Hunting and Fishing in Montana: Captain’s Column (8.14.14)
By angelamontana

Posted: August 14, 2014

If you hold a tag, archery season begins Friday for antelope, and the general archery season is only a few weeks away, as in Montana it begins September 6th. 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. As you might expect it is dry so take extra care to help prevent fires from starting when you are out in the backcountry. On that note make sure you know if there are any fire restrictions in effect in the area that you are hunting.

Fishing reports are still good on Flathead Lake. I went lake trout fishing with Jim Swanson from Polson the other afternoon. We ended up with 3 nice sized lake trout in about 3 hours of fishing. We were fishing in 106 feet of water with a whole pike minnow on the bottom. Jim’s wife Katie cooked one of the fish that night and they said it was delicious. It was the first lake trout that Swanson has ever caught and he was surprised how good it tasted. Here is the simple recipe that Katie used for the lake trout.   “Rub the fish with coconut oil and mayo, and then lightly sprinkle with simply salsa spice from Tastefully Simple or a combo of peppers, onions, and other great fish spices. Cook at 350 uncovered until the fish fillets can be flaked with a fork. Estimated cooking time about 35 to 45 minutes.”

The whitefish bite on Flathead Lake is hit and miss according to Jim Vashro from Kalispell. “A friend was fishing off Woods Bay Point last Friday. Lots of bait balls, he caught lots of whitefish and lake trout. The whitefish were spitting up perch fry”, he said in an e-mail to me last week. Vashro fished Woods Bay early last week and this was his fishing report, “Breeze from the north, very strong current sweeping northwesterly. Very hard to get a lure to the bottom, even in 30’, it was like being in a washing machine. I tried a number of spots without success even though I saw bait everywhere. I tried deep inside the bay to get out of the current, no bait. Fished points to the north where I’ve done well, no bait, hooked and lost one whitefish”. Always the avid angler Vashro gave it another try later on in the week, “I put in another 3 hours this morning. No whitefish. So my friend must have crossed paths with some whitefish chasing perch fry. My guess is that if you can find perch fry you’ll find whitefish but there aren’t many perch balls out there”.

I then received another e-mail from Jens Gran who lives in Polson with his whitefish report, “Talked to a guy this afternoon that caught 11 whitefish one day last weekend at Boundary Point at 42 ft depth mid day, they all had small perch in their stomachs”.

(Written by the Captain)