Real Women Fish Smelts Too!

Smelt fishing in Gaspereau
Path to the bank

Ok, I admit it. I don’t like eating smelts.  Yuck. However, it’s fun to fish for them. They are dip netted and jigged, and one of the best locations is the Gaspereau River by the bridge near Reid’s Meats. By this time (April 20th) they’ve been running for  a good week Drive by on the incoming time and you’ll see the bank lined with eager fisher-folk of all ages.

It’s not necessary to have a fishing license for smelts if you’re fishing in tidal waters and the bridge on Melanson Road is almost as far as the Minas Basin tides reach inland. 

What You Need to Know:
When fishing tidal waters you need to be aware of the tide. Most people start about mid time.High tide was 9 pm and we were there about 6 pm. Check the local tide times in Hantsport (nearest times to Melanson) here.
It is MUDDY. Boot-sucking, slip and fall on your keister muddy.(yes,I slipped and fell on my keister, if you MUST know).
You can find out all you need to know about the regulations regarding smelt fishing by clicking here.

And, if you insist on eating them (ours will be striped bass bait,frozen) here is a recipe for you,
Crispy Fried Smelts

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 3/4 pound cleaned smelt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil for frying, or as needed


  1. Whisk together flour and salt in a pie plate. Dredge smelt in flour mixture, coating both the outside and cavity of the fish.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan 1/4-inch deep over medium heat until hot. Place fish in the hot oil; fry until crisp and firm, 2 to 3 minutes each side. Remove fish with a slotted spoon; drain on a paper towel-lined plate.