Smelt bait - Smelt - New Brunswick Fishing

Jump to content


Photo

Smelt bait


  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 Freaky Beanie

Freaky Beanie

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts

Posted 28 January 2016 - 10:02 PM

I would like to start a thread about what have you used now or in the past to try to catch smelts. In my younger days I would use red yarn but I've read that those delicacies go after marshmallow, oats in sardine juice and white gut.
Even if the bait was unsuccessful it would be fun to hear about it ;)
  • 1

#2 MonctonFishernoob

MonctonFishernoob

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 173 posts
  • LocationMoncton

Posted 28 January 2016 - 11:23 PM

I always start with leftover mackerel or some sort of bait fish i have left in the freezer from striper fishing, once you get the first one that little t shaped part of their throat is usually my go to.

Last year i made some home made small flies with pieces of yarn, chip bags and other random flashy things i could tie on a hook, they all worked.

A small wet fly with nothing on it was actually outfishing most of my other hooks last year i think it was a small orange and black streamer - i got a few weird looks till it started getting fish haha

this year i plan on trying the red yarn no hook thing it looks pretty fun


  • 0

#3 DownriggerBob

DownriggerBob

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 105 posts
  • LocationMoncton NB

Posted 29 January 2016 - 02:03 AM

 I usually start cooking in the Ice Hut and I find cooked Bacon works great as bait and it

stays on the hook well and if I don't catch fish at least I am not hungry .LOL.


  • 1

#4 Retroboy

Retroboy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 981 posts
  • LocationSaint John

Posted 29 January 2016 - 05:17 AM

The "gold standard" at Dominion and Renforth seems to be prawns. Some suggest they're a little stinkier than smelt (I can't tell the difference) and my own luck has been a bit better when I've used them.

 

It's hard to be certain though because when they're biting, they're biting ANYTHING, and sometimes one hole will produce very well while the one a couple feet away produces nothing even when both are using the same bait.

 

I combine two baits and often have better luck than those around me although again that's not consistent. Thin strips of beef from an old freezer-burned steak in a baggie, frozen with a few prawns to transfer the scent, cut into small cubes, and then alternate those two baits on the hooks on each line to maximize attractiveness. 


  • 0

#5 sjriverman

sjriverman

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts
  • LocationGrand Bay

Posted 29 January 2016 - 09:53 AM

For my shack beef has been getting the most hits, followed by smelt/shrimp.   I've also tried corn, red yard, and beef jerky with very limited success. 


  • 0

#6 sdavis

sdavis

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 532 posts
  • LocationFredericton, NB

Posted 30 January 2016 - 08:06 AM

I've only gone fishing for smelt once, and i used 1.5" chartreuse gulp! Curly tail grubs. The ones that come in the little jar. I was outfishing everyone with them and caught my limit plus half of my fishing buddy's limit in a few hrs. Once some of the old guys finally had enough and asked me, i gave them some and they started slamming the smelts as well.

This was on the north shore, so I'm not sure if they would work in KV or not, but could be worth a shot.
  • 0

#7 sdavis

sdavis

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 532 posts
  • LocationFredericton, NB

Posted 30 January 2016 - 08:10 AM

http://assets.farman...igging-grub.jpg
  • 0

#8 Freaky Beanie

Freaky Beanie

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts

Posted 30 January 2016 - 12:36 PM

I always start with leftover mackerel or some sort of bait fish i have left in the freezer from striper fishing, once you get the first one that little t shaped part of their throat is usually my go to.

Last year i made some home made small flies with pieces of yarn, chip bags and other random flashy things i could tie on a hook, they all worked.

A small wet fly with nothing on it was actually outfishing most of my other hooks last year i think it was a small orange and black streamer - i got a few weird looks till it started getting fish haha

this year i plan on trying the red yarn no hook thing it looks pretty fun


Cool I almost tried a fly but was hesitant. Will definitely try that for sure.
  • 0

#9 Freaky Beanie

Freaky Beanie

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts

Posted 30 January 2016 - 01:00 PM

I guess it all has to do with location and time of day. But it's nice to have a few items in the tackle box ;)
  • 0

#10 Retroboy

Retroboy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 981 posts
  • LocationSaint John

Posted 30 January 2016 - 01:22 PM

sdavis I've tried the 1.5" chartreuse gulp once over at Renforth and it didn't do me much good. The smelt there are just too small to bite it up to the hook and beyond. But I'm going to put one or two on at Dominion just for sh*ts and giggles if I can find 'em somewhere. I imagine they'd stay on the hook much better than anything else, and mixing baits on the same line at Dominion works much better I generally find.

 

After all, what popular restaurant has a menu with only one item?


  • 0

#11 Freaky Beanie

Freaky Beanie

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts

Posted 30 January 2016 - 01:44 PM

After all, what popular restaurant has a menu with only one item?


Haha you got that right.
  • 0

#12 sdavis

sdavis

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 532 posts
  • LocationFredericton, NB

Posted 30 January 2016 - 09:03 PM

sdavis I've tried the 1.5" chartreuse gulp once over at Renforth and it didn't do me much good. The smelt there are just too small to bite it up to the hook and beyond. But I'm going to put one or two on at Dominion just for sh*ts and giggles if I can find 'em somewhere. I imagine they'd stay on the hook much better than anything else, and mixing baits on the same line at Dominion works much better I generally find.

 

After all, what popular restaurant has a menu with only one item?

haha. I was using a size 10 hook if this helps (actually a small 'trout' jighead so a bit of weight to get it down). I certainly would not use larger then a size 6 in my very limited experience.

mustad-3399a-superior-point-sproat-wet-f


  • 0

#13 TroutCommander

TroutCommander

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 71 posts
  • LocationGlouchester, NB

Posted 30 January 2016 - 10:46 PM

Using these red waxworms, moose meat, corn nibblets, For the drop shot weight I have a glowy ice jigger with a red nose. Also dip everything in the niblet juice or sardine oil. Tbh I think they'll eat anything.  

