Maine’s smelts, sought by ice fishermen, have strong winter


PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Ice fishing for smelts is a winter tradition in Maine, where the small fish are fried and eaten whole.

Fishermen and fish camp owners say this smelt-fishing season has been a robust one after the mild winter last year produced hardly any smelts. The ice has been thick enough for fishing and smelts have been abundant.

Jim McPherson, owner of Jim’s Camps in Bowdoinham, said the season has been the best for smelt fishing at his camp in at least five years.

“The fish came back this year, more than I’ve seen in the last few years,” McPherson said. “A lot of people caught their quota. I think the cycle is coming around and they are on the increase again.”

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