A while back, someone described Montana’s seasons to me this way: “In Montana we have two seasons, winter and when it is not winter.”
This past week, it sure seemed that way in Western Montana. As most of you know, temperatures dropped into the teens overnight and rarely made it out of the 30’s during the day. The wind each day felt like it came right from the Artic Circle.
Global warming? Lately, it seems more like global cooling to me. Nevertheless, there are fish being caught on the rivers and lakes in the area despite the cold temperatures.
The perch bite on east Polson Bay on Flathead Lake has started. But that bite is also sensitive to the water temperature.
“Today, April 14, witnesses the beginning of the perch bite in East Bay,” was the post on Dick Zimmers web site at www.zimmertackle.com. “My fish finder’s thermometer read 49 degrees. By 4:30, it had risen to 56 degrees. The fishing went from very poor to spectacular during that time period. Five-five degrees seems to be the magic temperature for the perch to start to bite. I brought home 80 perch with lots of 10 and 12 inchers.”
Zimmer feels that the perch bite will continue through the next few weeks. There will be hit and miss days but for the most part the bite should be on.
The trout fishing has also picked up on a few lakes. “The ice is not off of Browns Lake but it should come off sometime this week,” reported Bob Culp on a recent trip to the lake. “The ice was away from shore a few feet and anglers were fishing from shore”. Culp said he talked to one guy that had caught three nice trout with the lightest one weighing 7 pounds.
“The walleyes have started to bite at Canyon Ferry Reservoir on the south end,” said Woody Shuler from Townsend in a recent e-mail, “at least that is what I was told by several people.” The fish that are being caught range from 12 to 17 inches and are good and fat according to Shuler. Most anglers are having success by the Ponds 1, 2 and 3.
Holter Reservoir is still producing nice catches of trout. Anglers are trolling a Rapala, Krocodile or Ghost Troller.
Spring Mack Days comes to a close this Sunday. The spring weather has really put the clamps on the numbers of lake trout that have been entered this year. It does look, however, that the anglers fishing this year’s event will do better that last year in terms of fish numbers.
That result has probably more to do with how the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the derby organizers, have revamped the format of the tournament to add more days for the anglers to fish.
The number of anglers is also up for this year’s event.
On Sunday, they will have a fish fry and the awards ceremony will be held. The fish fry gets under way at 4 p.m. with the awards to start at 5 p.m. I will be emceeing the event which will be held in Polson.
If you happen to be in the area, make sure you stop by and say hi.