Chicago Smelt Fishing 2011

This past weekend, I spent Saturday evening out on Montrose Harbor in our annual tradition of smelt fishing.   This was the 8th year of smelt fishing, but I've only gone 7 times.  I remember writing posts about the outing back in 2005 and 2006, but I can't track them down.  Damn you, Wordpress migration!'s a post from our 2010 outing and one from our 2007 outing.

Organized by my good friends Matt and Jason, a group of us gathered for some sodas, plenty of laughs, peanuts in the shell and (hopefully) a smelt or two.  Like in years past, unfortunately, the smelt weren't running (sure....that's the reason we didn't catch any, right?), but that's not the point of smelt fishing, right?  I got to spend some time with guys like Eric and Rob - which was great to catch up.  And...the peanuts?  I think I've found a permanent addition to the Chicago Smelt tradition.  Peanuts in the shell. 

I arrived late, but it was still not quite dark.  The city skyline never looks better than from behind a smelt-fishing rig and burn bucket.
Matt and Jason set their rig up earlier in the night and had the nets in the water by the time I arrived.  I was at my nephew's First Communion party earlier in the day - so I couldn't get to the Harbor until late. 
We caught - what we've always believed to be are smelt, but once again it appears that they are shad.  You can compare this one to the same thing we caught last year in 2010.  Same type of fish.


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