smelt? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: smelt?

09-27-2000, 10:55 AM
Does anyone know if bass gorge on the smelt populations that show up this time of year in Boston Harbor and other areas--does the Merrimack or Salem Harbor have a smelt run?

I only know of smelt from fishing for salmon during the spring smelt runs, when it pays to have a killer smelt pattern. Might it also pay to fish a big ol' 9" smelt-like deceiver. While there are tons of juve pogies around for bass to gorge on, I would think they would just rip up these smelt, and as usual, I have this unquenchable desire to fish huge patterns on my 10 wt to best the 20 lb. mark....

Any smelt experts abound?


09-27-2000, 01:25 PM
Jeff -

I can't imagine why not - in fact I'll bet the pacific transplants in SFO go nuts over grunion digging into the beach sand at night... that's gotta be fun to fish. A smelt fly would be much easier to tie and cast than a bunker or squid too.

A similar forage we don't often imitate is whiting, which appear in huge numbers off the Race.

How can we find out? Count me in on a 'research' trip. Where do they congregate - Neponset? Ware? Black Crk?

09-27-2000, 04:46 PM
i've always heard about them in Hull and Quincy, and from what I understand people fishi for them right off the piers. They seem to really get going after the bass leave--like November, which is obviously good for them, so maybe bass don't get quite the taste for them that they do other fish that are more prevalent pre-migration. I never really thought about it until this year, but I started reading smelt reports in the Fisherman and figured bass must eat these things. Might be worth a fly experiment, although the real test would be to hook and live line one...