View Full Version : Jack Smelt

06-15-2009, 11:12 PM
I caught a huge jack smelt today. It was at least 2 maybe 3 pounds and it looked to be pushing 18 or 20 inches. It actually put up a pretty good fight. I was considering keeping it, but then I realized that I didn't know if it was even any good to eat, so I let it go. Was I missing a delicious meal by letting it go?

06-16-2009, 04:22 AM
personally i've seen jack smelt feeding on floating poop.enought said.

06-16-2009, 04:48 AM
Back in the 60's I used to catch a lot of smelt off the pier in Monterey. They were good fighters and fun to catch especially when we would hook 4 or 5 at the same time on our jig string. They did get up to about 22 inches or so. If I remember correctly they are very good to eat, very tasty actually, but they have a lot of small bones in them. We quit eating them when we discovered that they are full of worms. >:(

06-16-2009, 07:35 AM
Well, if they eat poop and are full of worms, I guess I'm glad I didnt keep it.

06-16-2009, 10:15 AM
haha sounds like you didnt miss much. Great catch though.

06-16-2009, 11:30 AM
They're great bait! That lunker might have been a bit big for bait though. Pin it on a live bait hook under a bobber and let it do it's thing!

I personally don't like jacksmelt. I throw them back. They can be a load of fun on light tackle though.

06-16-2009, 12:58 PM

06-16-2009, 02:53 PM
I caught a 13 incher off Rio Del Mar beach while perch fishing. Threw it back out on my surf rod and within 20 minutes i hooked and landed a 5 foot Soup fin shark.... man what a fight that was

06-17-2009, 05:48 PM
Jacksmelt are very good to eat.

Many people are turned off by them because of the worms, but they are completly harmless. Our bodies are freshwater (we cant drink saltwater) and the worms in smelt are saltwater. If you ate a live worm from a saltwater fish, it would die in our freshwater body.

So, that means freshwater fish are the ones you need to cook it all the way through. Also, only saltwater fish should be made into sushi.

The only reason why smelt are notorious for having worms is because thier meat is somewhat see-through. If people saw all the worms in the pork they ate, they wouldnt want to eat pork. In fact, halibut is supposed to have a lot of worms too... anchovies, kingfish and salmon ive also seen have worms.

And about the eating a piece of poop thing... If I saw that stuff where I was fishing, I wouldnt eat fish there anyway. Ive seen other common food fish eat that stuff too, smelt are not alone.