The Best of The Captain’s Column – The Whitefish Bite
By angelamontana

Posted: June 29, 2017

Approximately four years ago around this time, the Captain was thinking about the whitefish bite at Flathead Lake:

Will this be the year that the popular whitefish bite happens on Flathead Lake? In the next two to three weeks we should know. It has been five years since the last whitefish bite and anglers are eagerly waiting to find out how this year pans out. Read full article here.

The mountain whitefish that we find in Montana is a native fish is typically found in streams, reservoirs and lakes.  The clearer, the colder the river, the more apt you will be to find mountain whitefish in Montana.

Whitefish provide forage for larger trout. They have evolved with our native trout and have been shown to provide little competition with trout. Their pointed snout and small round mouth makes them efficient at vacuuming invertebrates from the substrate while trout tend to feed more on drifting insects. Mountain whitefish often congregate in large schools on their fall-spawning runs to broadcast their adhesive eggs over gravel bars in tributary streams. Mountain whitefish are one of our most important native gamefish because of their abundance and willingness to take a bait or artificial fly. (via

Mountain whitefish can get up to 5 pounds or more, as Walt Goodman found back in 2007 while he was fishing Hauser Reservoir and reeled in a 5.11-pounder, which is also  the current state record, measuring almost two feet in length at 23 inches!

If you’re wondering if this year will be a year for the whitefish bite on Flathead Lake, be sure to check back to  Also, tune in to Catchin the Big Ones on Friday mornings and The Montana Outdoor Radio Show on any of our statewide network stations, including online.  We will keep you informed with up-to-date information on everything outdoors!

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