Fishing for smelt in the winter — secrets, tackle, bait

Fishing smelt vzimku

In the Gulf of Finland of the Baltic sea, the far East fishermen is very common ice fishing smelt. Despite its small size – the length is on average 100-200 mm (rarely up to 300) – this fish is in great demand due to the active bite and a very high taste qualities. And most importantly, that winter fishing for smelt is very easy and totally accessible to every angler.

Where to find smelt

With the onset of winter weather the smelt begins to prepare for spawning, which will start in the second half of winter. However, she gets off in huge shoals and move closer to the shore, at the confluence of rivers where the water is more brackish.

To search for smelt under the ice we can distinguish the following locations:

• estuaries;

• areas with a flat bottom;

• no too deep.

Most smelt are caught at depths of up to 8 metres, but sometimes there are exceptions and in some places the depth of fishing may reach 15-20 meters.

To determine the location of the fish shoal by numerous fishermen. As a rule, during the active biting tens and hundreds of fishermen are sitting next to each other, with no competition or uneven bite is almost none.

However, even if fishermen are missing and it is difficult to determine the catchability place, you can safely go to the mouth of the river – the smelt will be there anyway.

zimova fishing smelt

Training gear

Fishing for smelt in the winter does not require any specific gear. The equipment is also very simple and easy to produce yourself. Depending on the chosen method of fishing the set of elements of the gear may vary

1. As fishing any fishing rod for winter fishing.

2. The coil can be put, but many do without it.

3. As the main fishing line is taken to monofilament, designed for winter conditions, thickness from 0.08 to 0.25 mm Diameter depends on the future of rigging and fishing circumstances.

4. Driver line whose thickness is slightly less than the diameter of the main.

5. When you install nod use the indicator of the metallic spring, whose length is 8-10 cm

6. Hooks, jigs or lures. In different periods of winter, the smelt may prefer different baits. Therefore, fishermen often harvest multiple snap-ins in advance and take with different baits.

7. Weight any form at the discretion of the angler. Weight depends on depth of fishing and the presence of currents.

8. Float.

Fishing methods

On the choice of the method of smelt fishing from the ice can affect weather conditions, the preference of fishermen and fish activity. Despite the relatively high biting activity, in certain periods of the smelt may refuse the offered baits and the angler has to adapt to its benefits. Mostly mined smelt fishing on the tyrant, celkovou the bait and the float.

1. Fishing tyrant

Tyrant is a very simple and popular tools for catching smelt. Especially useful in the first half of winter, especially after freeze-up, when pre-spawning feeding period makes predatory smelt to throw almost any lure.

To make this snap is very easy:

• Does the driver cut the line with a length of 1.5-2 meters. The value of the cut can vary and depends on what horizons wants to sh fishing.

• By the end of the fishing line attached sinker.

• The above sinkers at a distance of 10 cm attached a short leash with a hook. Next, fit several hooks at equal distance from each other. Should be tied so that in water they sting looked up.

• All tools are attached to the main fishing line.

The number of hooks may vary and ranges from 3 to 15 pieces. Since smelt can take not only the bottom layers, and a large number of hooks allows you to find the fish at different depths. At the same time, the more hooks, the more difficult to turn with the gear and greatly increases the likelihood of confusion. When good Kleve three hooks are sufficient.

Hook size is usually taken small — №2,5-3,5 at the domestic table. But often, anglers use larger hooks, especially if there is a big fish.

The diameter of the main fishing line ranges from 0.12-0.16 mm, for leash – 0.08-0.10 mm

Snap-tyrant is tied to the main fishing line. Fishing takes place on the conventional biscucuy winter bait.

The principle of operation and features of use:

• As bait, use pieces of colored latex (green, red) with magnitude of 4-6 mm or hooks tied with colorful threads or hairs. Special latex strips you can buy in the fishing shop, but quite often the fishermen are cut into pieces of desired size from a regular condom.

• Vehicle sinking into the hole until it touches the bottom of the sinker. It needs to tighten the line, holding it in one place.

• Fishing is passive, but a bad bite can periodically tugging the tackle. At the same time set several rods, bypassing them one by one and checking for the presence of prey.

• In low fishing activity can be somewhat loosen the line to the hooks was hanging freely in the water, stronger attracting predatory fish.

2. Fishing with artificial bait

Like any predator, smelt can successfully fish with artificial bait or jig spinner. For this purpose:

• metal fishing rod with a nod of the coil spring;

• the main fishing line with a diameter of 0.15-0.20 mm In some cases and put a thicker monofilament – 0,25-0,30 mm;

• spinner of small size, made of tungsten for a quick dip to the bottom. Coloration is light, preferably with a phosphorescent coating – fishing for smelt occurs at great depths, and bait needs to be more visible;

• with spinners to choose a small model, with a length of 1-2 centimeters. Color gold or silver.

The jig and spinner fishing is the same – hook-hooked bait and tackle is lowered into the hole. Fishing can be like standing on a moving bait. The game is simple – lifting tackle with pauses. Some anglers caught two holes, holding in each hand a rod.

When fishing standing bait the bite is signaled by the rise of nod upward. To draw out should be fast as it smelt quite actively resists on the hook.

The bait can be animal or, as in fishing on the tyrant – colored latex or thread.

3. Fishing float

Fishing on the float rod, of course, is passive, but in certain moments a lot more effective than celkovou. It manifests itself especially during periods of weak activity smelt.

fishing for smelt on the float

Tackle practically the same as when fishing a jig, with a slight difference:

• fishing rod without a nod – the bite is signaled by the float;

• light a small float;

• the lure or hook, depending on the version of equipment;

• if necessary, a leash with a thickness of 0.10 mm

When fishing on the float, you can use either a jig or plain hook. In the first case, the jig also serves as a sinker. If the weight of the lure enough (for example, when fishing on the course), at the end of the fishing line is attached a sinker a few inches higher on short leashes tally hooks. Often use more than one hook.

In warm, calm weather the float can ohrozit flush with the surface of the water, but mostly it needs to be submerged. To do this, hang additional weights-pellets.

Caught on the float using only live bait that greatly increases the chances of a catch at a sluggish behaviour of fish. This method is associated with certain difficulties – to change the bait will have to quite often, which is not very convenient to do in the cold with bare hands.


Smelt is a predator and actively bite to almost any animal bait.

• development of maggots;

• Motyl;

• sea worm;

• crab sticks:

• the larva burdock moth;

• fish meat;

• pieces of latex, rubber bands or yarn when fishing on tyrant or artificial bait.

Very good catch on pieces of freshly caught smelt. In General, the smelt is not too demanding fish and to choose the right bait is easy.

zimova fishing smelt

Useful tips:

• When fishing at the mouths of rivers, the wells should be placed across the current in a checkerboard pattern.

• You can use bait from maggots or meat of krill.

• The barbs on hooks optional – from sleek fish hook is very easy to lose on the ice, without removing the same gloves. To buy the appropriate hooks or grind off the barbs.

• Wells must be constantly clear of snow and ice.

For many, fishing for smelt in the winter is not only a great way to spend time, but the opportunity to return with a rich haul. At the approach of a shoal even sitting next to the fishermen can easily catch 4-5 kg of this delicious fish, so disputes and fight over the best spots does not occur. In some places, the production of smelt has even become a traditional family. In any case, smelt – a great angling target for all, without exception, fans of winter fishing.

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