The Next Few Days Should Tell the Story of the Whitefish Bite: Captain’s Column
By Kjel

Posted: July 26, 2012

A lot of Western Montana angler’s eyes and ears are looking and listening for any positive information on the whitefish bite that will hopefully take place this year on Flathead Lake. I called the “Macman” Dick Zimmer of Pablo and Zimmers Tackle earlier this week to see if he had heard of any whitefish being caught. “I talked to one angler who is a pretty good angler and he went out one day last week and caught one whitefish, “added Zimmer, “he covered a lot water in the Big Arm and Elmo Bay area and ended up catching the whitefish in about 40 feet of water”.  So at this point it doesn’t look good but the inventor of the Rattle-D Zastor the popular whitefish lure says the next few days should tell the story if there will be a whitefish bite or not. Zimmer did say the lake trout are biting though. “We went into Skidoo Bay and it seemed the deeper we went the more consistent the fish were biting, we had our best luck in 240-270 feet of water”, said Zimmer. The two lures that were producing the best for Zimmer were the white glow-jig and lead-a-gator.

I went fishing last week with Don Beardsley and his grandson Cory Jackson. We were fishing for lake trout between Bird Island and Finley Point. We ended the day catching 8 nice lake trout, with one over the 36 inch slot, two in the slot and 4 under the 30 inch slot. We were using the whole dead-bait set-up and we were fishing in 85 to 120 feet of water.

The dates of this year’s Great Montana Mack Attack will be moved to combine it with the Whitefish Jig Fest on Flathead Lake. For 13 years the Great Montana Mack Attack was held the first week in August. “We decided to move it and combine it with the Whitefish Jig fest which will be held August 25-26th and headquartered out of the Vista Linda on the north end of the lake in Somers “said tourney organizer Gene Fincher. By combing the two fishing derbies the categories have also increased for anglers who enter to have a better chance to win. The dual tourney will be headlined of course with the largest lake trout entered being awarded the largest cash prize. Here is a listing of the categories that this year’s combined derby will offer

Lake Trout – largest one over 36″, participants must call in and verify their largest fish before they bring it in. Five places for Lake Trout 28″ and under by weight of one fish. For Lake Trout 26″ and under, the participants receive a lottery ticket for every fish they bring in. The more fish, the more chances of winning. They will draw for first, second and third place money. One place for the largest Northern Pike Minnow.  Whitefish – five places based on the largest of one fish. If they have lots of participants they will pay up to 10 places in the Whitefish category.

You can purchase tickets at these outlets:  Snappy’s Sport Senter, Sportsman Ski Haus Kalispell, Gene Fincher at (406)261-6445,or at Vista Linda in Somers.

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