“I just Can’t Keep My Mind off Fishing”: Captain’s Column
By angelamontana

Posted: September 12, 2013

I know that upland bird season is open and archery season opened last weekend, I also am aware that this Sunday, the backcountry rifle season will begin. Hunting is in full swing but please excuse me if I can’t quite focus all of my attention to chasing critters.

September is one of the months that make it hard for an angler to put down his fishing rod and cover up the fishing boat for the year. In my case, I just can’t keep my mind off fishing when I keep receiving glowing fishing reports from anglers throughout the state.

On top of that, I am trying to plan a couple of short, overnight fishing trips before I head out for a week long elk bow hunting trip later this month. In the meantime, I am practicing daily with my bow and walking 3 miles a day to get in shape for the hunt. If you have been hunting, I hope you have had some success.

Steve Sautter from Missoula had some success grouse hunting on opening weekend. “I saw about a dozen grouse both times I went out and ended up bagging my limit”, said Sautter. Sautter will also be conducting a reloading class on September 16 at 6:00 PM. It runs on 3 consecutive Mondays- 16th, 23rd, 30th. Cost is $61.00. You may register online at: thelifelonglearningcenter.com. The course is called Metallic Cartridge Reloading and the course number is 14BS025.

One of those fishing reports came in an e-mail from Joe Herbold of Jordan fishing for Small mouth bass on Fort Peck Reservoir Sunday, “It was one of the great days. Lot of smallies. The biggest, 5# 2oz. From 6′ to 12′ of water. Not far from Hell Creek Marina, I had 4 three pounders in the live well and released them all. Used Sinko worms. Pumpkinseed color. It was just a shame I had to quit, the bite was still rolling. Probably caught 30 fish today.”

The fall bite for small mouth bass can be very good and you don’t have to go all the way to Fort Peck to experience it. “I have really done well on smallmouth on the lower Flathead River”, said Brandt Hamernick from Missoula.

September is also the time of the year that the larger trout start to feed aggressively on Holter Reservoir. Try trolling a fire tiger syclops or a j-7 orange and white or a fire tiger jointed rapala. As the daytime and night time temperatures start to cool down, a little the bigger trout will start biting in the 9-15 feet depth of water. The best luck I have had has been around Cottonwood Creek, by Oxbow Bend, on Holter.

I also understand the perch and walleyes are starting to bite better on Holter, according to this report from Troy Humphrey of FWP, “A lot of small walleye and perch are being caught around weed beds and small bays throughout the reservoir. Jigs tipped with a worm in 12 to 20 feet of water have provided the most consistent results”.

Yes it is September and a great time of the year to be in Montana, whether you are hunting or fishing!

(Written by the Captain; Cover photo: bighornrivermontana.com)