It is time to get your boat ready for open water fishing. The fishing reports are coming in and the fish are beginning to bite! I received an e-mail late last week Dick Zimmer from Zimmers Tackle in Pablo. Zimmer as he always does every year tries to get on Flathead in early spring and fish for perch in the East Polson Bay. Well this is what Zimmer had to say on how well the perch were biting, “It is that time again. The perch bite is on at the east side of Polson Bay on Flathead Lake. Miles Marchi and I made a foray out there Thursday, April 3rd. We were slightly north of Hell-Roaring Creek in 2.5 to 3.5 feet of water. The water was murky enough that the fish weren’t spooked by the boat.
Because a perch has a tendency to follow its hooked fellow, it wasn’t long before the best fishing was right next to the boat, which makes a short pole helpful. Night crawlers on a tube jig, fly or just a plain #6 hook all caught fish. During the early part of the perch bite, the water warming as the day progresses makes afternoon fishing the best. As water temperature increases, the perch will be active earlier. Besides the perch, now you’ll have a good chance to pick up a lake trout or even a whitefish. A little later, the small mouth bass begin to show”.
Spring Mack Days is in full swing on Flathead Lake and catching lake trout requires for you to fish deep according to Zimmer, “There are a variety of approaches to jigging lake trout. My latest best success has been in front of Yellow Bay across the deep water west in a 300+ depth. The newest twist to deep water jigging is to bait a fly above a cut fish baited jig with a night crawler. I normally catch more fish on the jig but with the change from cut bait to night crawlers on the fly it is now about a 50-50 thing”.
Open water fishing over on Holter Reservoir is now okay. “The ice is now off all of Holter and the fishing should be pretty good,” said Bob Culp from Frenchtown who was heading over last Monday to try his luck. Trout fishing normally is good around Oxbow bend by the cabins. Trolling 1.7 to 2 miles per hour an orange/white jointed J-7 size rapalas works well along with green needle fish and fire tiger syclops. The trout are normally in the 9-18 feet depth of water. This is also the time of the year that spawners can be caught by the boat ramps. That is especially enjoyable for kids as they are able to see the bigger trout cruise close to the shore-line, which adds to the excitement of fishing. Casting a fly usually works best while fishing for these larger trout near the boat ramps.
There is still time to attend the Dark Horn Chapter Mule Deer banquet in Missoula. It is the first year for this newly formed chapter and it will be held Saturday night April 12th at the University Center. For tickets and info contact Theresa Mondale at 406-544-5970.
(Written by the Captain; Photo via mybackyard.ca)