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Thread: Hooligan/smelt

  1. #1
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    Default Hooligan/smelt

    A buddy of mine on his way down to Seward yesterday called me to tell me there were quite a few folks dipnetting in the mouths of the rivers along the head of the turnigan arm. I was just curious if anyone else had heard the same thing and curious if anyone knows how they are doing on dipping hooligan. Fish and Games information line is still dated with information from the 24th of March.

  2. #2
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    Default smelt

    Saw a post on another forum that a guy dipped some on twentymile recently (17 or so), but it was slow.

    ps. Can we mention other boards on this board?

  3. #3
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    Exclamation Mentioning other boards

    Quote Originally Posted by Brownsfan
    ps. Can we mention other boards on this board?
    I don't mind a hyperlink to information on another board. What I do mind is outright promotion of other boards, or businesses.

    Thanks for asking...David

  4. #4

    Default

    I have a question....Here in Michigan, we dip smelt at night...Is it the same way up there???

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    Default Hooligan

    Quote Originally Posted by Salmonslammer
    I have a question....Here in Michigan, we dip smelt at night...Is it the same way up there???
    Night is relative up here, the daylight up here is gaining about 5 minutes daily. We go when the tide is right, though I don't see much action in the late hours.
    But to more directly answer your question, we generally dip for hooligan during the day and evening.
    Any of you others spend the night on Turnagain Arm for Hooligan?

  6. #6
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    Default turnagin arm hooligan

    Drove down to Moose Pass today. several were dipnetting along the river mouths. I stopped and watched for a few minutes and it seemed like it was pretty slow.

  7. #7

    Cool 20 mile river

    A friend and I dipped from 0400 to 0745 this morning. We got around sixty of them between riding 4-wheelers at low tide and dipping. A little slow I suppose, but fun. Does anyone know if these are good bait for Halibut or salmon? (If not I'll give them to some native co-workers that eat them).
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    Will-

    A commercial halibut boat that I was a crewmember on years ago tried using Hooligan for bait, but it failed miserably. Personally, I'm not convinced that they're no good, as we only ran one set in one place...the halibut just may not have been there...but we certainly didn't do too well with them as bait. It might be worth a shot, but I'd also bring some herring along. Incidentally, you might also want to check the regs. Since hooligan are considered a sport fish, I'm not sure you can legally use them for bait. Wouldn't want to get ticketed for something like that.

    -Brian

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    Default tides

    Traditionally, what has been your best phase of a tide to dip hooligan in? I've read where some folks dip at high tide and others at low tide. Does it even make a difference?

  10. #10

    Default incoming

    Both worked. The fish come in with the incoming tide, but we got them on both. We did not get them when it was slack. If it's slack, you'll have to wait. Personally I liked the outgoing. we got more, and there was not so much "junk" in the water getting into the nets. I'm a beginner, but that's what I've learned so far.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

  11. #11

    Default Hooligan as bait

    There is no bag or possession limit for personal use smelt. Dip netting for smelt is only allowed for residents.

    In salt water, herring and smelt may be take with the use of 15 or fewer unbaited single or multiple hooks attached to a single line. No bag or possession limit.

    Use of sport-caught fish as bait (this would include personal use dip net): Whitefish, herring, and other species (ex. hooligan) for which no seasonal or harvest limits are specified, as well as the head, tail, fins, and viscera of legally taken sport fish, may be used for bait or other purposes.

    So yes, you can use hooligan as bait. You can even use hooligan as live bait in salt water (NOT freshwater) provided you possess, transport, or release the hooligan only in the salt waters or regulatory area in which it was taken.

  12. #12
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    As far as eathing them, I've had them smoked and they are pretty good. I'd think they'd also be prime candidates for canning.

    Can't understand dipnetting for something you wouldn't eat?

    I'd rather dip for salmon, great eating, and the heads make for great but bait later in the summer.

  13. #13

    Default

    Curious to know what you bait the salmon heads for????


    Best way I've found to eat smelt is to deep fry them in drakes mix....and use beer instead of H2O. Seems to me the smaller ones make better eating.

  14. #14
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    Default Hooligan update

    I decieded what the heck and went for a drive yesterday morning. Ended up dipping for about 2 1/2 hours and managed to dip a half of a 5-gallon bucket full. They were some good eating!
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default candlefish

    Enjoyed this discussion. The Chilkoot used to trade "eulachon" oil into the interior way back in the days before the white man arrived. Apparently it was one of the most sought-after trade items among interior Athapaskan tribes along the Yukon drainage. So much so they dubbed the various mountain pass trails, "grease trail."

    Wonder if any of you have actually tried "burning" one?---from what I've read they said in certain times that hooligan are so oily that one could, after drying them, insert a wick down their mouths and burn like a candle. Hence the name, candlefish.

    Best, Mark

  16. #16
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    Default How do you clean them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H
    As far as eathing them, I've had them smoked and they are pretty good. I'd think they'd also be prime candidates for canning...
    Paul,

    I've never dipnetted hooligan, but I heard there are some tricks to cleaning them. How do you do it?

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    Default We used to...

    set up an assembly line. First person would open the belly, second would take off the head, third would scrape em all out and rinse. Some people don't even bother cleaning, eat em whole! Thats a little hard core for me though. Rolling them in flour or cornmeal then pan frying them like small rainbows was our favorite way of cooking. We would fry them up pretty crispy to balance out the oiliness.
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  18. #18

    Default hooligan vs. herring

    I've heard that herring work lots better than hooligan for halibut. If hooligan worked, I'd be one of the first dipnetting them so I could save lots on bait. I think herring have more scent than hooligan, but then again I've never smelled a hooligan.

  19. #19
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    Default Hooligan for bait

    I've caught all sizes of halibut in PWS on hooligan. I just give them a quick shot or two with a syringe with herring oil. They're much more bony then herring and really stay on the hook much better.

    Also as far as the regs go, and this is directly from a F&G agent, hooligan fall under a personal use fishery-just like dipnetting reds. So you can use them for just about anything as long as it's not commercial in nature. You can feed them to your cats if you wanted, it doesn't matter as long as it remains in your family. Completely legit for use as bait in any situation.

  20. #20
    Mark
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wildog
    ....Does anyone know if these are good bait for Halibut or salmon?...
    I know of one friend that uses them for halibut, but herring works much better. He does it just to save money by not buying bait.

    I doubt they'd work on salmon very well at all.

    They are great bait while ice fishing for pike and burbot.

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