Whitefish bite hot on Flathead Lake

Posted on 24 October 2017

Flathead Lake fishing report Fall 2017

Whitefish, perch fishing Flathead Lake the best it's been in years

By Richard Zimmer/Zimmer Tackle Co.

October 19, 2017

richard zimmer flathead lake fishing whitefish report, montana living

First we had a great spring perch bite. I guess nearly 100,000 were harvested; the best ever.

Second, the whitefish bite started in early July and didn’t end until mid-September; also the best ever. Those two elements added to an already tight tackle making schedule didn’t give me time to write.

The reason for the whitefish fishing was due to a perch population explosion. (The white fish bite is attributed to their feeding on perch fry). There are more perch in the Flathead Lake proper (from the Narrows North) than I’ve ever been aware of.

Because perch often move in schools of similar sizes to find the bruiser jumbos often takes some searching. With this I can help you out. For years I kept hearing of large perch around Cromwell Island but I was never able to locate them. Fishermen often have a tendency not to be real specific with their information especially when a good hole is involved. Finally somebody said the east side of the island had big perch.

Jens Gran and I went on a fishing research trip a couple of weeks ago and as part of our plan we decided to try the Cromwell area. Coming from the South working our way North we found a large shallow flat until we were directly in front of the Lee mansion where it began to drop. At this point the electronics came alive with schools of fish.

We anchored at depths from 35 to 40 feet. It seemed that every time we moved a little would get away from the small fish and be back into keeper up to 11 1⁄2 “s. We fished long enough to have a nice feed of fish for each of us and then moved on.

Sunday, October 15, late in the afternoon I headed for the Walstad launch hoping to catch bait fish. After a couple of hours o not so good fishing and daylight fast receding I decided to make a quick run back to Cromwell Island. When I got into fish at around a 40 feet depth I began to have some unbelievable perch fishing.

Size wise I‘ve never done so well in the main lake. In the short time that I had I kept 41 fish and ended up with over a gallon of fillets. Night crawlers with our new “smile series” perch setup was deadly.

I’d like to dedicate this news letter to the memory of Ray Thieler. He loved everything about perch fishing and his studied approach and his willingness to share were particularly valuable to our tackle business. He’ll be sorely missed by all of us.

I’d also like to remember Dan Smith from Hot Springs. His fishing enthusiasm and the courtesy he always showed me made him a pleasant acquaintance.

For more information call us at our business phone 406-675-0068 or my personal cell 406-250-0241. Our email address is: macman@ronan.net Check out our website: www.zimmertackle.com

Good fishing,
The mac (perch) man

www.zimmertackle.com

The Whitefish are starting to move into the river pretty good. Try from Old Steel Bridge up to Columbia Falls bridge. Look for holes 10’-20’ deep. Try Pete’s Tackle Craws & Tubes. Also, Gitzits work well or just use 1/8oz or 1/4oz lead heads with green twister tails. Also hearing good reports for Rainbow and Cutthroat fishing in the river.

Whitefish in Flathead River

According to the guys at Snappy's Sport Senter in Kalispell, the Lake Superior Whitefish are starting to move into the river pretty good. Try from Old Steel Bridge up to Columbia Falls bridge. Look for holes 10’-20’ deep. Try Pete’s Tackle Craws & Tubes. Also, Gitzits work well or just use 1/8oz or 1/4oz lead headswith green twister tails. Also hearing good reports for Rainbow and Cutthroatfishing in the river. 

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