The Dog Days of Summer, Good Fishing and Archery Preparation: Captain’s Column
By Kjel

Posted: August 16, 2012

The dog days of summer are definitely upon us. Hunters that are out with a 900 series antelope tag are going to face some hot dry conditions. It is also time for hunter education courses are set to begin soon in many communities around western Montana. Students can register online now at fwp.mt.gov.  All hunter education classes are free, and a student must be at least 11 years old to receive certification.  Any person born after January 1, 1985 must present a Hunter Education Certificate in order to purchase a hunting license in Montana.  And prospective hunters must be 12, or turning 12 by Jan. 16, 2013, to hunt during the fall season.

Fishing is good on the rivers in the morning but reports that I have received indicate that the afternoon is a great time to take a nap or read a book. Then if you still have the itch to go fishing try it just before dark.

Jim Johnson from Lincoln called to tell me that he went fishing with Dennis Peterson also from Lincoln last Thursday and Peterson caught all the fish. “We had 4 poles out and all were rigged up the same but for some reason the only pole that received any action was Petersons”, reported Johnson. He later explained to me he thought his lack of luck fishing for the lakers in Flathead lake was the fact that he just bought a new lime green fishing shirt. It must be the dog days of summer! They were using the Zimmer whole dead-bait set-up and fishing in 90-110 feet of water around Bird Island. They fished from 9-3:30pm that day and with the temperatures close to 100 degrees in the afternoon that new lime-green fishing shirt by Under Armour that Johnson was wearing kept him comfortable. “There was a slight breeze so the new shirt was nice to have on with all its special features lime green and all”, added Johnson, “even though I didn’t have a chance to reel in a fish”.

Remember the Great Montana Mack Attack and Whitefish Jigfest will be held on Flathead Lake August 25-26 this year. For the $25 ticket to enter contact Gene Fincher at 406-261-6445

State fisheries biologists say that hot weather has caused the death of hundreds of Cisco, a prevalent forage species, in the Fourchette Bay and Narrows area of Fort Peck Reservoir. Cisco, also known as lake herring, is typically found in the deeper, colder areas of the reservoir. Warm water temperatures — recently documented as high as 84 degrees Fahrenheit in the Fourchette area – and subsequent low levels of dissolved oxygen take their toll on some types of fish, especially Cisco. “We’re getting reports of hundreds of Cisco floating and washing up near shore,” said Heath Headley, the reservoir’s lead biologist with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks. “While the numbers of dead fish may seem like a lot to anglers, they should remember that the area where the die-offs are occurring is quite small when compared to the rest of the reservoir.” Headley said Cisco die-offs have occurred in the same part of Fort Peck Reservoir in past years. Shallow depths make the water more susceptible to large fluctuations in temperature.