Western Montana ice fishing update
By Hookemharry

Posted: February 20, 2008

Ice fishing reports have been very spotty, ranging from fair to poor. That’s pretty normal for this time of year.

My 20-year-old son Harry and some buddies ice fished at Georgetown Lake on Monday. The report was that a few trout were being caught with only two of them being labeled as nice-sized fish.

The fishing report chat board on www.montanaoutdoor.com is full of anglers asking about lakes and anglers who have been to the lakes ice fishing.

Woody Shuler, from Townsend, reported Holter Lake “was slow for perch, but rainbows were goofy. Fished at first site on North end of lake just 50 yards from shore in about 14 feet. Fish were on the bottom to just under a foot from the bottom. Lots of small fish about 10 to 12 inches, but real beauties showing ranging from 15 to 20 inches. Fished for about 3 hours and caught approximately 35 fish with a few perch in between.”

Woody continued his report recommending anglers call the Canyon Store at Wolf Creek (406-235-4111) for current information.

The fishing report out of Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks says that the Helena Valley Regulating Reservoir continues to be slow for kokanee fishing and perch fishing is also slow.

Hauser, according to the most recent report, is producing some nice rainbow fishing from shore below Canyon Ferry Dam. Power bait and spawn sacks seem to be the bait of choice. Rainbows are also being caught through the ice at Black Sandy and York Bridge on jigs and maggots.

Walleye and perch fishing are slow on all three reservoirs at Helena. Also note that at this time of the year, caution needs to be used when ice fishing. Make sure you know the depth of ice before you venture out.

The Perch Pounder is well underway, ending its second of four weeks last Saturday. Bob Poore of Kalispell ended in first place for the week with a 1.364 pound perch and George Strickle took second place for the week with a 1.312 pound perch. Poore is still leading the whole tournament to date with that 1.364 pound perch and Jack Hagel is close second with a 1.322 pounder.

There is still lots of time to enter. The Pounder ends Saturday February 28.

“Right now, Smith Lake has been the hot spot for fishing with upper Thompson and Lower Stillwater Lake showing some nice perch,” adds Gene Fincher tourney organizer, “and Pablo Reservoir has also produce some nice size perch.”

The Perch Pounder is open on all lakes and sloughs in FWP Region One. For more information, contact Fincher at 261-6445 to register or get rule information.

Spring is getting closer. Spring Mack Days is just around the corner. The derby starts March 13 and will run every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through April 26.

The annual spring derby takes place on Flathead Lake and offers the possibility to win part of a potential $45,000 in cash and prizes.