WOW, has the 2017 charter season been one to remember, and perhaps the even better news is, it ain’t over yet! There is still plenty of fishing left as we move from Summer to Fall, as the days get a little shorter and the temperatures (hopefully) get a little cooler. Archery and upland bird hunters wait all year for September, and anglers should feel that same longing as we begin to again target big Rainbows, pre-spawn Lake Trout and Lake Whitefish, pre-ice Perch and more.
But let’s back up a bit. At the beginning of the season, Cindy and I purchased Mo Fisch Charters based out of Lakeside, Montana, adding to the A Able fleet of four boats based primarily out of Marina Cay Resort in Bigfork. The three historically full time boats in the Mo Fisch fleet would shrink to only one full time and two part time boats for 2017 due to personnel changes, creating quite the scheduling challenge, but all the guides in the now combined company knew the obstacles we faced (or so we thought) and were ready for what the summer would bring, all working under the new banner of “Howe’s Fishing”.
The Mackinaw fishing was great in the early stages of summer, backed up by the strong catches of all the boats that participated in the annual Fishing Without Barriers event. All five of the participating Howe’s Fishing boats had better catches than we have had in years, contributing greatly to the number of fish brought in for the fish fry and ensuring that everyone who wanted a seat to go fishing were accommodated.
As the summer progressed, many of the Lake Trout we cleaned were packed with small perch, and soon after, the Lake Superior Whitefish showed up in numbers not seen for almost a decade. By late July, these feisty and delicious fish would dominate our catches as all the Captains were determined to “one-up” their teammates each day, with many outings putting upwards of 20-30 fish per trip into the nets! The only thing better than the numbers of Whitefish were when large Lakers began to be caught on the outskirts of the giant schools of Whities! A ten to twenty pound Mackinaw, caught relatively shallow on medium light spinning gear, offers an incredible fight, surpassing almost any other freshwater battle on the planet.
With September’s arrival, the combined efforts of A Able Charters and Mo Fisch Charters provided over 600 guided trips to clients from Montana to Maine and all corners of North America, not counting our dozens of trips conducted on Fort Peck in Eastern Montana, and we aren’t done yet! The Whitefish and Lake Trout are still biting daily and Walleye, Lake Trout and Chinook Salmon on Fort Peck are still providing incredible daily opportunities. If you want to catch a mid-twenty pound Chinook salmon anywhere between Alaska and the Great Lakes, we need to get you on a boat with us out of the Lakeridge Resort in Fort Peck!
Large Kamloops/Gerrard Rainbows will be occupying our time very soon, as will pre-spawn Whitefish in the Flathead River on our War Eagle jet boat. Also, Pike, Bass and pre-winter jumbo Perch as we start to think about our guided ice fishing trips from the Flathead Valley to Fort Peck that will begin in December, if we get any kind of early winter. No other outfitter in Montana offers the variety of trips in multiple locations all season long as the combined services of Howe’s Fishing, A Able and Mo Fisch Charters can.
2017 was an amazing year, and as we segue into Fall and Winter, all of us stand ready to make your fishing memories our top priority and as always, Cindy and I, as well as Matt, Clay, Pat, Chris, Bryan, Jr, Cameron, Tommy, Jason, Eddie, Taylor and Justin ALL wish you tight lines and we hope to see you on the water real soon!
Mike Howe, Outfitter