With the help of the weather man summer has finally arrived in Montana. The recent warm temperatures have heated up the lakes and the fishing has turned into a lot more catching for anglers. River fishing is still challenging with high water but the lakes are a different story.
Don Beardsley, Steve Hellegaard and I went to Lake Mary Ronan on Sunday to fish for the kokanee salmon. The bite was very steady most of the morning. We ended up with our limit by 1pm after getting on the water around 8am. Raw shrimp with shrimp oil worked well. We were fishing in 24 feet of water. We also caught about a dozen perch so it appears the perch are starting to bite better with the warmer water. The water temperature was 65 degrees. Kokanee salmon fishing is also good on Bitterroot Lake 20 miles west of Kalispell according to Chauncey from Snappys in Kalispell. Nice size kokanee salmon are being caught by jigging in 40 feet of water. I also heard reports from Ashley Lake that nice size kokanee were being caught jigging in 35 feet of water
The Lake trout on Flathead Lake are deep with best results by jigging or trolling in 160 to 200 feet of water. “Fish the breaks where the depth has a sharp transition”, according to Mo Fisch, “try the east side of the center bar south of Woods Bay to Yellow Bay”. The original Flatfish from Wordens Lures is a good old-“go to bait”. The white belly and red top seems to be working the best. Trolling slow at 1 to 1.3 miles per hour works best.
The northern pike are biting well on Noxon Reservoir according to John Harris from Lakeside Resort. The bass are in their spawning mode with the water temperature reaching 56 degrees and the perch are also starting to bite better.
Fishing on Canyon Ferry Reservoir has really improved. Trolling for trout in 15 to 25 feet of water is working the best. Pull a J-7 or J-5 size rapala for best results south of and north of White Earth Campground. Walleye fishing has finally started to pick up on the south end. Pond 4 was producing a lot of fish with the most in the 13 to 14 inch class. There is still plenty of debris floating in the water on the south end so be careful.
Holter Reservoir is still a great lake to fish for both trout and walleye. Anglers trolling are doing well in deeper water from the Log Gulch Campground to the Dam in middle of the lake. Walleye fishing has been good up and down from the Gates to Cottonwood Creek.
It is time this Friday and Saturday for the 24th annual Governors Walleye Cup on Fort Peck Reservoir. The walleye bite has been great so look for some big weights. The water level has dropped to a more manageable level at 2250 elevation. We will broadcast the Montana Outdoor Radio Show live from Fort Peck this Saturday as I will be Master of Ceremony for the tournament.