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Maine Smelt Fishing

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Old 11-27-2018, 08:35 PM
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Default Maine Smelt Fishing

Looking for info, experiences, any members here ever do the smelt camps? Worth the trip? Good time?

my son and I are considering the trip How far up do you have to go?
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Old 11-28-2018, 04:04 AM
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I try to make a few trips up from Gloucester every season. We always go to Jimís. Sometimes we get em sometimes we donít but either way we have a blast. The shacks are warm they always have bait and if you call they will give you an honest report. Like I said even when we catch one smelt we have fun. For kids the daytime tides are a little better. We used to go to James eddy but they havenít been as productive the last bunch of years so we changed to Jimís. I would definitely suggest making a trip . I know there are a bunch more but the ride to bowdingham isnít that bad. I hope this helps.
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Old 11-28-2018, 05:07 AM
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For those odds why not save the ride and just fish hingham and hull and catch some
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Old 11-28-2018, 07:48 AM
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Jims has wood stoves. Some others have kerosene heaters. I would shy away from those. The kerosene fumes get to me.
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Old 11-28-2018, 07:56 AM
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try to pick a day time incoming tide I grew up there and get back to bowdingham when I can
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Old 11-28-2018, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Rmoody79 View Post
For those odds why not save the ride and just fish hingham and hull and catch some
Didn't know you could catch them there........on the ice?
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Old 11-28-2018, 10:08 AM
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I’ve been a few times. James eddy, It’s a lot of fun and I smoked em when I went. You normally fish a tide, which is about 6 hours.
To me the drive is killer though. Try to get there around low tide and fish it up. Lower water we could watch them hitting the bait.
as soon as they open( first ice) is usually the best fishing of the year.

I kind of like catching them local.

Last edited by north coast; 11-28-2018 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 11-28-2018, 01:55 PM
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I used to go up once a year but as responsibilities have increeased, smelting is one of those trips I've had to cut. We'd go to Worthing's and get the jig boards if you can. Ask em for em. They seem to fish a lot better than the regular lines. Smelt are great eating! We usually bring stuff to fry em up on the stoves in the shacks. If bringing your son with you, make sure he's old enough to be comfortable with the filthy drunken antics that accompany smelting, especially if its a weekend night. People will be sloppy drunk, pissing behind shacks, smokin weed, maybe a fight... It can be a bit of a party scene. You guys might even get to see a set of titties if you're lucky, although quality varies widely with smelt shack titties... Yup, the smelt camps can be quite a scene and those Mainers go hard...
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Old 11-28-2018, 04:22 PM
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Just when I thought life couldn't get any better..."Smelt Shack Titties"!
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Old 11-29-2018, 09:45 AM
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After a 5th of allens smelt shack titties look like any other titties
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Old 11-29-2018, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by AlloyToy View Post
Didn't know you could catch them there........on the ice?
not thru the ice from the piers I have caught smelt in hingham, Hull, and Scituate where I live, I know guys fish for them in Boston and Winthrop too
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Old 11-29-2018, 12:52 PM
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Caught them in great bay growin up in the 70's and 80's- I'm sure they're still there but the ice doesn't freeze well anymore
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Old 11-29-2018, 01:01 PM
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How do you fish them from a pier ? Something like sabiki rig ? what bait is involved ?
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Old 11-29-2018, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Harpoon View Post
How do you fish them from a pier ? Something like sabiki rig ? what bait is involved ?
I like to tie my own stuff up. Last few years I have seen people using sabikis. With varying success.
Ive been doing this for over 50 years and I’m very good at it.
Rarely does anyone on a dock get half of what I usually do. Several nights ago an Asian gentleman came along and handed me an ass whooping the likes of what has rarely happened in a lifetime of doing this. Easily 5 fish to my one. He was using what looked like a hand tied sabiki.he was using grass shrimp that he had caught himself.

Smelt are very aggressive and will eat and hit a variety of baits including seaworms, grass shrimp, garden worms, small strips of fish( even smelt) river chubs,clam strips, squid strips etc.
My favorite bait is to dig my own tiny seaworms and fish a whole one on a # 8 high end hook ,on rigs that I tie up with 2 lb. test.
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Old 11-29-2018, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Harpoon View Post
How do you fish them from a pier ? Something like sabiki rig ? what bait is involved ?
Tip each hook of a green sebiki with a little piece of bloodworm. Be patient, when it comes you'll get stringer after stringer then it'll turn off like a light switch until the tide flips.

True story- In NH we have a few tidal places that freeze over enough to get out on- One such place turns into a smelt shack town for the entire month of February. I'm out there one night hear two guys yelling and congratulating each other- stepped out to see what the fuss was about and some guy had pulled up a 16 inch schoolie through the ice on a sebiki. Had no clue there were resident stripers in NH until then
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Old 11-30-2018, 05:58 AM
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I use smelt rods with single gold Aberdeen hooks
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Old 11-30-2018, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Rmoody79 View Post
I use smelt rods with single gold Aberdeen hooks
I used the gold Aberdeen hooks for a million years
I still have packs of them in my smelt bag.
Things have changed though .
itís a bit more ď high techĒ these days
I make my own castmaster, Swedish pimple type jigs and they are deadly.
gamakatsu # 8 red octopus hooks. 2 lb test or 4 lb fluoro.
Very seldom do my rigs get outfished.
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Old 11-30-2018, 06:26 AM
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Default Twisted dropper for extra hooks

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Old 11-30-2018, 06:28 AM
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Going to try and catch grass shrimp in a few minutes .
i need to get even with the Asian guy
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Old 11-30-2018, 06:44 AM
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How big are these smelt you guys catch?
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