The ice is melting off of Flathead Lake and Westshore State Park is now open. Watch for some floating ice. In a week or so I am sure the lake will be completly open and free from all ice. We did two charters last weekend and it continues to be great fishing for big fish. We hooked 20 fish but only landed 13. The biggest fish was 38? at 19 lbs. All the fish were very healthy. Six fish in the slot size and a couple under the slot good for the dinner table. We were fishing deep at 190 to 200 ft. I look for the winter fishery to continue on the strong side. When the runoff starts, sometime in May, the fish will migrate to the river mouth. Get out and enjoy the great fishing. Be careful, pick a calm day.
See Ya on the water
The lake trout fishing on Flathead Lake remains steady!
The last couple of weeks we have averaged 15 fish in the boat each trip. Yesterday, the biggest fish was 38” long and 15.8 lbs. Today we boated 5 nice slot fish at 31” to 34″ and cleaned 10 smaller fish, just right for the smoker.
What to use:
Flatfish on the bottom. Try the Mag lip from Worden’s, also the original flatfish in size T-50 or T-55 red/white, glow/white, silver/blue, and frog. Remember fish all these lures close to the bottom and very slow.
Try the flats off Westshore State Park in 160’ of water. Try trolling south as you get into deeper water 200’. Remember, keep an eye on the weather. West Shore State Park is the only good usable boat ramp to use this time of year. FWP does plow and sand the road, also the boat dock is usable.
The fishing remains steady on Flathead Lake. Fishing the north end of the lake around the river mouth is your best bet in July and August.
Trolling the usual dodger, flasher, houchies combo still produces the most fish. Good number of eater size lake trout average 3-5lbs.
Also try a few spoons in the perch pattern near the surface. The fish are suspended through out the water column.
Mo Fisch Charters
The fishing on Flathead is in full summer mode. The runoff has ended and the water has cleared. Most of the fishing is being done around the delta area, which is west and east of the river mouth. The fish are staged at the edge of the drop off as the shallows drop into the deeper water around the delta. Try tolling in the 60’ of water out to 160’. Watch the fish finder and when you start to mark fish concentrate on that depth and target the feeding fish. If you start to get hits stay in that area and work those fish.
WHAT TO USE:
Try trolling #0 dodger from Silver Horde, Gold Star. #790, 793, and 110 all are working well. 23”-28 behind the dodger tie on a Ace Hi Fly also from Silver Horde in a # 142, 197 and a 224 all in the UV.
Also try #35 Octopus (41/4”) in color #8179, 8180 or 3140.
Troll the dodgers at 1.5 – 1.8 mph. vary your speed, troll in an “S” pattern, rather than a straight line. This will create various speeds to either the outside lines or the inside lines. You can also attach a small piece of cut bait to the front hook of the houchies or Ave Hi.
Also some spoons are working. Try perch patterns and some brass colors. The Sonic Edge spoons from Gold Star in a # 653, 663 and 110 work well.
I like to put down a couple downriggers deep and then flat line a couple spoons to cover all the depths.
Mo Fisch Charters
The fishing on Flathead Lake has been as unpredictable as the weather. Spring time in Montana has been windy rainy one day and sunny the next. The Flathead River run off is in full swing and with the amount of rain we have had this spring the river is putting a lot of stained muddy water and debri into the lake.
Where to fish:
The north end of the lake around the river mouth just south off the delta. Try fishing the south and the east side of the delta. Start your troll in 90’ of water and work your way into 50’ of water then out to 140’ of water. Watch your fish finder. You will mark a lot of fish on the finder then concentrate on those fish by changing up your lures and presentation. The fish can be suspended anywhere from 10’ down to 60’ move your presentation just over the top of the fish and keep working them, remember fish concentrate on what’s in front and above them, not what is below them.
Try fishing the deeper trenches of the lake in 120/200’ of water for the larger lake trout.
What to use:
When fishing deep and targeting the bigger fish try using the original Flatfish from Worden’s, Yakima Bait in the glow white T-50, T-55, &T-60 also in the red/white and the double glow. Remember to fish these lures slow and keep them on the bottom.
Also the Electronic Stingfish from Pro-troll in size 15-51/2” long work very well. Remember the e-chip in these flatfish is something that the fish can key on in the stained water. Try the Chrome Green Chart #387, Hot frog #412.
When fishing for the more numerous average size fish I like to use the dodger/flasher houchies combinations.
Flashers from Pro-Troll #8 series in #106 Glow Chart, #183 Blue Spatter Back, #188 Green Splatter Glow.
I have been having good results attaching an Ace Hi fly from Gold Start 24-32” behind these flashers. Also try a #35 Octopus (41/2”) behind these dodgers or a flasher from Gold Star. Houchies in the standard glow white or green and white are always a good starting point. Be creative; try some spoons and different color combinations.
“Remember there are fishermen, and then there are those that just go fishing.”
Mo Fisch Charters
The fishing on Flathead Lake remains to be steady. The fish are schooling more to the north end, south of the Delta area. The key this time of year is move around and find the bait and then you will find the lake trout. Try fishing 60’ to 160’ of water just on the south and the east side of the delta. At this time of the season try stacking on your downrigger. The runoff is dumping in enough water, debris and oxygenated water that the fish seem to be from top to bottom. Try some spoons on a flat line or stacking 35 to 60’ down while keeping the downrigger on the bottom for those bottom hugging fish.
Spoons on the long lines and stacking above the bottom hugging flasher/houchie combo’s are a good starting place this time of year. Try some deep diving Rapala’s or some heavy spoons.
