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15 Replies | Page 1 of 11 | Top of Page | Bottom of Page

Smelt Rigging

by , Posted to on 12/04/2006 12:50 PM | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 04/23/2002
Location: CA
Was wondering what has been the most effective, way to hook your smelt under tip ups,, a single treble or the two hook quick strike version ?
Re: Smelt Rigging
by on 12/04/2006 12:57 PM | Reply #1 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 03/14/2005
Location: ND
i go old school...i use the 3in smelt hook
Re: Smelt Rigging
by on 12/04/2006 12:58 PM | Reply #2 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/09/2002
Location: ND
I prefer a treble up through the belly from the bottom coupled with a long shanked hook that goes through the mouth and has the eye coincide with he eye of the treble. Then I attach both hooks to the same leader.

Kind of sucks to rig up, but it's got a lot of sharp edges for ol toothy when he shows up and it keeps the smelt horizontal.
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain
Re: Smelt Rigging
by on 12/04/2006 12:59 PM | Reply #3 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 09/09/2005
Location: ND
Here is how my version of a good smelt rig....Take a 3 hook treble and poke the top part of the hook through the middle of the smelt from the belly through the back and then attach it to a liter and it is pretty sure to catch a fish ........ if they bite :).....
Re: Smelt Rigging
by on 12/04/2006 12:59 PM | Reply #4 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 10/27/2004
Location: ND
I like the big single treble. Have seen guys make their own double treble rigs that work well.
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Re: Smelt Rigging
by on 12/04/2006 1:15 PM | Reply #5 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 12/27/2005
Location: ND
Use a big 1X or 2X treble hook and run the eye of the hook through the belly of the smelt towards the back and then hook onto the leader.
Re: Smelt Rigging
by on 12/04/2006 1:18 PM | Reply #6 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 04/14/2003
Location: ND
I use a single treble through the center of the smelt. I use a few split shots to get the bait to sink. I like to place the bait within a foot of the bottom.

How far off of the bottom do use guys set your smelt off of the bottom?

Re: Smelt Rigging
by on 12/04/2006 1:31 PM | Reply #7 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 12/27/2005
Location: ND
I usually set it for 2-5 inches from the bottom.
Re: Smelt Rigging
by on 12/04/2006 1:33 PM | Reply #8 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 04/03/2005
Location: ND
I take a small knife, run it through the middle of a mostly-thawed smelt or herring fromthe belly to the dorsal fin and slide a #2 or #3 treble in, with the hooks tucked against the body.  I then attach the hook to the leader and its all set.  Works well.  You connect on about 70-80% of the fish.  Let the spool turn, wait for the pause (usually when the fish has stopped running and is turning the bait in its mouth) and then grab the tip up from the water and set the hook. 

I've heard the dual-partridge hook quick-strike rigs are good too.  Never tried them yet though.

Hooksets are free!

Re: Smelt Rigging
by on 12/04/2006 1:34 PM | Reply #9 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 04/03/2005
Location: ND
Sorry, that should be #2/0 or #3/0 sized trebles.

Hooksets are free!

Re: Smelt Rigging
by on 12/04/2006 1:46 PM | Reply #10 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 10/24/2003
Location: ND
Nobody uses a clotheshanger method??

I take a metal clothes hanger. Take it part and cut it into 4-8 inch pieces. Curl each end and put a treble hook at one end. I them take the smelt and run the other end through the entire length of the smelt and pop the end out the "fecal opening" leaving the other end with the treble hook right at the mouth kind of like covering the face of the smelt with the treble hook. Hook up your line and leader to the "fecal opening" end.

Northerns and other predator fish usually try and eat their prey head first. Once the head is in the mouth, that treble hook usually hooks on.

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Re: Smelt Rigging
by on 12/04/2006 1:49 PM | Reply #11 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 12/19/2005
Location: ND
I have spent many hours fishing these big pigs and have tried most of what is mentioned. I have tried many different rigs at the same time. I find that they all work but the one that works all the time and is best for putting fish on the ice or getting them to bite period is the good old norwegian, the biggest you can buy, large smelt also, 8 to 9 inches, I have had smelt ordered special from a grocery store just for me. The big trick to the way I do it is do not use a leader. Tie the hook directly to the line. The best line I have come up with is black braided nylon. I have used dacron, mono, and yellow carpenters string. I think it has something to do with visibility in the water. Most places I fish have very clear water and you can have dacron right next to black nylon and you will have more bites on the nylon. I have watched fish approach before and when they are lethargic every little bit helps. I do loose one now and then but the large hook tends to keep the string out of the mouth, just have to learn to take your time when bringing them in. I have landed several over 15 lbs and have caught a couple over twenty this way. Also set your tipups as light as possible, these fish are big but they are also very sensitive. Good luck
Re: Smelt Rigging
by on 12/04/2006 3:35 PM | Reply #12 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 12/27/2001
Location: ND
We do the same with a large treble up through the middle of the smelt(so it hangs level). Attatch the treble hook with impaled smelt to your leader. Another thing we do in shallower lakes not mentioned here is to put a rig just under the ice. At times it will catch fish also.

By shallow I'm talking about max depth lakes of 6-10 feet of water. If you have enough lines set(2-4 guys) always set at least one rig just under the ice.
Re: Smelt Rigging
by on 12/04/2006 8:13 PM | Reply #13 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 07/20/2006
Location: mn
My smelt rig.
Buy your smelt of choice and keep it frozen. Buy a couple dozen treble hooks of preferred size. Get several feet of bailing wire and cut into pieces about two inches +/- long .
Push the treble hooks up through the belly of the smelt so the eye of the hook comes out near the dorsal fin. Push the wire into the smelts
Re: Smelt Rigging
by on 12/04/2006 8:26 PM | Reply #14 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 02/28/2002
Location: ND
I hate the norweigen hooks. I have lost a hundred times more fish on them then on standard treble hooks. I know people who swear by them and each to thier own, but I refuse to use them - lost too many fish. I used to make my own pike rigs which was a double treble hook system. I would use spinner making wire and make about a 4 inch spreader with a snap on each end. I would then put one treble hook through the front of the smelt and one towards the rear and then hook to the 2 snaps. I never missed a fish with rig, but I found out that it was dangerous. Twice I got a treble hook in the hand when trying to unhook a big Northern with only one hook in its mouth. I miss a few more fish with the single treble hook method but it saves on the hands.
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Re: Smelt Rigging
by on 12/04/2006 9:28 PM | Reply #15 | "Quote" | "Quick Reply" |

Joined: 01/09/2002
Location: ND
I think what we are seeing here is that there is no really well accepted version of a smelt rig.

Although I must admit I like alienhunter's version of having them pre-hooked (without the WD40 of course). :D

I always hated trying to shove the hook up through a frozen smelt with frozen fingers. At times it seemed like I didn't know where the smelt ended and my fingers began...
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain
15 Replies | Page 1 of 11 | Top of Page | Bottom of Page
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Posted On: 12/04/2006 12:50 PM
5954 Views, 15 Comments

Tags: smelt, rigging, hook, way, effective, ups, tip, wondering, version, quick
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Region: North Dakota

Categories: Fishing
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