Keep smelt cool on the trip from the market or point of catch to your house. Never let it stay unrefrigerated for long. To store smelt, remove packaging, rinse fish under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Fish deteriorates when it sits in its own juices, so place smelt on a cake rack in a shallow pan filled with crushed ice. Cover with cling wrap or foil and set in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Smelt will store well this way for up to two days. When well-wrapped, smelt can be frozen for up to two months in a refrigerator freezer compartment and three to four months in a deep-freeze. Use lined freezer paper and wrap a group of fish tightly with at least two layers of paper. To thaw slowly, unwrap, place fish in pan, cover, and leave for 24 hours in the refrigerator. To thaw more quickly, place the fish (in a waterproof plastic bag) in a sink with cool running water, allowing about 1/2 hour per pound (454g). For fastest thawing, use the defrost cycle of your microwave, allowing 2 to 5 minutes per pound (454g), with equal standing time in between zaps.