When do smelt start running? - Smelt - New Brunswick Fishing

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When do smelt start running?


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#1 Retroboy

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Posted 29 November 2014 - 03:08 AM

Just curious if they happen to be around before the ice sets in. From last year's experience the bite didn't really pick up until the latter part of the hardwater season.

 

There's always a chance I'll go for a very-late-season paddle on the Saint John river and I'm wondering if setting a rod might just get a result while it stays open.


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#2 bakeapples

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Posted 29 November 2014 - 10:15 PM

When they grow legs!


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#3 Stroover

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 08:11 AM

Retro, my experience has always been once you can walk on the ice and drill a hole, you can catch a few of them but the "run" doesn't start until sometime in early to mid January.


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#4 Retroboy

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 06:01 PM

Was a lot of fun when we scored a couple of afternoons filled with doubles and triples at Cameron around February-ish early this year.

 

I'm hearing that the fish are much larger in other locales like up further on the Saint John River, possibly because the bigger fish can swim further? Can anyone back this up?


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#5 Stroover

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 09:00 PM

yup! I was at Bellisle last year ice fishing with a buddy of mine who has his shack there, and we were hauling out smelts that looked more like herring! They were HUGE!


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#6 A2F

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 05:33 AM

It is my experience , the further up river you go the larger the smelt . Also the darker the color the longer they have been in the river system ... I have caught and have seen some incredibly large smelt further up river !!!! Fun fun fun !! Pole benders !!! You can also get the odd striper ! Talk about fun on a smelt rod lol ..... I got the basturd to the hole but broke the line lifting him !!!
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Ok old man winter ! Take the panties off and get making some ice !

#7 Atoqwa'su

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 08:37 AM

Retroboy, I would suspect that should you be so bold as to put in your kayak over the Christmas holidays around Renforth or Cameron Road, you would be able to hook onto some smelts. The earliest I have caught them was January 1st. Not many, but enough for a fish-fry for two.


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#8 Joe Branscombe

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 02:42 PM

Here in Grand lake I've got smelt over 12 inches , our  average fish is 9 to 11 inches . A buddy  got one a few years back 15 inches 


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#9 Retroboy

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 05:09 PM

Heh, Atoqwa'su (and I like your choice in usernames), I have to tell you I'm bloody well tempted. Just put a scaffold over my kayak to hold up my ice fishing shelter over me, and all would be well. :-D

 

I'd expect it'd have to be glassy-calm for any boat-based smelt fishing though so you could see or feel the smelt hitting. They're so small and soft-hitting, particularly the glassy ones at Cameron, that any sort of wind-caused ripple would do a good job of hiding them.


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#10 HebertOutdoors

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Posted 19 December 2014 - 11:47 AM

my grandfather all ready caught about 200 smelts with nets about 2 weeks ago. and people have been catching a ton on the ice up north. I dont know if the runs is earlier in northearn new brunswick? but i know that where cathing a ton this year! last year was horrible but this yer everything is good! even the eals are allot!


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#11 GoverL

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 03:20 PM

i wonder if they would take a fly?


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#12 lobsterman

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 04:31 PM

I'm sure they would. YOu can catch them with just a piece of red yarn tied on a hook.


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#13 Stroover

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 06:53 PM

hey Chris, let's go fly fishing for smelts at Cameron! I'll tie red yarn flies! :)


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#14 Retroboy

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 07:10 PM

I'm gonna experiment with chopped up leftover nightcrawlers, corn meal and red food colouring this year. 

 

...assuming it ever starts! :D


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#15 GoverL

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 08:38 AM

Was thinking of fly fishing off the renforth wharf in rothesay...That should give people something to talk about...

Maybe boxing day...calm after the storm.


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#16 Homebrew76

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 04:10 PM

lol, I may actually be kayak fishing on Saturday if the forecast holds up.... never thought I'd be saying that about the tail end of Dec in NB!


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#17 Atoqwa'su

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 11:03 PM

The water will be high and dirty, no doubt.


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#18 GoverL

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 09:33 AM

I was actually thinking the same thing...after that big rain storm.  You'd need something really smelly to lure them.

 

Is it illegal to use a LED light at the end of your line while ice fishing?


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#19 lobsterman

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 09:38 AM

I assume that would be covered in the rule book under the prohibition against "fishing with the aid of a light" but I'm no lawyer.


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#20 Atoqwa'su

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 12:16 PM

It is not illegal to use a light in tidal water.


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