I want smelt but dont know how to get it

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sirsnagalot

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Hillsboro, OR
So my grandma wants me to get her some smelt since, but I dont know where to go or how to do this, can someone please point me in the right direction. I'm located in the Portland Metro area and driving some distance isn't an issue. I'm willing to drive 2 hours if I have to.
 
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Hawk

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Have You Kissed a Bass Today???
I used to catch Jack Smelt but that was lustrums ago by the canneries, Moss Landing, CA & the Monterey wharf. I don't know where you can catch them along the Oregon coast.

Good Luck, Bro.
 
F

FishSchooler

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We used to go smelting on the kalamath (I think thats how you spell) river and catch hundreds of them. It is up in washington. All you need is a long net, at least oh, a good 12 feet and a massive cooler or bucket. The longer the better. You need it long enough to touch the bottom of the river which Im guessing is 4-8 feet deep where the smelt are. Drive away from the big sandy/pebbly beaches where the crowds are. Too many people=not much fish. We drove along the highway until we found a spot with only us and another group that was leaving. We just stood on these rocks that were going about 3 feet into the river and started sweeping. Take your net and drive it downstream of you. Sweep it upstream (along the bottom) and pick it up. Its easy once you know the proccess. Hardest part is fitting the long net into the car and they can be heavy.
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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I will tell you this, the Cowlitz river does have a run, but do a little investigating. If they are not returning in massive numbers, it is best to leave them alone, and wait a couple years to dip large amounts. But you are allowed 10 pounds per day on the Cow I believe. Check it out.
 
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halibuthitman

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on the edge
cowlitz

cowlitz

The cowlitz has a viable run.... otherwise I couldn't tell ya, but if its just for her to eat a couple times look up pacific seafoods in, call and they will tell you a store they sell it fresh in. Or you could check around astoria or the cannery in warrenton.

"most my money I spent on beer boats and trucks...the rest of it I wasted"
 
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Taku

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Mar 24, 2009
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So my grandma wants me to get her some smelt since, but I dont know where to go or how to do this, can someone please point me in the right direction. I'm located in the Portland Metro area and driving some distance isn't an issue. I'm willing to drive 2 hours if I have to.

The comfortable way to get her some is go to Tony's in OC and buy them. They have some Alaska smelt there now.
A good batch of fried smelt sounds good. We used to eat them all the time, but we dipped them on the Sandy and the Cowlitz, but hasn't been a good run on the sandy for several years now.
We cleaned ours and beheaded them, unlike some folks who cook them head guts and all.
Fry them rolled in flour, hot and just strip the backbone out and eat all including the crispy fins and tail.I Could sit down and devour 20 or 30 at a meal. Good stuff.
You can clean a lot in a hurry with a good pair of scissors.
 
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fisherwilly

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Mar 14, 2009
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Bend, OR
Last year, in the middle of July, I caught many smelt on herring jigs in the Yaquina bay off of the fishing pier. I thought they were herring, but they turned out to be smelt. The schools were shimmering in the bay. I watched a probably 40 or so pound halibut come up through one of schools. Amazing. Pretty tasty and easy to catch. I tried the same thing in the Alsea and kept catching salmon smolts. So I stopped jigging, be aware of what you are catching.
 

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