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#1356266 - 04/12/08 08:00 PM
using smelt for bait
sheephead24 Offline
HSOList.com Family

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 217
Loc: Raymond,MN
has anyone used smelt for pike, and how does it work? I picked up a dozen up north this winter when we went to Red, and I still have them in my freezer. I have heard they work great for big pike, but how do you fish them? under a bobber or right on the bottom? thanks for any tips.
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#1356275 - 04/12/08 08:12 PM
Re: using smelt for bait [Re: sheephead24]
Neighbor_guy Online   ahem
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 12/18/07
Posts: 2608
Loc: N. Anoka Co.
I would use them werever you would use frozen sucker minnows. Quick strike rig under a bobber would be a good place to start.
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#1356357 - 04/12/08 09:41 PM
Re: using smelt for bait [Re: Neighbor_guy]
Sandmannd Online   content
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 01/16/06
Posts: 11503
Loc: Oak Grove, MN
Under a bobber has worked good for me over the years.
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#1356371 - 04/12/08 09:51 PM
Re: using smelt for bait [Re: Sandmannd]
MinnesotaMongo Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/13/05
Posts: 1125
Loc: Mankato
I've used them with a lot of success early in the year.

Try food coloring with it - esp. yellow and red with a quickstrike rig under a float. It's a killer combo.
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#1358404 - 04/14/08 03:22 PM
Re: using smelt for bait [Re: MinnesotaMongo]
poutpro Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 02/08/05
Posts: 1032
Loc: MN
Does anyone just actually lay them on the bottom?
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#1358964 - 04/14/08 10:18 PM
Re: using smelt for bait [Re: poutpro]
dakotakid31 Offline
Sr IceLeaders.com Family

Registered: 12/31/06
Posts: 270
Loc: BIG LAKE,MN
 Originally Posted By: poutpro
Does anyone just actually lay them on the bottom?
that is one of the best ways to fish smelt. from lake oahe to our cabin up north-deadly. i just hate that hardly any bait stores carry smelt in MN-almost all do in S.Dakota.
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#1359319 - 04/15/08 08:32 AM
Re: using smelt for bait [Re: dakotakid31]
Neighbor_guy Online   ahem
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 12/18/07
Posts: 2608
Loc: N. Anoka Co.
Bait stores are going to carry what sells. Most guys buying pike bait are buying suckers. Just the way it is.
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#1365139 - 04/18/08 10:16 PM
Re: using smelt for bait [Re: Neighbor_guy]
whitewolf6647 Offline
HSOList.com Family

Registered: 06/15/04
Posts: 202
Loc: West Central MN
If you're looking for smelt check your gorcery stores freezer section. They always seem to have it and if not can get it in usually within a couple days and they're not all the little ones either some of them smelt in those bags are over 8 inches long and they come something like 20-50 per bag for pretty cheap. Laying them on the bottom is one of my favorite ways to fish with smelt and man is it effective. I've personally seen more +40" northerns caught on smelt fished on the bottom than any other bait live, dead or artificial. Very effective Pike presentation.


Edited by whitewolf6647 (04/18/08 10:19 PM)
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#1376932 - 04/27/08 05:39 PM
Re: using smelt for bait [Re: whitewolf6647]
andrew chadwick Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 03/26/07
Posts: 880
Loc: duluth
keep in mind that the use of lake superior smelt for bait is now illegal.
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#1377055 - 04/27/08 07:08 PM
Re: using smelt for bait [Re: andrew chadwick]
Steve Foss Offline
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 26584
Loc: Ely, MN
Smelt, cisco and herring are all about as good, and you can usually find one or the other it the bait store, with smelt also being available as mentioned at grocery stores.

I use deadbait exclusively when I fish pike with tip-ups through the ice. Any of the three are excellent. I vary the depth, generally running one bait about a foot off the bottom and the second about half way up the water column.
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