Lake trout fishing on fire-Video proof!

I know it has been awhile since I have posted a report, so here is a double one!

Flathead Lake is fishing like we have not seen in years, all across the NW corner of the lake, and the Delta as well. Troll chartreuse Pro Troll Flashers with Brads Mini Cut Plugs in perch colors at 2.o mph, down 25-45 on the riggers, in 70-100 feet of water. Darker colored hoochies behind silver or silver with UV purple dodgers fished the same way are also producing and the spoon bite can’t be far off!

Big fish are starting to show up in their usual summer places, troll big flat fish on the bottom. The below video explains how we do it to keep those big old fish releasable to be caught again.

An amazing season continues…

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

Mo Fisch NEWS and Fishing Report

Hi Everyone, Captain Mike Howe here, from Howe’s Fishing/A Able Charters.  By now, most everyone has heard that we lost Captain Bob suddenly due to cancer last month.  Almost as unexpectedly, the opportunity for Cindy and I to purchase Mo Fisch presented itself and we felt blessed and honored to do so.

The day to day operations of Mo Fisch will not really change at all, other than that we will all miss Bob, and I will do my best to carry on all the traditions that Mo Fisch is known for. Long time guides Matt McComb and Tom Cobianco will continue to operate their boats from our same Lakeside location and we welcome a new guide, Junior Garrison, who has purchased Bobs boat.  Same phone number, same webpage, but a new email address if you wish to contact us direct,

NOW, let’s talk fishing!  First up, join Captain Matt as he presents a lake trout fishing seminar THIS Saturday, April 1st, 10:00AM, at Snappy Sport Senter in Kalispell.  Matt will update everyone on the current conditions on Flathead lake, and cover all the basics you need to be successful on the big water.

Fishing has been RED HOT for the last ten days or so, as it typically is this time of year. Flathead is about three feet higher than normal for this time of year and launching and loading from Westshore State Park is a breeze. Both Matt and Junior have been having success trolling T-55 and T-60 Flatfish in 180′ in the Painted Rocks area.  Both steel line outfits and downriggers just off the bottom have been working. This is a slow presentation, 0.9-1.3 mph is just about right.

In the deeper water on the East side of the Center Bar, trolling Brads Cut Plug Super Baits has been working on those nice 3-6 pound eater size fish.  Locate these fish on your electronics and troll slightly above them.  If using a dodger/flasher ahead of the lure, remember to keep the leader about 40-60 inches as these lures have plenty of their own action, and if you are too close to your attractor, you foul up the manufacturers designed action.  We often only use a small plastic trolling rudder five feet ahead of the lure when the fish are thick.  Now, go get some!  Tight lines, and No Bad Days!


Captain Mike

Early Bookings

Just to pass this onto our old and new clients. This has been an interesting winter as we are getting many advance bookings this early in the winter. We have taken deposits for trips as far out as next July and next November. If this is any sign to come for next season, I would suggest to book early to get the date/dates you desire.


My favorite time to fish the big lake is March, April and May.  The reason is we target the bigger lake trout and do very well! Our best days ever for the big lakers can come at this time of the season. High teens and low 20 lb. fish are common. Average 8 to 12 fish to the boat on a half day charter.


Lake Koocanusa can be very productive in March, April and May. The surface temperature is still very cold and the big rainbows are very aggressive. The ice and the weather will dictate when we get back on this body of water, but I sure do look forward to it.

Book early, I think it is going to be a very busy year.

Another great season

I want to thank all our clients and friends for our best year ever. The weather was a little rough last spring and it took awhile for summer to get here but the fishing was great. We caught some big kams on Lake Koocanusa, biggest was 15lbs.

Flathead Lake produced a steady catch of 3 to 5 lb. lakers and some nice bigger fish, the biggest weighed in at 26 lbs., 42″.

Swan Lake and Lake Koocanusa fished well. Limits of kokanee, pike and rainbows were very plentiful.

We will be back on the water in March. Lake Koocanusa will be fishing good all winter if you can get a boat on the lake.

Also, Flathead Lake fishes really well in the winter just be careful of the winter weather.

So all in all it was a great 2016.  THANK YOU

Happy Holidays

See you in the spring,  Remember NO BAD DAYS!

Big Rainbows/Lots of lake tout

Okay, time to get ready for the fall fishing on Lake Koocanusa for those big kamloop rainbows. The catching should really start getting good about mid October. The surface water temperature needs to get down to about 58 degrees or less and the bite will begin and be good all winter long. Last year our biggest kam was  almost 17 lbs. Most of the rainbows we caught were in the 8 to 10 pound range, so this year those fish should be in the teens? Also we can keep one bull trout per person per year. Stop by the FWP office in Kalispell and pick up a catch card, no charge.

The Lake Trout bite is on. The fish have moved into shallower water, 55 to 80 ft. of water. The bait has moved in closer to the shoreline. The lake trout spawn in November in about 35 ft. of water so it is time to fish closer to shore for big numbers of the 22 to 26″ lakers. We have been averaging 12 to 20 fish per charter.

