Some pretty good fishing to be found right now
By Hookemharry

Posted: July 15, 2004

The weather reports look like some hot days are coming our way in the near future. That’s normal for this time of year, but it means that the savvy fishermen will be adjusting their tactics.

If you are river fishing, I would recommend fishing early in the morning and then later in the day as the temperature cools down toward evening. If you are on the lakes, then make sure you are protected with plenty of sunscreen or have a cover to provide shade for you on your boat.

This is also the time of year to keep a weather eye out for afternoon and evening thunderstorms. It’s not the fear of getting wet in the rain, it’s the winds that typically accompany these storms that can get you.

As to the fishing, it appears to be holding up well as the weather changes.

‘”Fishing was non-stop for perch on Flathead Lake,” says Dick Zimmer in a recent fishing report. “We went to the south end of Big Arm State Park and were using a perch fly above a bottom weight and baited with a nightcrawler.”

Nightcrawlers seemed to work better for Zimmer than maggots. The perch were biting in depths of 25-40 feet of water. This is just a preview of the fishing methods for what will hopefully happen in the latter part of July. Then the lake superior whitefish move in to feed.

In years gone by, a lot perch concentrated in areas like this around the lake means an abundance of lake superior whitefish that come in to feed.

Lake trout fishing on Rocky Point, Blue Bay and Gravel Bay should be normal this time of the year. You will want to fish relatively deep in 195-225 feet of water. “I am using a #4 or a #08 1 ¾ oz Trilobite or #4 2 oz Leadagator,” says Zimmer. “Wwhen you fish Yellow Bay, Big Arm Elmo Bay and the Narrows, fish will be in depths of 40-60 feet and respond well to a trolled bait or throwing a small lead head such as a ½ ounce doodlebug or a ¼ ounce bandi leg Grubs in glows and green colors.”

Lake Mary Ronan continues to produce large numbers of small salmon and perch with some days producing larger fish, according to Zimmer.

If you want catch some largemouth bass, then head to Pablo Reservoir. The largest concentrations are on the dike close to the outlet gate. A nightcrawler above a bottom weight has proven better than more traditional bass baits in recent years.

Georgetown lake has been reporting great fly fishing activity. Browns Lake has been fair for trollers. With the warmer weather, the northern pike fishing up in the Salmon-Seeley lake area should continue to be good.

The Montana Governors Walleye Cup Walleye Tournament was won last weekend by Randy Aten, of Glasgow, and Leon Garfield, of Wolf Point. They won the $10,000 first prize, catching 47.06 pounds of walleye over two days on Fort Peck Reservoir.

The largest walleye caught weighed nearly 14 pounds and was caught by the team of Shawn White of Hinsdale and Audie Simpson of Saco. 147 teams competed in the 17th annual tournament that offered more than $40,000 in cash and prizes.