After working at the Yankee Sportsman Classic in Essex the last two days, a night bite for smelt sounded ideal. We were on the ice and had the Clam Bigfoot XL4000t set up with in minutes of 8pm. With the Hydro Glow glowing bright it only took a few seconds for the smelt to stack up under us in 30 feet of water.
We sat in one spot all night with no shortage of fish at any point. They were cruising throughout the entire water column with the most active zone being 6-10 feet. You could also sight fish them just below the ice but they seemed to be missing the bait almost every time they went by no matter how hard they charged.
We were running small flasher jigs with with tiny jigs tied inline above. The bit was good on both smelt chunks and maggots. Getting them to bite on plastics didn’t go so well though. Dead sticking produced a steadier bite than jigging as well!
We also had a nice visit from the local warden. He came in after we had been there for a bit with his truck blacked out and night vision going. Glad to see that they are out after dark keeping people honest!