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  • 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

    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
      Mentioning other boards

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


        • #5

          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
            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
              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).
              Hike faster. I hear banjo music.


              • #8

                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.



                • #9

                  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

                    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
                      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
                        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.
                        Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

                        If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.


                        • #13
                          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
                            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 Files


                            • #15

                              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
                              Mark Richards


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