How to Catch a Smelt with Ice Fishing?

A man trying to catch smelts

Do You Have What It Takes?

Ice fishing requires an exceptional sort of person armed with unique skillset and characteristics. Ice fishing is performed in unusual conditions, namely sitting in a tiny wooden cabin on ice while you are sitting by an ice hole waiting for a fish to come to your hook. Smelt is among the most popular fishes for ice fishers to fish for.

How to catch a smelt?

Smelt is a fun fish to catch. One of its most popular types is called the rainbow smelt. They are all small, around 6-8 inches in size, and they are also slender, which makes them light and tricky to catch.

Fun facts
Catching a smelt would only require you to drill a hole which is the size than a 50 cent coin. And one thing ice fishing will surely teach you is to be happy for any fish you can catch anyways.

Smelt is a small fish. Therefore you will need an ultra-light tackle for catching them.

As they are so light, you can give it a chance to catch more smelt at the same time (given your hole is large enough to pull them all out). This way, you can place two or even three rigs with bait at once. Make sure the rigs are not too close to each other.

Use wax worms or the likes for bait. The mouth of the smelt is way too small actually to catch a hook. They can only catch onto the bait itself. Pull them out quickly and then shake them above a bucket full of water. They will detach soon for the reasons mentioned above.

Although smelt originally lives up in the North, these days you can fish for it in over 30 states. Always have a valid fishing license with you. Although not every place or state limits the number of smelts you can catch, they take a long time to be cleaned for consumption. Therefore, keep this in mind before you end up with over 20 smelts in your bucket.

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