(photo courtesy of Jay Zimmerman)
It’s going to be “Fish On” this Saturday as the day marks the opening of Montana’s fishing season. Spring-run off will keep most of the anglers off the main rivers. Most of the river anglers will be fishing their secret back waters and small creeks while others will resort to lake fishing.
A couple of lakes that are popular with local anglers in Western Montana open this Saturday. Georgetown Lake is open except for the south and east shorelines check your 2013 Montana fishing regulations for the boundaries in that area. Kokanee salmon has no daily or possession limit and you can keep five trout daily and in possession, only two of which may be brook trout on Georgetown Lake. Lake Mary Ronan is also open this Saturday. This popular lake located just west of Flathead Lake had a great kokanee salmon season last year. It started strong last year on opening weekend and continued for a few weeks. The salmon were bigger and they were on the bite. Swedish pimples with a glow hook tipped with maggots and white corn work well for the salmon. Some anglers do well with a piece of raw shrimp too! Lake Mary Ronan has a daily limit of 10 salmon and a possession of 20 salmon. If you would like to view a video of salmon fishing on Lake Mary Ronan, then log onto www.montanaoutdoor.com. The video shows how, jigging with light tackle and developing a touch for the salmon bite, are the keys to catching more fish.
Browns Lake should be good for trolling for trout with a clown colored needle fish.
The Helena area reservoirs are still producing good catches of trout. Walleye fishing is still hit and miss. The south end of Canyon Ferry by the ponds might be your best bet to catch a walleye.
Over east on the big lake Fort Peck Reservoir, anglers have been fishing for the past few weeks after the ice went off. Fishing this time of the year for walleyes is hit and miss. Monday I received this walleye fishing report from guide Jim Muzynoski, “The walleye fishing on Fort Peck is starting to improve. The spawn is wrapping up. Last weekend the males in Hell Creek, Southerland, and west to Hell Creek and beyond were still milking. I believe that the females are pretty much done spawning and a few were starting to bite with the big spike in air temperatures. While the fishing is picking up it is still sporadic – hit and miss. Jig and minnow is your best presentation – either vertical jig or pitching. Fishing depths – 4 to 20 feet. From this point on fishing should continue to get better and more consistent. We had 2 fish over 30 inches – both released”.
I spoke with Bill from Rock Creek Marina, which is located on the Big Dry Arm on Fort Peck Reservoir. “Anglers have been complaining that they can’t get to the walleyes because the northern pike are hitting their bait before it gets to the walleye”, he added, “so if you like to northern fish come on out”.
(written by the Captain)