The Smelt Update
It’s no secret that my favorite place to fish for Sea Smelts is Pittston, Maine at Baker’s Smelt Camps. It’s also no secret that this winter has been off to a warm start. Ice has been slow to form up. More accurately, it hasn’t formed up at all.
Now that deer season is over, the holidays are winding down, and folks are settling in for winter, thoughts turn to ice shacks and fishing. Those in the know for fun and delicious delicacy think of Sea Smelt fishing in particular.The
Winter of 2014 has left folks on the bank of the old Kennebec river with a bucket and rods getting wet feet. While the ice is coming, it never seems to be fast enough. The past few years have seen smelt numbers dwindle, and every year the wave of fishermen are hopeful for a renewed run. Is this the year? No one can say until the shacks get out on the ice.
What to do?
There isn’t much to do while we wait for Mother Nature to get her act in gear and invite father winter in to freeze the river. Here are a few suggestions though.
- Grease and oil the rods
- Untangle the rods and gear
- Organize the rigs
Jig poles face a lot of abuse, sitting on ice, getting dipped in water, tossed in a bucket, stepped on and more. The whole set of gear tends to get tossed into a bucket or bin at the end of cold nights in a tangled mess. Now is the time to sort out those messes, order new gear, repair any damage. Rod and Reel grease from the local sporting goods store will get the reels in top condition fast. Check for loose screws, bent bales, or any damaged parts.
- Organize the old rigs
- Check for rust
- Order replacements
Old rigs get tangles and breaks, it happens in a cramped ice shack. Check all your rigs, re-bagging them often helps keep them organized and untangled. NOTHING is worse than getting to your shack, hear people catching sea smelts and you get out your gear and need to spend the first 45 minutes untangling and sorting yourself out. Be ready to walk in, sit down, bait and fish!
You can check on the Kennebec River conditions live by clicking HERE This will show you a view from the bridge in Augusta ((Close enough)). In the sidebar to the right is the local Pittston weather report for the next few days to also help you out.
Winter will still come to Maine, and the Kennebec River WILL freeze up. So get the gear together and BE READY when it does.
Good luck this year, and we hope you report to us on the facebook page!