(photo courtesy of Angela Montana)
The big news is the kokanee fishing at Lake Mary Ronan. If you haven’t caught a limit of fish in an hour or less you are doing something wrong. The Zimmer salmon Ready to Go has a rate of nearly 2 to 1 out-fished any other setups. The great Captain Catch’em (Mark Ward) of the Outdoor Radio Program will probably reluctantly verify that boast. You can catch them on anything from night crawlers to raw shrimp but we preferred maggots because they stayed on the hook a little better. The Captain was experimenting with a bare glow hook and still caught fish.
We were in a 25 foot depth in front of Camp Tuffit on the Northeast part of the lake. Chumming with corn doesn’t hurt. I used some scented with shrimp which I shared with a pair of mallards. I hope they change their friendly ways before next hunting season.
Last Sunday in the latter part of our day I spent fishing with my son (Macman Junior) just east of the Somers public boat ramp near the last shoreline is land in that chain. We were fishing in depths of 10 to 11 feet using wholefish setups and plastic covered jigs tipped with cutbait. Andrew was fishing with his boss and his 2 sons in a separate boat. It was refreshing to hear the excited squeals of those two young boys every time they hooked and landed a mackinaw 2 of which were slot limit fish. They ended up keeping 5 fish. I kept 8 all of which were over 3 Lbs. I released at least that many smaller fish 2 of which were bull trout. Considering the time of day and the size of the fish I was impressed with our afternoon there.
If you are interested in fishing for these lakers with a possibility of bull trout and pike in this shallow water, keep in mind that the surface temperature needs to be at or below 55 degrees for good fish activity. You’ll find the water temp cooler farther East but also muddier until you get to the Bigfork side of the bay where it clears up due to the clean water from the Swan River. A 10 foot water depth seems to be the magic number.
Bait fishing has been great in Polson Bay for the last 2 weeks. We’ve filled cooler after cooler on a no name point about 2 miles from the Polson boat landing on the west side of the bay. Our fish so far have been a combination of pike minnows (Sq.fish) and peamouth. A 2 hook setup tipped with nightcrawlers is effective. The bait fishing from and around the west end of the Armed Forces Memorial Bridge if not already will shortly kick in. Here you’ll be targeting large spawning pike minnows and suckers. Catching these large fish in this fast water can be a real workout. Also during this period there’s an opportunity for fly fishermen to pick up cutthroat trout that move into the area t his time of year. We sell the $10.00 commercial bait fishing licenses and pay $.60 a pound for large fish and $.20 each for fish between 5 and 8 inches.
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