Fishing Big Horn Lake with Professional Angler Pat Slater
By angelamontana

Posted: October 15, 2012

Pat Slater, professional angler with Mack’s Lure and Ranger Boats, made it out on the water Saturday, October 13th.  Check out his report (below) of what the fish were biting at Big Horn Lake:

Photo courtesy of Pat Slater

Hi Everyone,

Where has this year gone?!  It’s the middle of October, daylight hours are getting shorter and shorter and snow has carpeted the high country.   My fishing partner and I were actually scouting for early ice fishing locations as we motored out for our day on Big Horn Lake.  Well let’s not rush winter just yet, ok??

I’ve spoken of waiting for cooler water temperatures which then triggers the dreaded “turnover” that precedes the fall feasting and the first two have taken place…

The 60 plus miles of Big Horn Lake has an incredible abundance of natural forage and the fishery is extremely healthy.  We’re talking billions of emerald shiners and other bait fish, crawdads, insects, etc.  Those facts make fishing there a bit of a challenge; the fish simply don’t need what we have on the end of our line regardless of what it is.  Our work was cut out for us!

The game plan was jigs and minnows and dead sticks with a bottom bouncer and floating jig tipped with a very lively minnow. The simple tip for both these rigs is to take some kind of “plastic” (ie. curly tail or worm) and cut or tear a 1/4 inch piece off and after hooking the minnow through its’ nose, slide the piece of plastic onto the hook past the barb.  A struggling minnow or numerous casts tend to enlarge the hole made by the hook which accounts for lots of lost minnows.  This little trick keeps your bait where you want it.  

We had a productive day, the fish wanted a more active presentation as the dead stick rods saw very little action.  The wind gusted occasionally and it was cool requiring a light jacket but it was a memorable day.  Incredibly I landed TWO tag fish within fifteen minutes of each other!

I’m still hoping for that long “Indian Summer”!

Til next time….Be Smart and Be Safe!

Pat Slater
Pro Staff: Mack’s Lure & Ranger Boats

Photo courtesy of Pat Slater


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