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How to rig smelt for pike

Updated July 20, 2017

Anglers use a variety of baits and lures to catch northern pike. One of the best is a dead smelt, which is a small fish that pike feed on. Although fishermen sometimes choose to use dead baits because they do not require the same care live baits do, some places -- Canada, for example -- require that fishermen use dead baits. The best way to rig a dead smelt for pike is on a quick-strike rig.

Tie the free end of a quick-strike rig the end of the fishing line with a Palomar knot.

Attach a bobber to the fishing line. The distance between the bobber and the end of the rig is the depth at which the smelt will hang. The smelt should be about halfway to the bottom, so if you are fishing in 8 feet of water, for example, the bobber should be 4 feet from the end of the rig.

Crimp two or three split-shot weights to the fishing line just above the quick-strike rig.

Place one hook of each treble hook of the quick-strike rig into each side of the smelt. If the rig includes a third hook -- it likely will be a single hook rather than a treble hook -- place that hook through the smelt's mouth.

Things You'll Need

  • Quick-strike rig
  • Bobber
  • Split shot weights
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About the Author

Larry Anderson has been a freelance writer since 2000. He has covered a wide variety of topics, from golf and baseball to hunting and fishing. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including "Fargo Forum" newspaper. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from Concordia College.