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Smelt Shacks of Great Bay NH

By Mike Christy

   It is interesting to see Yankee ingenuity at work, and one unique way to appreciate it is out on New Hampshire's Great Bay in the winter.  Smelt shanties become isolated sanctuaries that provide fishermen with comfort and shelter from the elements, as well as a place to escape life's daily stresses, even if for one tide.  

   Smelt shanties are as different as each falling snow flake, each with it's own features and personality, which  may even reflect their owner. From built-in skis, to doors, chimneys and windows, each shack has it's own attributes which states "mine is an improvement over yours, beside, I've caught tons of smelt from it, and I'm not changing a thing"... superstitious us New Englanders? Maybe just a bit. 


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