If you like to hunt and fish in Montana it’s a new year. And with the new year there are a couple of items that you need to put on your list to complete. The first order of business is to get your 2015 fishing license. Secondly while you are at the license counter of your favorite sporting goods store make sure you get the special big game application because the March 16th deadline to complete that is fast approaching. While you are there take the opportunity to see what is new in fishing gear and tackle. You also might check out the end of the season discounts on ice fishing equipment. If you are in the market then pick up a few of those items because the savings can add up, plus there are still ice fishing opportunities to be found across Montana.
With the new fishing year comes the opportunity to enter into fishing contests. Tournaments are a great way to make some extra cash while enjoying a day or two on the water then check out the tournaments you can enter. There are fishing tournaments all across the state for bass, walleye, and trout. In fact the Spring Mack days on Flathead Lake will kick off Friday March 20th and runs through May17 this year. This spring you can win part of $225,000 that they will potentially be giving away. Learn more about the annual lake trout event of Flathead Lake by going to mackdays.com
Looking ahead to the summer is another tournament that has gained popularity over the last few years is the Montana Walleye Governors Cup. Last year 139-two person teams competed in the two day tournament. The maximum number of teams that they will take is 150 so if you are thinking about signing up this year it might be a good idea to get it done sooner than later, before the tournament field fills out. The popularity of this event, which is based out of Fort Peck and put on by the Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce, comes down to how good the fishing is and money. Cash payouts are always appealing for anglers with the winning team last year taking home more than $11,000. The fishing however on this 134 mile reservoir is probably the real draw. Fort Peck anglers have experienced exceptionally good fishing for multi species. Walleye is certainly on the top of the list but northern pike and small mouth bass fishing has also been excellent. The good fishing opportunities can be attributed to the water elevation, which has remained fairly consistent over the past five years on the lake. Peak fishing months of June and July have seen campgrounds and motels sell out. So if you are planning on making a trip to fish Fort Peck during that time frame I would advise you to plan ahead.
I know with the unusually mild weather that we experienced in February I caught myself daydreaming more than once about the fishing days that lie ahead for me on some of my favorite lakes and rivers. The days are getting longer and before you know it spring will be here. So it is time to “license up” and get ready to catch the big one.
(Written by the Captain)