There’s a lot of hype going on for the upcoming smelt runs and here’s how you can get in on the actions!
Smelt Fishing is essentially the art of grabbing a net, finding a good spot and waiting for tens of thousands of these little guys to rush on by! For what purpose?? You can eat them, use them as bait or you can catch and release them for the fun of it!
But there are a few things to remember when you’re out there:
Come ready to spend until 2-3am on the run
Respect the Environment “Clean up after yourself”
Where you see smelter’s without a light… “Turn off your light!”
Generally if you have a fire, hope you don’t mind a few strangers as company!
There is no limit “Smelts are an invasive species” but only keep it if you’ll use it
Dress for the weather
A few things you’ll need during your hunt of smelts:
Fun things to do while waiting:
Have a fire
Have a designated driver and enjoy a few cold pops!
Enjoy the stars
Make new friends
Predicted run; April 17- 21rd
Chikanishing Creek Access Point is located just off Highway 637, just minutes from the George Lake campground. Turn off at the sign marking Chikanishing Creek Road, drive a short distance to find the parking lot. It’s a 20 minute walk in “or drive if you have 4X4 vehicle and the gate is open”
Predicted run: April 19 -23rd
Drive through little current, past highway 6 (do not turn into highway 6) to the stop sign and turn left then follow the road and you will eventually hit west bay also called mcheenge, drive straight through west bay without turning off and it eventually ends at kagawong, you then have to turn right at the chocolate factory and drive towards the bridge and you will see all the vehicles on the right
Predicted run: April 20-25th
It’s called Raven creek and it’s on Lachance drive 10 minutes away from Espanola going towards Manitoulin island on highway 6. You'll come across it on the right side of the road where you’ll see a bunch of vehicle parked. It’s best to fish under the road where the water runs.
Predicted run: May 1-5th
Turn on to Capreol road then turn left towards Rockys, After the paved road ends park your vehicle once you see other vehicles and or a trail on the right hand side after coming down the hill in your car and walk in for 20-25 minutes You may be able to take a off roading vehicle inwards depending on conditions and height of the creek you will have to walk through.
Predicting the runs:
Generally the smelts tend to run at the same time give or take a few days. But 2017’s run showed us about a week in difference from the norm due to warmer than normal weather. Above we’ve estimated the dates of when the runs will be but for your best bet I would join the Northern Ontario Smelt Watch!! On Facebook and pay attention to what people are saying. There are some tricksters out there but generally speaking people are good.