Guy this morning caught 140 wtih his group (he says)and we got 0 this afternoon. You just got to be lucky when they come in the tide. 


  • 0

A bad day fishing beats a good day working. 


#14 Retroboy

Retroboy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 981 posts
  • LocationSaint John

Posted 31 January 2016 - 05:33 AM

 You just got to be lucky when they come in the tide. 

 

This also depends on where you are fishing. At Dominion yesterday in Saint John, action was the best shortly after high tide, but it was still fairly steady through the rest of the morning. Didn't get as many, but didn't get zero either. 

 

I find smelt are also quite 'territorial'. Heard and seen numerous cases, and been the victim of at least one, where one hole is quite productive and another less than two feet away gets almost nothing, and yet both are using the same basic fishing bait and approach. I'm told by the veterans that if the holes are stable such as in a shack, the next week it could be the exact opposite situation.


  • 0

#15 Micropterus

Micropterus

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 126 posts

Posted 31 January 2016 - 02:00 PM

Smelt are not territorial, but competitive with other smelt at times...just natural schooling behavior.These smelt are moving up river, feeding along the way. They will move at night the most, especially in the spring when they are going up small rivers and brooks to spawn. 

 

The best bet to have smelt near your hole is to stay away from the pack (but still in the cove/bay etc and in the right depth) and chum. Keep your bait fresh. Often times after you get a bite, other smelt will not touch your bait. I believe the previous fish has left a scent on the bait that is unnattractive to the next smelt. I've proven this as you can put fresh bait on and immediately get a bite, or dip your old bait in attractant after a missed bite and you will get another bite. If you don't, you will often have to wait awhile for another hit. 


  • 0

#16 Retroboy

Retroboy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 981 posts
  • LocationSaint John

Posted 02 February 2016 - 07:55 AM

The best bet to have smelt near your hole is to stay away from the pack (but still in the cove/bay etc and in the right depth) and chum.

 

Yes to the chum, and absolutely yes to freshening the bait. Fresh bait is impregnated with the scent and I find holds onto it a bit better so it's preferred over dipping it unless you're nailing the right attractant or maybe there's some oil in it to help it adhere. I've heard sardine oil is a good one for this purpose. 

 

But I haven't seen that staying very far away from the rest of the shacks has much to do with levels of success. With the exception of being in the middle of a village that is filled with active fishers with their own chum and bait that is keeping them at the outside edges, or someone's doing something annoying like running a generator and distracting you from light bites, I haven't found or heard anyone say this. Most of the time the people that I've talked to that set off to a nearby spot a bit further away from the shacks actually have less success than the ones that are near the main concentration (although perhaps not in the middle of it). 

 

I have heard multiple times that certain underwater features like trenches or inlets can increase the odds, and some people that are "in the know" place their shacks as close to these as possible. Perhaps that has something to do with it. Not sure if the mix of light and dark squares that's above the water and casting shadows helps or hinders too.


  • 0

#17 Atoqwa'su

Atoqwa'su

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 386 posts

Posted 02 February 2016 - 11:27 AM

Like any other fish, migrating or otherwise, smelts like structure. That is to say, anything "different" from the immediate surrounding environment. In the case Retroboy mentioned, a trench can be the only thing different in the immediate area, and so that is where the smelts congregate (albeit temporarily before continuing on with their migration upriver) as opposed to twenty feet or even less away. This is pretty much scientific fact. As for the smelts leaving a scent when they bite which deters other smelts from following suit, this I cannot comment on as it is the first I hear of it. However, I can confirm that smelts are primarily scent hunters and secondarily visual hunters, therefore that is why it is important to change your bait often. You will find that bait like shrimp, which gives off a lot of scent, will give you a hit almost instantaneously if smelt are in the midst, however they tend to not stay on your hook very long. Prawns give off less scent than shrimp, so even though they stay on your hook much longer, you still have to replace or imbue them with an attractant like Retroboy suggested after ten minutes or so as they have little scent left to them. Somebody mentioned using red yarn somewhere. This can work reasonably well if used on the same line with bait, but not so much on its own as needless to say yarn does not give off much scent, if any at all.


  • 0

#18 mmoore

mmoore

    Advanced Member

  • Validating
  • PipPipPip
  • 125 posts
  • LocationMinto

Posted 02 February 2016 - 12:42 PM

In Grand lake, minnows are by far the best bait, but cut smelt works well on certain days too. The smelt are huge there, compared to anywhere else.

 

Fishing closer to the tides, we've had good luck using a variety of baits... multiple baits per line was very interesting to watch.  We tried anything from shrimp, powerbaits all the way to red yarn.   Our favorites to date; powerbait salmon eggs(the foam type), tiny piece of shrimp. And my favorite... is multiple hooks, each with a small piece of red yarn, mashing a tiny piece of white gut into every piece of yarn seems to work great!   The red attracts them and they tangle in the yarn.    Working great so far.       I too noticed they seem to like the fresh baits much better... seem to hit it much quicker.


  • 0

#19 Joe Branscombe

Joe Branscombe

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 351 posts
  • LocationCumberland Bay

Posted 02 February 2016 - 04:55 PM

mmoore have you been out on the lake yet fishing  and if so how much ice is there  .was thinking of trying over by the power plant  next week  some time if there is lots of ice


  • 0

#20 F15h

F15h

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 25 February 2017 - 02:07 AM

I grew up in gondola pt and the best bait I ever had for smelt was sea worms my buddy's dad dug them on a mud flat when the tide was out they had two rows of what look like legs and the smelt loved them
  • 0




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users