If you hold a tag, Archery season is right around the corner for antelope and the general archery season is only a few weeks away in Montana. Many bow hunters are beginning to get their bows tuned up along with their bodies. It is a good idea to start hiking around the backcountry to get your legs and heart in shape for the upcoming season. The professionals also recommend that you start shooting your bow to get your arms and shoulder in shape as well.
While hunters start to prepare for their upcoming season there is still plenty of good fishing to be had around the state this time of the year too! The lower Flathead River continues to produce nice catches of smallmouth bass and northern pike. “My daughter and I went fishing the lower Flathead River by Perma the other day last week and the smally’s were biting pretty good”, said Terry Baldwin of Missoula. Trisha Willey his daughter caught a nice size 34 inch northern pike. (Click here to view a picture of her pike on montanaoutdoor.com) “We were using banjo minnows and night crawlers on the bass and Trisha caught her pike throwing a green mepps spinner into the weed line on the river”, reported Baldwin.
The kokanee fishing is very good on Lake Koocanusa according to Tami from Northwest Sports in Eureka. She reports that anglers are not having any trouble catching their limit of kokanee and that the salmon are up to 15 inches this year.
Flathead Lake continues to produce lake trout. Trolling or dead-bait fishing are working well. Jigging in depths of 240-270 feet has also been effective.
Canyon Ferry Reservoir is still good for walleye fishing. It has been best early in the mornings and late in the evening according the Adam Strainer from FWP in Helena. Quite a few walleyes are being picked up mid reservoir, especially around White Earth and Goose Bay, trolling worm harnesses in 15-30 feet of water.
Holter Reservoir the rainbows have gone deep, but those trolling cowbells at 30-50 feet deep are finding good results in the morning from Split Rock to Holter Dam. Walleye fishing continues to be good while using worms or leeches at 10-20 feet deep in bays in the lower reservoir and around Holter Dam.
The walleye fishing is still good on Fort Peck Reservoir. The Fall Classic out of Crooked Creek just concluded last weekend and most of the 42 teams caught fish during the two-day tournament. The winning team of Kerry Parson and Doug Rohlf of Great Falls caught 45.3 pound of walleyes. Each team can enter 5 fish each day so 4.5 pounds is a nice average per fish. Crooked Creek Marina (406-429-2999) is now open with fuel and will remain open until November 1 depending on the weather. Crooked Creek is on the west end of the 134 mile lake; on the east end by the dam the King Salmon are starting to bite. “It still is hit and miss but we have had some anglers go out and catch more than one salmon in a day and as many as 5 in a day”, reported Gene Moore from Lakeridge Motel and Tackle Shop on Fort Peck. The salmon are running 12-29 pounds.