Smelt as it is. In addition to purely gastronomic advantages (and the smelt is very tasty when fried, boiled and pickled), it is very beautiful in appearance ... She has a slender oblong body, the sides of which are painted in silver, the back is gray, bluish-green or gray-beige, the abdomen is white, fins transparent. This small fish has a rather large mouth with many small sharp teeth.
Unfortunately, every year the catches of smelt are cut in half, and it is getting smaller. This fact is confirmed by the fishermen. The number and size of smelt is directly affected by the extremely unfavorable hydrological situation in the water bodies of our region. And yet, in spite of everything, smelt is still caught in our reservoirs!
The fisherman, who first caught this fish, is surprised to learn that it smells not of fish at all, but of fresh cucumber. Moreover, this smell is much stronger than that of a real cucumber.
For some reason, it is generally accepted that smelt can be caught exclusively in the spring: in March - April. This is partly true, since it is at this time that the bulk of the fish is simultaneously sent to spawn. However, the active biting of smelt begins in December.
There are a great many places in the Gulf of Finland where you can successfully catch smelt all the time. I will not list all the places, I will mention only those that I know personally, or I have reliable information about them. Moreover, each smelt has its own cherished place, in the success of fishing on which he piously believes.
It is noticed that the smallest smelt is caught near Vysotsk (where I go). But she always bites very actively. The largest smelt is caught in the southern part of the Gulf of Finland. However, during the winter the ice breaks off there several times. Therefore, you often have to fish in extreme conditions - among the snaking cracks.
One of the closest smelt fishing spots to St. Petersburg is Kronstadt. Here they fish mostly about half an hour's walk from the shore, when depths of 10-12 meters begin. Quite close to the city, there are lucky places in the northern part of the Gulf of Finland near the settlements of Kurort, Sestroretsk, Zelenogorsk, Komarovo, Repino.
This area, according to the majority of smelt people, is the safest. But, alas, none of the fishermen can boast of either a decent catch or a large specimen of smelt.
However, perhaps the most famous place for smelt fishing is the 33rd kilometer of Primorskoye Highway. But it is also the most dangerous in the northern part of the Gulf of Finland. Quite often, the ice in these places is very thin and often sets in for a very short time. That is why fishing is extremely risky business here.
Smelt fishing on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, starting from the village of Lebyazhye, is very popular among anglers. This is mainly due to the fact that smelt begins to be caught here as soon as the ice sets. And to stomp to the place of fishing is not very far: 3-4 kilometers.
Prey catching smelt, even in a proven, seemingly catchy place, depends on a combination of many conditions. First of all, a problem arises: how to determine at random in the water column from where and where the shoal of smelt is directed. The success or failure of the fisherman directly depends on this. If you are lucky, you will be with the catch, but if you are not lucky, you will find yourself in the prowl.
Therefore, one can often see such a picture ... Several friends are sitting not far from each other. Tackle, jigs, attachments are the same, the depth is the same, but one of them drags smelt after smelt, while the others have no bite. And they have no choice but to glance enviously at the lucky one.
Also, when catching smelt, you should take into account that this fish is not shy, and to catch it you do not need to observe silence and tricks associated, say, with catching roach, bream or perch are optional. There is no need for a long vigil over the hole. Since the smelt takes the bait very decisively, there is no need to try different versions of the game with the jig.
In addition, the catch at a particular place largely depends not only on the notorious fishing luck (although it is not at all superfluous), but also on the number of the shoal that came up, since smelt is an exclusively schooling fish. Weather conditions practically do not affect the bite, but they fundamentally affect the well-being of the fisherman himself.
When choosing a place for fishing or approaching smelt, be sure to look around ... Note all those who, waving their arms, quickly choose a line. And if his neighbors, who are at a decent distance, are doing the same, then feel free to drill holes between them. Of course, do not settle, as they say, nose to nose.
Most often, anglers use multiple rods. Sometimes there are up to 10. But their specific number depends on the bite. When the bite is active, one or two rods are enough. Especially when you have to fish at great depths: sometimes up to 30 meters.
The location of the rods depends on the direction of the wind and the current. Place your rods across or diagonally to the current. But never along. It is very convenient to arrange them in a checkerboard pattern. With a bad bite on any fishing rod, it must be rearranged to a new place and rearranged until the bites begin. Since smelt is caught, as a rule, at depths of at least 12 meters, the holes must be freed from ice and snow as often as possible.