville / Dorset way to meet up with a couple of friends to see if we can connect with a few for the pan.
    If anyone is catching them through the ice I would love to hear about it as I have not tried this yet, although I am hoping to if the Welland River freezes up or if I can get some information on trying this on Simcoe.


    Thanks All
    Im not judging anyone just to be clear. I remember my grandfather and cousins bringing back pails of smelt as well, and now they would be lucky to even catch enough for a meal. Is this the reason why the glory days are gone just to many people over harvesting, or is there any other reason why the numbers are down? Just curious and hungry now thanks to reading your post lol
    "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, Teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life"

  5. #4
    Has all the answers

    User Info Menu

    Default

    I think habitat loss by way of water levels may have a big impact but also, if we keep harvesting the hell out of them when they are on their spawning runs, I'm sure that must impact them as well.

  6. #5
    Mod Squad

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tom gobble View Post
    Im not judging anyone just to be clear. I remember my grandfather and cousins bringing back pails of smelt as well, and now they would be lucky to even catch enough for a meal. Is this the reason why the glory days are gone just to many people over harvesting, or is there any other reason why the numbers are down? Just curious and hungry now thanks to reading your post lol
    When the beaches covered in smelt in their hay day are now buried in zebra mussels and gobies me thinks what was done then has little to do with the present.
    Time in the outdoors is never wasted

  7. #6
    Post-a-holic

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Although I used to eat Lake Ontario smelt as a kid, you couldn't pay me to eat them now. Check out the zero consumption advisory for Lake Superior smelt based on the US fish testing program. An advisory to eat absolutely zero smelt. The Ontario program doesn't have the budget so they don't test for Toxaphene or PFAS, which are the contaminants that are of concern. The PFAS series are the "forever toxins" that apparently will never go away.
    If you're looking up the Ontario Fish Consumption guidelines you'll see our Lake Ontario sand Erie smelt are only tested for the number "2" contaminant, which is PCBS. I imagine the "fresh lake smelts" from the Lake Erie commercial fishery that you buy at Sobeys are probably zero consumption as well. Lake Ontario is probably in the same boat. Would be nice if the Ontario MOE got up to snuff and started testing our smelt for these contaminants (#5 and #6 chemicals based on our guidelines). I would think inland lakes would be safe but these spots are hard to find. Most people stay pretty mute about smelting spots. A call to your local CO might help you find some.

  8. #7
    Mod Squad

    User Info Menu

    Default

    Don't forgot to answer Misty's original question as we are getting off topic

    Don't think we can blame the loss of fish (including pickerel- forget the new name) on we old timers.
    I used to walk out the door and shoot a limit of rabbit almost daily. Not today, but again not my fault ; blame the habitat loss and the coyote. And then there is the pheasant........
    " We are more than our gender, skin color, class, sexuality or age; we are unlimited potential, and can not be defined by one label." quote A. Bartlett


  9. #8
    Post-a-holic

    User Info Menu

    Default

    I’ve had a few good catches (about 35 smelt) through the ice on Mountain Lake by Minden. They are nice big 8 inch smelt. Schools would come through at about thirty feet when we were in about 70 feet of water for lake whitefish. I was getting them on a tiny Williams hammered silver Whitefish spoon with a white pearl on the treble. You need a fish finder to see the schools.

  10. #9
    Loyal Member

    User Info Menu

    Default

    I caught a twelve inch smelt a few year ago in a little silver spoon by accident. He was a tasty fella. As to guidelines, if we follow them we should probably eat very little fresh water fish.
    They say the only good wolf is a dead wolf, If thatís the case than Iíve reformed many a wolf.

  11. #10
    Leads by example

    User Info Menu

    Default

    In the past I've caught a few smelt through the ice on Lake Simcoe. And have heard of them being caught through the ice on the Grand River if safe ice.




    _____________________________________
    Living proof that "beer builds better bellies".

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •