Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Smelters in the night...

...exchanging waders, huddled by the light.

The beach was lit up by little pods of smelters the other night. This crew was right in back of our house, very quiet and respectful, though I did hear them encouraging the young boy with them to bite the head off his first smelt. "Come on, I did it," said a likely uncle.

I could see these bright lanterns all the way down the beach and even as far as Wisconsin Point. I've lived here for almost ten years, and never took the time to see what was going on these spring evenings.

The seiners, by the way, pull their nets toward shore, not down the shore. According to the Duluth paper today, the most successful of them are getting a few gallons of smelt. No one is filling the back of their pickup trucks anymore, as they used to do at the Lester River.


Dave Carlson said...

My experience with smelt came in a metal tubful from my next door neighbor in St. Paul, in the 1950's. As I recall, he and his buddies stood in one spot, where I don't know. The catching didn't take long. Then there was a weekend of beer drinking and smoking.

I have that metal tub catching rainwater in my garden.

Blogging the North Shore said...

What a great story about a metal tub. It's come full circle now...nearly. The Little Marais river might have a little smelt run, you could go grab a couple of the fishies and return them to their great-great-grandpa's tub.