Rainbows in the 5 to 8 lb. range are the average. Trolling the surface with streamer flies in some dark colors, silver and black, black/white/gold are always good colors. Lyman’s in silver and black or silver with pink are working well.
My biggest worry is that my wife (when I’m dead) will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it.
Fishing remains steady on Flathead Lake. Trolling in 180-200’ of water off the east side of the center bar. Try Brad’s Super Baits, also try Electronic ProChip 8 Series from Pro-Troll. 8” flashers in #105 glow green, # 746 Mountain Dew Glow on Chartreuse.Tie 28” behind the flasher a Ace Hi Fly in either a #182 Glow Green, or a # 197 UV glow in the dark. Remember keep those baits close to the bottom.
Also fish are showing up at the north end, off the river mouth. Fish are anywhere from 60’ down to 120’. Try using an F-2 chrome flasher from Silver Horde; tie on a Mother of Pearl Houchies #35 (4 1/4”) #2031, or #8011 double glow. You can tip these baits with a small piece of cut bait.
Tip of the Week;
Before you put the cooler away between fishing trips, take a ball of paper towels and put a little artificial vanilla on it. Throw the paper towels in the cooler, and the cooler will smell good as new next time you pull it out. I keep a roll of paper towels and a bottle of cheap artificial vanilla on the shelf right next to the coolers. Many times when I’m getting the coolers ready, I’ll just put the paper towels I pulled out of the cooler on the work bench and re-use them when I get home. The paper towels also soak up that little bit of moisture left over after you wash it out. “This really works”
I also put a piece of paper towel with the vanilla on it in any little storage area that gets that musty smell.
Tight Lines, Capt. Bob
Fishing for lake trout on FlatheadLake
in the month of April can be a bit frustrating. April is a transition month.
The spring runoff is the major player. The amount of runoff and how quickly the
snow melts will dictate where and how we fish the north end ofFlatheadLake.
Recently we have been fishing the east side of the center
bar in the 200 ft plus area.
Trolling flatfish on the bottom is still the lure of choice.
Try downsizing to the U-20 from Worden’s. I like the Luminous green strip, fire
tiger, and the white with the red head.
When we start fishing further north near the river mouth I
like to use a dodger from Gold Star in size #0, color #790 or 792, then attach
a 23” 25lb. mono leader with a mother of pearl #35 Octopus (41/4”) or in a
double glow #8034.
Also try a F-2 flasher from Silver Horde to create a larger
area of flash and more action to your houchies or fly.
Fishing for the big rainbows in LakeKoocanusa
in the spring offers a great cure for spring fever.
The number of fish per day this time of year is in the 8 -12
fish per day, not bad!
The rainbows seem to average in the 6-10 lb. range.
Try fishing the shoreline with Rapala’s that imitates a
small Kokanee salmon. Cross the lake while fishing the center area of the lake
pulling your favorite Lyman plugs in spring colors. Remember bright day’s
Your can fish for the bull trout but you can’t keep any,
catch and release only.
Remember; NO BAD DAYS
Fishing report (catching report)
This has to be the best fishing report of the year!
Last Monday I did a charter on Lake Koocanusa, we put 12 rainbows in the boat and the largest was a beautiful 17.4lb. male, and a 12.5lb. Rainbow, both went to Cabin Fever Taxidermy. Wow that was a day! I am looking forward to what the rest of the season has to offer. The future on Lake Koocanusa looks very promising. Most of the fish were caught on Lyman Plugs. We also caught several fish on Rapalas. Flies were not very productive that day. Just to keep things in perspective I did another charter on Tuesday and we boated 6 fish and the biggest was 6lbs. The bar is set very high!
The Whitefish are in! Just two of us in the boat yesterday and we boated 23 very nice whitefish. It is obvious that the fish have moved into the river and the numbers are only going to increase. Bring a large cooler and remember if you keep fish you clean them.
Okay, Matt did an all day charter yesterday on Flathead Lake with 4 clients and they boated 32 lake trout, WOW!
As the old saying goes, you shoulda been here yesterday!
Time to go fishing!
The pictures of these two trophy fish will be up on the most recent catches for Lakee Koocanusa in a couple days.
Fishing Flathead Lake has been very productive lately. Both jigging and trolling are producing good numbers of 2-6lb. Lakers. Try jigging in deep water 160 to 200ft. of water. Jigging off Yellow Bay and Blue Bay are producing fish early morning and late afternoon.
Trolling close to shore in 60 to 80ft. of water is yielding catches of 10 to 20 fish. Try around the Islands off Finley Point and the north end off Angel Pt.
Try trolling spoons such as crocodile and large spoons in perch pattern and hammered brass with red stripe. Also try dodgers from Silver Horde in chrome or hammered chrome with ultra violet size #0 (2 1/2×8”) with a #35 Octopus/Squid (4 1/4”) in #8077, that is white with red spots.
Also mix it up with Pro-Troll Electronic Prochip 8 series in #106 Glow Chart. Try a Holographic Kokanee Killer in #422H, which is a Holo Pink 23” behind the flasher.
WHITEFISH are starting to enter the river and limits (100) of these great eating/fighting fish should be in the next couple of weeks, and last through December.
Lake Koocanusa is starting to yield some rainbows in the 2 to 6lb. range. The larger 8 to 20 lbs. should show up in a few weeks. This fishery will only get better as the surface water temperature gets down to that magic 53degrees or less. All indications point to a very productive season. Be prepared and load up on your streamer flies, and the always go to Lyman Lure. Check out the new colors from Lyman, I think there are some great new colors that I am looking forward to trying this fall/winter. www.lymanlures.com
Don’t forget to put new line on your reels for these hard fighting Kamloop Rainbows!
See Ya on the water