Anglers catching fish despite several summer challenges

Print Article

Folks who have been paying attention over the last couple of months have seen fishing conditions unlike any they have encountered around here for a long time, if ever. Virtually no runoff, unprecedented water temperatures and temperatures that rose like a rocket before it was even the middle of June were just a couple of things we have had to adjust to. On the other hand, I havenít spoken to anyone who has complained about the fishing; on the contrary, everyone, it seems, is catching fish.

Bass action in the valley has been strong and steady and I see no reason to think that will change this month. Weed growth is perhaps the biggest challenge, but those deeper pockets adjacent to thick weeds will hold both large- and small-mouth bass, especially in midday. And sometimes you just have to go into the thick stiff with baits designed to punch down through the weeds and come out clean. Bury your hook points into the body of your big worms, creature baits and weighted frogs and craws, using heavy braided line to help slice your way through. Most importantly, leave that bait sit for two to three, even four minutes or longer and let a big green bass help you bust it out of that cover.

Small-mouth are also in those deeper holes adjacent to shallow rocky areas, and spinner baits should still catch those fish. Try throwing Rippiní Raps up on that shallow structure early and late and dragging a big crayfish on a shaky head jig down the drop into deeper water midday. Dark, natural colors are best. Lastly, drop shot for those small-mouth bass in and around cover. Just about anything that swims can be caught using a drop shot rig, so be prepared!

Trout and salmon anglers trolling in the evening are catching nice fish on almost all of our area lakes. I had a blast recently on Little Bitterroot, trolling for salmon, using downriggers set at 25 feet and 35 feet, trolling orange and red DoubleSpin lures by Peteís Tackle, set about 25 feet behind the ball.

Perch on Lake Mary Ronan are as aggressive as ever in 12 to 20 feet of water. We found them in several places, with several spots well away from other anglers. A fat 18-inch rainbow trout was a nice bonus! Kokanee anglers are still doing well, and those fish will only get fatter and stronger as we move into fall. Also, look for good catches of yellow perch in Flathead Lake in the Dayton Bay, Elmo Bay and Cromwell Island areas. You MUST have a tribal license to fish those areas.

The whitefish bite on Flathead Lake is actually starting to happen.† You might have to move around a bit to find them, and by all means get out during the week if you can. Target 45 to 65 feet of water with Rattle Snakies, Peteís Whitefish Slayer and similar spoons.

Lastly, a shout out to our local Flathead Chapter of Walleyes Unlimited of Montana. Thanks to a generous donation, there is now a very nice dock at Blanchard Lake, as well as Horseshoe Lake in Ferndale. Our local chapter is one of the most active in the state and spends thousands of dollars every year right here in the Flathead on kidsí fishing poles, supporting the kidsí Hooked on Fishing program for local fourth-graders, and building and installing docks to improve our access to these great lakes. A shining example of getting it right and paying it forward for not only our kids but for ALL anglers in the valley. Iíll see you on the water!


Howe runs Howeís Fishing/A Able Charters. Contact him at www.howesfishing.com or 257-5214 or by emailing Mike@aablefishing.com

Print Article

Read More Mike Howe: Howe's Fishing

Ice show report

November 29, 2018 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Well, the unofficial kickoff to the ice fishing season begins this weekend, with the opening of the St. Paul Ice Fishing Show in Minnesota. This show is the granddaddy of them all, the biggest and lo...

Comments

Read More

Ice is back on the lakes

November 15, 2018 at 10:40 am | Daily Inter Lake The first glimpses of frozen lakes were viewed over the weekend, on some of the first lakes to traditionally freeze, but we have a long way to go before we can safely say that itís time to go ice fis...

Comments

Read More

Hereís the scoop on those little green jigs: You wonít be sorry!

November 01, 2018 at 10:08 am | Daily Inter Lake I donít think there is a freshwater fish on the planet that canít be fooled by a green jig. Sure, the size of that jig is relative to the size of the fish, in most cases, but fish eat small morsels ...

Comments

Read More

Winterizing your boat

October 18, 2018 at 10:58 am | Daily Inter Lake Unless you are a hardcore, all-season angler that uses your boat any chance you can get, it is time to think about putting her away for the winter. It is real easy to get distracted now with hunting...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2018 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X