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I was a Steveston Marine getting prepared for round two with power trim on my boat and took a look around the tackle section. In the bait freezer I notice smelt being sold for salmon bait. I have heard of them being used by fisher that caught them but never have I seen them sold commercially before. Has anyone used smelt for salmon fishing? I'm sure they would fit in an anchovy holder and they're bigger than anchovy. Your thoughts?
have fun, Jason.
 

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When bait was hard to come by I've thought about using Smelts I've seen for sale in places like Superstore but the quality put me off too many broken fins/missing scales.

I heard that the guy who used to run that place got in a bunch of Oolichans (Smelts) for sale as Sturgeon bait maybe that's what you were looking at.

Was it carefully packaged or just a frozen mess?
 

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I thought and thought about this and it finally came to me, they are quite round and round baitfish don't present quite as tempting a roll as slab sided Herring or the flatter Anchovies.

I say flatter 'Chovies because I remember when I sold bait one customer, who's very picky and also very productive, said he didn't like the 'Chovies we sold because they were too round he liked the flatter ones from Rhys Davis.

Once I got a good look at both types I agreed-the flatter bait is a better roll.

That's not to say Smelts won't work I'm sure Salmon will eat them but I wouldn't spend money for them when I have access to more appealing options.

In bad El Niño years sometime all we have is Sardines for bait they are rounder and work OK.
 
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