Perch-A-Palooza on Flathead Lake
By Kamp Cook


I have always been a spontaneous person. It usually always leads to some of the best memories. Which was exactly the case this holiday weekend.

As each weekday gets closer and closer to the weekend, I find myself getting more and more stressed if I haven’t solidified a plan for adventure. That was especially the case for this Memorial Day Weekend. I didn’t have a clue what to do, and knew that it would be gorgeous weather. Thankfully, my pal “The Captain”, was gracious enough to let me borrow his fishing boat for the weekend. This opened up so many awesome possibilities, that I was sure my weekend was going to be amazing.

We started by heading to Lake Mary Ronan. The goal was to try and fill the boat with kokanee salmon. Unfortunately the salmon haven’t started to bite. We anchored near 8 other boats, only to see about 3 fish caught in 2 hours. The lack of action was starting to wear on my 4 year old son’s patience. We needed to find some fish and find them fast. That is when I made a call to Dick “The Mack Man” Zimmer, owner of Zimmer Tackle in Pablo. Zimmer was quick to inform me that he had found a good number of perch on Flathead Lake, and that fishing was so good you need to bring an empty cooler. I couldn’t resist. We motored back to the boat launch to load up the boat, and made our way to Polson.

According to Zimmer, the perch were biting right near the Kwatuknuk Resort. The irony of this had me laughing, as I was so happy to have acquired a boat to fish, only to find the fish biting so close to shore. Regardless, we anchored near the new pier, on what resembled a reef. The “reef” was what remained of the old pier, and had a 8 foot drop off into the water. This was the perch headquarters. Using one of Zimmer’s handmade “perch fly” set ups, we quickly went to work filling the boat. We also found that a simple tube jig (pink and green) was doing the trick. Each jig was tipped with night crawlers, but the perch seemed to really enjoy a little chunk of raw shrimp. We were easily catch a 8-10 inch perch on every cast. It did not take long before the cooler resembled a fish market.

So, whether you have a boat or fish from shore, you chances of hooking into perch should be pretty good for the next couple of days.

Huge thanks to “El Capitan” and Zimmer Tackle for making my Memorial Day Weekend such a memorable one for me and my son.

Note: I am sorry for not including a photo of the delicious perch tacos i made for dinner. I ate them too fast. Nom Nom Nom!!!!






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