Spring has sprung! The weather doesn’t feel quite like it yet but, as the days pass, we will start getting more and more of those nice, shirt-sleeve spring days.
When that happens, a lot more anglers will be out testing the waters of Montana. If you are like me and can’t wait for the warmer temperatures, than dress warm and head out. Whether you are fishing rivers or lakes the fish are biting.
Spring Mack Days concluded its 2nd weekend and over 400 anglers are fishing the derby. “We have close to 3,000 fish entered – maybe a little more – so considering the weather we have had with the wind, snow and rain at times, we think that is a pretty good start so far,” said Cindy Benson from the the Confederated, Salish and Kootenai Tribe.
Most the fish are being caught jigging so when the wind comes up it makes it a little tougher to keep your boat anchored. You may still enter anytime just log onto www.mackdays.com
“The fishing is hot at Holter Reservoir,” reports Woody Shuler from Woody’s Lures in Townsend. “The Gates of the Mountains is wide open and trout ranging from 18 inches to 24 inches can be caught all day.”
Successful trollers are using original floating Rapalas in #5 and #7, Cyclones, Mepps and Ghost trolls. Shuler claims that he caught the most and largest fish on the 1/8 ounce ghost trolls tipped with maggots and worms. “The best area seemed to be in the stretch where the river and lake come together, in front of all the homes,” said Shuler. The 12-foot depth seemed to work the best for trolling your lure according to Shuler.
“I talked to Paul at the Canyon Store and he told me that a customer said he had good luck fishing walleyes by the Gates”, said Bob Culp from Frenchtown.
“Even though the weather forecast remains less than ideal, the fishing conditions are improving”, according to Doug Persico (825-6440) on his www.rcmerc.com fishing report Monday. The water temperature is 5 degrees warmer than it was a week ago on Rock Creek. “There have been a few skwala sightings and I am hoping that means that the main hatch will start this week,” reported Persico, “I am also looking for the March Browns to begin this week as well. Look for similar hatches on the other local rivers like the Bitterroot and Clark Fork Rivers too!
“There are huge numbers in a variety of sizes of perch that have shown up recently at the old city docks in Polson,” wrote Dick Zimmer (675-0068) from Pablo in a recent e-mail. “It should be fun for kids or anyone who wants a mess of perch.”
In Eastern Montana, there is a good walleye bite on Bighorn Lake, the 70-mile-long reservoir behind Yellowtail Dam with perch and ling also being caught. The ice should is expected to go out on Fort Peck Reservoir in about two more weeks.