Good perch bite has begun on Flathead
By Hookemharry

Posted: April 27, 2006

This is perch week!

As as I mentioned last week, the perch bite was due to pop on Flathead Lake. It’s now going full swing.

Anglers are heading out to the east Polson Bay to try their luck on this great table fare. Perch are congregated there for spawning, so be prepared to catch quite a few.

You will likely have to do some sorting. Out of the ones you catch, you might keep one out of 10. They are running a little smaller so far this year than the magnum year that the anglers experienced two years ago.

Nevertheless, they are biting and it is just plain fun to go out and give them a try.

The best days are when the sun is shinning and there is just a little breeze. Last week, I went with the Hammer, Brandt Hamernick.

The lake is still low but coming up a little everyday. We thought we would be able to use the boat ramp by the Kwa Tuq Nuk but on Thursday when we pulled up to it, all we saw was a sign that said Keep Out on a closed gate.

It turns out that they are still working on lengthening the dock so they were working that day. When it is open that boat ramp is the most convenient to use.

We ended up putting in by the bridge at the Polson Park. We made it okay but make sure you bring your waders and four wheel drive. You will need both to get your boat in and out because of the low water level.

Blue Bay boat ramp is probably the ramp that would be easier to use, but there is a fee and it is about 15 minutes farther down the road north of Polson on the east side of the lake. To add to the time, it will take you another 20 minutes to get to where the perch are biting by boat from that boat ramp.

And be careful going through the narrows once again because of the low water.

Once we anchored, it was about 11a.m. At that point, fishing was very slow with Hammer catching three perch, all to small to keep. But at about 1:30 p.m., the bite was officially on.

It was like that the day before, too, according to Jens Gran, from Polson, who was fishing that day.

We had non-stop action from 1:30 until we left at 3:30 p.m.

Hammer went up the next day and got to the happy perch fishing ground around 12:30 p.m. He said there were about 25 boats anchored down in about 4 to 5 feet of water and all were catching fish.

So as the days warm up and the water warms up, look for the bite to start earlier.

We were using Zimmers perch set-up. The two hook fly set up has the weight at the bottom of the leader. Tip it with a piece of night crawler and just start bringing them in.

In other reports from lakes, Browns Lake is a hot spot for catching trout from shore. Flies or spawn are working well. The ice is now all off of Browns Lake.

Across the mountains east of Missoula the reservoirs north of Helena are producing trout. Once again use some spawn or power bait for best results.

Local rivers are fishing well for now until the warmer weather starts the spring-run-off. Stay away from the Blackfoot River. Fish the Bitterroot River if you want to float. If you like to wade, then give Rock Creek a try.

Enjoy! It should be a great spring weekend ahead.