Here's proof that smelt dippin' was always a rowdy good time.
When most people think of outdoor traditions, they immediately think of deer camp. In Michigan, there's another tradition that's just as fun. Smelt dipping is like deer camp but with nets and way more beer. Watch the video from 1986 to see all about this tradition.
As you can see, smelt dipping hasn't changed much over the years. You pretty much just have a net of some sort that you lift when the fish swim through it. However, I can't decide if the guy with the light strapped to his net is a genius or foolish.
Great Lakes smelt run every year in early spring. The spawn directly correlates with the water temperature and the run starts at 42-44 degrees. Normally, a good smelt run can last up to three weeks.