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Thread: Fun with Smelt

  1. #1
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    Default Fun with Smelt

    The smelt are hangin out on some streams near Dilly in nice numbers right now, but after a few dipnetting sessions and even a dozen on a flyrod last night (smolt patterns under an indicator). I think I am sated on deep fried smelt.....SO, what have you folks done with smelt other than deep fry. (I'm not much of a pickled fish fan) and have you frozen them...and how did they come out? Should I head and gut em before freezing...please inform, cuz these buggers are tasty but I can't eat em everyday, and I'd love to stock a few up and pull some out in Jan. and have a fish fry. This may belong in the Pantry but thought I'd start here.

  2. #2
    Member Bent fin's Avatar
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    you can smoke them. run a stick threw there gill and out the mouth and make a fish hoop hang in the smoker. and you dont need too clean them just peel th meat off or just eat them hole.

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    Default No Cleaning?

    People keep tellin me not to worry about gutting them...but it just kinda raises an eyebrow...ok, I'll try it. But what about freezing them....thoughts?

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    Where is Dilly?
    I think you can freeze them. People use to do it in Bethel, but we never did. We just used the ones we wanted to eat that day.
    I always cleaned them too.

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    I have had them cut into portions, brined, and smoked for an hour than canned. I really, really liked them that way.

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    Default Gut em

    Alaskan Smelt (Hooligan) are a heckuva lot bigger than the Smelts down in the States - at least twice as big if you ask me. Thier Guts are a bit much to brine and dine on - but hey, whatever tickles yer fancy

    that being said - about the only way I like is to smok'em whole, peel and eat like someone else mentioned.

  7. #7
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Default smelt/hooly's

    If "Dilly" is Dillingham, then they probably are smelt, not hooligan. I know the smelt I caught in King Salmon were just like Great Lakes smelt, and decidedly different from Cook Inlet hooly's! They are fine frozen- we used to head and gut them first, just using a sharp pair of scissors. What I do with hooligan now is freeze em whole and use them for pike bait in the winter and halibut bait in the summer- works great! They should be really good smoked, too. I'm squeamish about the guts, so I gut em first, and the smoky smelt recipe in the Luhr Jensen smoker book works really good on them.. good luck!

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    Default smelty vs hooly

    and here I thought we just grew em bigger

    i have no idea about dilly smelts, but the ones in cookie are definately biggie

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    Default and i'll 2nd

    the Luhr Jensen Recipe...with a bit more soy and "Whatsthisheresauce"

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    These Smelt of are definitely of some size....up to 11 or 12 inches. So eating them with the guts and even bones in is a little more than I'm in for. Produce is expensive out here, but I don't think I will substitute smelt spines for roughage. We usually deep fry em after heading and gutting and when fried, the backbone sticks out a little by the shoulders, so you strip it out like a zipper and voila...insta-fishstick....with no msg.

    Of course Dilly is Dillingham....didn't think that was such a stretch of language skills. So Cutter... sitty and spinny

    And indeed, no hooligan out here...but togiak is known for absolute huge smelt (up to 15 inches).

    I'll have to try the smoking and canning...the canned should be just like kippers I'd surmise.
    Last edited by Daveinthebush; 11-08-2007 at 12:54. Reason: language

  11. #11
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    catchy....i know where dilly is - it willphishyfourfood that was wondy'd

    hooly and smelty are not the same fishy? I have always thought of them as the same thing...just bigger up here.

  12. #12

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    A hooligan (eulachon) is a smelt...but a smelt isn't necessarily a hooligan - smelt are a family of fishes.
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

  13. #13

    Red face Eulachon (Hooligan)

    Is one of the 6 species of Alaskan smelt. Be darned if I know what the other 5 are called.
    We never really grow up, we only learn
    how to act in public

  14. #14
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    Default Freezing smelt

    I have dipped many smelt in Lake Ontario and have caught some Hooligan off Petersburg while jigging herring. The smelt I'm used to in NY is different than the Hooligan up there; similar, but not exactly the same. The NY models are smaller and you don't have to filet them!!
    I've had great luck freezing smelt by gutting and heading them, them putting them in a container and topping it off with water so they are frozen in a block of ice. That way they don't freezer burn. I do that with my pan fish filets when I vacuum pack them. You just have to seal the bag before you start sucking water into the vacuum sealer!

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    Default The other Smelt are...

    Larry, Mo & Curly, & sometimes Schemp, the other hooligans... :P

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