Fort Peck salmon remain a mystery
By Hookemharry

Posted: September 4, 2003

The king salmon fishing at Fort Peck Reservoir continues to be a mystery to anglers – including me.

I went last weekend and fished four days for those chinooks, lake trout and walleye. The lakers were the only species cooperating on a consistent basis. We ended up with 15 over the three days.

We zeroed on the walleyes and hooked three salmon. The salmon hook-ups all came on the first day, as we boated just one of these tough fighters. The other two salmon benefited from biting off the line just above the squid and from a tangled line around our 10-pound downrigger ball. With the salmon apparently hooked we set the hook on the line and it broke off.

The next day another angler found a 20-pound salmon floating nearby with a flasher and squid that matched what we were using the day before.

The locals are still hoping for some better action on the salmon for September.

The largest lake trout we caught weighed just over 20 pounds and was 35 inches in length. Most of the Lakers were in the 8-12 pound range.

PERCH – Last week, I wrote that perch was not a game fish. Well as it turns out they are a game fish, according to Jim Vashro, fisheries manager for Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks in Kailspell.

According to his e-mail, Vashro writes: Yellow Perch and crappie were designated as gamefish by the 2003 Legislature. Anglers can no longer throw small perch on the ice and leave them. You can however still use parts of perch for bait – the Helena office of fisheries are defining what is legal.

SEELEY LAKE — Fishing up in the Seeley Lake area has started to pick up according to Bob Harlock. “Lots of nice northern pike and perch are being caught in the lake,” added Harlock. “The trout are also coming on as the water temperatures cool off”. Harlock can be reached at 406-677-2335 for daily updates.

FLATHEAD – Dick Zimmer reports the fishing on Flathead Lake and Lake Mary Ronan continue to produce nice catches. “Use Kasmasters, Rattle D’Zasters and RattleSnakeys in about 50 feet of water. Green reflector tape is a must on these jigs for best results. A yellow LMR special tipped with maggots above these is always a plus,” says Zimmer. Zimmer also recommends a more aggressive jigging action in September to attract the lake superior whitefish. “The Rollins area, near the north end of the lake at the river mouth, the north point of Woods Bay, The north point of Yellow Bay and the west side of the narrows are your best bets” says Zimmer. Zimmer can be reached at 406-675-0068 or

LAKE MARY RONAN – Mike Doran from Lake Mary Ronan says the salmon fishing has been good. Anglers have been doing well jigging in 45 feet of water at 32 feet, straight across from the lodge. Trolling is also starting to pick up for rainbows for anglers using a wedding ring tipped with corn. Troll in the Christian Camp and Eagles Nest Bays in about 24 to 28 feet of water.

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