Captain’s Column: Get Out Fishing
By Kjel

Posted: April 19, 2012

I love to spend time in the outdoors especially this time of the year. Spring is a great time of the year to work or play outside. I have a job that enables me to spend a good amount of time outdoors. Part of that job is to go fishing and sometimes I go alone like I did last week.

I had been putting off a trip to the Flathead River for various reasons. So two weekends ago I decided that I would make time on a Monday afternoon. I looked at the water flow on the Water Data page on and found that the Flathead River near Perma river was flowing about 11,000 cfs and it was about 11 feet high. Very fish able water conditions. The weather forecast for the day called for overcast and 65 degrees.

I hit the water about 2pm and headed down river to one of my favorite fishing holes. This time of the year I love to fish using smelt with a bobber and have had some great days in past years fishing for pike with this method. Once I arrived to my fishing hole I then discovered that I didn’t have any bobbers that were big enough to keep my bait off the bottom. So I decided to fish on the bottom. My patience was not very good that day so I only tried dead-bait fishing for about an hour.

Knowing that my time was limited on this fishing trip I decided to cast swim-baits in the weeds. I did this for another hour with no luck and then decided to troll along the weed beds. I trolled about 1.7 miles per hour and pulled a J-13 jointed Rapala with an orange-gold back/belly and cream colored bottom about 85 feet behind the boat. This is the same lure that Bill from Rock Creek Marina used when we went fishing for pike on Fort Peck last year.

It wasn’t long before my rod bent over. The fish on the other end of my line felt big. I was looking forward to seeing just how big the pike would be. It put up a good fight but to my surprise ended up being an 18 inch smallmouth bass. I was surprised because the water temperature was in the low 40’s and I didn’t think that the bass would be active.

Anyway after a quick snap shot I released this nice size smally back to where it came from. It wasn’t long until I finally had the fish that I came for when a 34 inch pike thought my rapala looked pretty good. It put up a great fight and was a real experience trying to net.

As everybody knows, any day you can spend on the water is always a lot of fun. Catching two nice size fish made this day a lot more fun! To view the two fish log onto

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