Fishing Report from the Macman

January 10, 2011


All of area lakes with the exception of Flathead Lake proper are frozen but still use caution on some of the larger lakes like Swan Lake, Bitterroot Lake and MC Gregor Lake

Perch fishing has been nominal in Crow Reservoir and the East Bay of Polson Bay.  It has been best in Turtle Lake and Lake Mary Ronan, where the kokanee also have begun to bit at night. 

There will be other opportunities at Nine Pipe and Pablo Reservoirs beginning this Saturday January 15 when they will be open for fishing. 

My tackle of choice for perch is either a ¼ or 1/8 oz Trilobite or a willow leaf jig below a fly.  I’ve found a piece of night crawler or a combination of perch eyes and maggots as best baits. 

East Bay and possibly stone Quarry Bay on Flathead are good bets for big shallow water lake trout; either a whole fish or link sausage being most often used as bait. 

Mac  fishing on open water in Flathead can be great for those willing to brave the elements.  The best depths often from 200 to 300 feet where mysis shrimp populations are highest.  The shrimp diet creates bright orange flesh making these fish great eating.  The ever more popular Spring Mack Days Tournament begins March 11 and continues for 3 day weekends until May 22. 

With a possibility of $125,000.00 in prizes available in a variety of categories including tagged fish valued anywhere from $100.00 to $1000.00, the top 3 being 1- tagged fish worth $10,000.00; 3 worth $5000.00; and 5 worth $1000.00 makes this over all the most profitable contest in Montana.  As an added note the top angler will be awarded a jacket and the other 9 best will be receiving sweat shirts monogrammed to make known their fishing prowess. 

Here are some reports of good fishing days in the recent past:

  1. David McDaniels had an 85 fish day fishing open water (Glo Grub combos worked best) on Flathead Lake.
  2. Alvin Haase and Steve Naethe caught 10 Lake trout through the ice on Stone Quarry Bay the largest being 38 and 40 inches (They were fishing with whole fish)
  3. Ray Theiler kept 79 perch from Lake Mary Ronan all of them over 8 inches.  Our new puff ball glow hook 3 to 4 inches below an attracter caught the most fish. 
  4. I caught over 40 perch through the ice at Turtle Lake 14 of which were between 8 and 10 inches.  I fished with a willow leaf jig below a fly.

Here is a list of Western Montana ice fishing tournaments worth considering for family fun:

2011 Final Winter Derbies

 Dates & Hours Contest Name Contact Person Telephone Waterbody Species of Fish Entry Fee # of Participants
Jan. 22-23, 2011 6am-5pm Pike on Ice Brad Walters 406-677-5253 Seeley & Salmon Lakes northern pike $30/person 60
Jan. 22-23, 2011 6am-7pm Fisher River Valley Winter Fishing Derby Dean Herreid 406-293-7115 Upper, Middle, Lower Thompson, Crystal & Loon Lakes pike, rainbow trout, perch, salmon $15/person 350
Feb. 1 – 26, 2011 8am-6pm 8th Annual Perch Pounder Gene Fincher 406-261-6445 All Region 1 Waters perch $15/person 200
Feb. 12, 2011 3am-2pm 11th Annual Lake Mary Ronan Perch/Salmon Derby Chancy Jeschke 406-257-7525 Lake Mary Ronan yellow perch, salmon free 300
Feb. 12-13, 2011 6am-5pm The McGregor Lake Fishing Derby Mike Feldmann 406-858-2253 McGregor Lake rainbow & lake trout $10/person 750
Feb. 19, 2011 9am-3pm Ryan Wagner Memorial Fishing Derby Mike Sartori 406-882-4018 Murphy Lake yellow perch, northern pike, large mouth bass, trout, sunfish, $5 adult, $2.50 12-17, Free 12 & under 250
Feb. 26, 2011 10am-2pm Lion Lake Canyon Kids Christmas Fund Fishing Derby Don Lietz 406-387-9042 Lion Lake perch, trout free 100
Mar. 5-6, 2011 8am-5pm 2nd Annual Bitterroot Bash Gene Fincher 406-261-6445 Bitterroot Lake salmon, rainbow trout $20/person 150
Feb. 26-27, 2011 6am-2pm The Perch Assault “Ultimate Assault” at Lake Mary Ronan Mike Howe 406-249-0556 Lake Mary Ronan yellow perch $150/team 150


For more information call us at 406-675-0068 or email us at macman

For a view of our product line check our website at

Good Fishing

The Macman

P.S. My favorite winter time tournament is at McGregor Lake in February the 12th and d13th.  There is a new management at the MCGregor Lake lodge.  Mike and Carolyn have reassumed ownership..  I don’t know how they feel about that but to me it is a definite plus.  For information give them a call at 406-858-2253

Happy New Year

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year! We look forward to another great year of fishing. With winter set in I am cleaning fishing reels , changing motor oils and just trying to keep busy waiting to get back out on the water. Look for us at the “Great Rockies Sport Show”,   Great Falls,Feb. 4-6, Kalispell March 11-13. Don’t forget to put new fishing line on those reels. A final report on Lake Koocanusa, it was a great fall/winter fishery. We ended up with a 15lb. rainbow and a 12lb. bull trout for bragging rights. We averaged over 12 fish per day. Most of the rainbows averaged 8 to 10lbs. The future looks very promising for this fishery. I plan on fishing this lake again as soon as the ice starts to melt, probably some time in late Feb. or early March. I will keep you posted when it starts fishing again. The most productive lures were bucktail flies, and Lyman Lures.

Remember if you’re not tangled you’re not trying!

Fishing report from Kootenay Lake B.C.


Hello All,  here’s the latest fishing report.  Pass it on to anyone who may be interested.

The Fishing Report
Jan. 4, 2011

Happy New Year Everybody !!

Kootenay Lake:

Well, we already kicked the new year off with big fish. Our annual New Years Day derby was an eventful one.  Randy Zelonka of Balfour landed a beautiful 20 Lb Rainbow to win the fun derby. Congratulations Randy.  Nice to start the new year with a great fish.  Can’t wait to see what the rest of 2011 has in store for us.

As for the latest report, Kootenay Lake has been good.  December saw some days with up to 15 fish to the boat.  It also saw some days with not so many fish.  Hard to predict what mood the fish were going to be in.  It seemed to change day to day.  Just when you think you have it figured out.  I guess that’s why they call it fishing.

One day we had 16 fish on during the day.  A lot of the fish were over 10 Lbs.  Definitely some excitement that day.  Another day, we only managed 5 fish on during the day, but 2 of them were 17 Lbs.  So, that’s a fair trade.

It seems like when the fish are on, they’re on.  Lot’s of occasions  we would get a fish on, and while fighting that fish, another fish would hit the other lines. ‘Double Header’ = Exciting times.

So, all in all, it’s been great.

What are they biting??

Our bucktail flies are still working on the choppy days.  We’re still getting fish on the usual patterns.  Black/White, Grey/Wht, and Purple/Wht seem to be the best.  Also my favorite Lyman plugs have been producing some good fish on the downriggers.  The 100, 102, 135, and lately #32 has been catching some nice Dollies on the riggers.  Flasher and hoochie combo’s are still working well on the downrigger as well.

It’s also that time of year.  The water temp has dropped and it’s time to start trying out the ‘Bill Norman’s’.   This will be a much slower presentation, but if the usual  lures aren’t working, the Billies just might be the trick.

Don’t be afraid to experiment.

January and February might produce fewer fish, but they are usually the biggest fish of the year.  So, hold on tight…….

Let’s get out there..

Tight lines…………

Kerry Reed

Reel Adventures Fishing Charters

Nelson B.C