We are in between ice fishing and early spring fishing when most fish are sluggish with the exception of pike and the cold water species in the salmonoid family (trout, salmon, and whitefish). A couple of good warm sunshiny days can change that quickly in both the river and shallow bodies of water which temperature wise responds to radiant heat. The warm water species (bass, minnow family and suckers groups) seem to begin to be active at 45 degrees and become very active at 55 degrees. This hopefully isn’t too far off.
When we get there one of the most popular fisheries is East or Ducharme Bay on the South end of Flathead Lake for perch and now small mouth bass. Judging from the number of perch I observed through the ice, it is going to be a banner year. It should be non-stop action for smaller perch with an occasional jumbo thrown in (Great fun and a positive experience for kids).
Most lake trout continue to be caught deep but predicted heavy rains should begin run off conditions which draw large numbers of trout to the river mouth at the North end of Flathead Lake. Cut bait on a variety of jigs will work well here. Try a whole fish if you’d like to target larger fish.
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