Winter Sports in High Gear: Captain’s Column (1.22.15)
By angelamontana

Posted: January 22, 2015

(photo via the Wiese family)

Winter sports activities are in high gear this time of the year in Montana. Whether you are snowmobiling, trapping, cross country skiing or downhill skiing we have been blessed with an abundance of snow in the high country to accommodate whatever your outdoor winter heart desires. Ice anglers are also having success as many of the lakes that didn’t have adequate ice just a few weeks ago now good to go!

The ice fishing reports are coming in most notably from Dick Zimmer from Zimmers Tackle as he covers most of the lakes within a few miles from Pablo in his most recent e-mailed fishing report last weekend, “Lots of snow on relatively thin ice makes for a cold sloppy mess.  Fortunately the discomfort you feel above the ice doesn’t affect the fish under it.

This has been one of the best years for trout (mostly brown trout) at Crow Reservoir.  A lot of small perch and a few larger ones is also the norm. When fishing two poles there I like one to be baited with night crawler and the other with maggots and/or fish eyes.

Both Turtle Lake and Kicking Horse Reservoir have myriads of small perch with some larger perch and bass not being uncommon.  Here again I prefer a smaller setup baited with maggots or fish eyes and a larger setup (tube jig) baited with a good sized piece of Night Crawler.  Almost all of the larger fish I catch will be on the Night Crawler setup.

Lake Mary Ronan has produced some good catches of perch near Camp Tuffit in depths around 20 Feet.  Fishermen are getting good catches of Kokanee many places in the Lake including out in front of Lake Mary Ronan Lodge”.

Today Pablo and Ninepipes Reservoir opening up to ice fishing after being off limits to anglers because of waterfowl season.

Looking ahead the Annual Perch Pounder will begin in Region One Waters on February 1 and run through the end of February on the 28th. “The Perch Pounder is very popular for anglers and we are limiting the contest to 200 participants”, said Gene Fincher 406-261-6445 who organizes the event. If the largest perch that is caught during the Perch Pounder beats the Montana state record it will be worth an additional $500 in prize money. The current yellow perch state record is 2.39 pounds and was actually caught during the Perch Pounder in 2006 out of Lower Stillwater Lake by Josh Emmert

An Idaho 12 year old appears to have broken the yellow perch Idaho State and World Record with a perch she caught ice fishing last winter. Last March 1,2014, Tia Wiese and her dad Gary went fishing on Lake Cascade. Tia landed a perch that weighed 2 pounds 11.68 ounces to claim the new state record in Idaho and just recently Wiese was notified that it is also a new world record from the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Wisconsin. The old record of a yellow perch caught while ice fishing with a tip-up was 2 pounds 6 ounces and was caught in Massachusetts. (Photo above)

(Written by the Captain)