August bite

First let me start by apologizing on the lack of updated fishing reports. We have been extremely busy this summer, our busiest yet, and busy covering all the lakes and water in the area.  I try to up date the fishing reports as much as possible but sometimes the conditions don’t change that drastically to warrant frequent updates. If you really want currant information you can always give us a call.


The bite continues on Flathead Lake. For the first 2 hours of any charter I focus my attention on the trophy size Lakers, over 36”s. 200′ of water east side of the delta west of Woods Bay.

I fish the two outside downriggers with a M2 SP Flatfish from Yakima Bait Company. I start with a red/white in size M2SP 41/2”.

Down the middle I will run the steel line with a original Flatfish in either a glow white or a red/white in size T-60.

I will also use the Electronic Stingfish from Pro-Troll in size 15-51/2” long. I use Blue tiger or Chrome Chart.  Ends.

After about 2 hours I then move over to shallower water and fish for what I call the eater size, 24” to 28”. I use the Electronic ProChip Flasher 8” series from Pro-Troll in either a Glow red or a glow Chart. Behind the flasher I tie a mother of pearl #35 Octopus/Squid (41/4”) from Gold Star.

I target the 80 to 120’ of water off the center bar or off Angel Point.

Remember, flatfish troll 1mph and the flasher 1.8 to 2.3mph.


Just a reminder if you are thinking about fishing with us on Lake Koocanusa for the winter rainbow, kamloop, bite please book early as we are filling up those prime dates fast. I am excited about this fishery for this fall/winter as last year ended with bigger fish and more of them. This next season should only be better.

Tight Lines

Spring/Summer fishing

Flathead Lake:

Spring fishing has been very good. Yesterday we caught 10 fish, one of which was a slot fish, at 33?. The fish seemed to be very active and willing to bite. The runoff continues. The fish are starting to suspend throughout the water column. We were fishing in 140 ft of water and catching fish at 30, 55,  65, 85ft.  and on the bottom. Watch you fish finder, present your lures at whatever depth you see the fish. Be flexible move with the fish. We caught fish on dodger/houchie combo’s, spoons and stick baits.  As this spring weather pattern settles down I look for more consistent fishing. Try the north delta area, as well as the center bar.

Swan Lake:

Swan Lake has been on fire for big pike. Matt took a gentleman celebrating his 75th birthday and he pulled in a 42″, 24lb. northern. Also some lake trout, bull trout, kokanee salmon and cutthroat all in one day. This is a great multi specie fishery.

Fly Fishing small lake:

We have been doing some charters on some small lakes using the jon boats and fly fishing for these very aggressive and hard fighting trout. Brookies up to 2 lbs., wow nice brookie. Also been doing great on some 22″ rainbows on nymphs, leach patterns.

Lake Mary Ronan:

We have getting our limits of kokanee salmon, 10 fish limits, in about 2 hrs. for 3 client. Nice size kokanee 12″ to 14″.

Kokanee Salmon

Lake Mary Ronan:

We fished Lake Mary Ronan yesterday and limited out with 10 fish limits in less than 2 hours. These are hard fighting and good eating fish, now is the time to hit Lake Mary Ronan. We were jigging in 22 to 28ft. of water. You can also troll using the common cow bells, wedding rings.

Flathead Lake:

Fishing remains steady for the lake trout. We have been trolling in 180 to 210ft of water pulling either Brad’s Super Baits or the Flasher, squid combinations. Also don’t forget to throw out a flat line with a big Rapala or Bill Norman on the surface 150 ft. straight back behind the boat.

Swan Lake:

The pike fishing has also been very good on Swan Lake. he typical smelt under a bobber or throw spinner baits or plugs.

See Ya on the water

Spring time wows


Lake trout

Where to fish:

The fishing on Flathead Lake remains to be steady. Typically this time of year the fish are on the move. One day you might find them at 80ft. of water and the next day in 200ft. of water. Be flexible and move around until you find large concentration of fish and then concentrate on that depth. The runoff is going to be the unknown for the next couple months. Depending on the temperature and the amount of rain mix will determine how much runoff we will have day to day. The east side of the center bar in 140ft. of water has been working good.

What to use:

This time of year I try and cover as much area as I can. I usually will fish a dodger or a flasher with a houchie combo, that way I can troll at 1.8 – 2.3 mph. When I find fish then I can try different lures to figure out what they want at that given day.

I have been having good results using the Cha Cha 4” Salmon Squidder rigs from Mack’s lure #60063 has been a great color, also try #60062.

Also the electronic Prochip 8 series from pro-troll has been working good with a mother of pearl houchie tipped with a piece of cut bait is a good go to setup.

Tip of the Day:

In the spring time the weather in NW Montana can be very unpredictable. Keep an eye on the weather; a good rule to follow is that if you think it is to rough it probably is, get off the lake so you can fish another day. Be safe!

“No Bad Days”

Capt. Bob

Mo Fisch Charters

Cannon Downrigger Authorized Service Center:  Spring is a good time to get those downriggers serviced. Don’t wait until the season begins and then need repair work.