Fishing Flathead Lake?

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Fishing Flathead Lake?

Postby MTDUCKS » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:41 pm

I'm thinking about heading up to Flathead Lake in the next couple weekends to fish for some Lake Trout. I have absolutely no idea where to start, where to camp, ect. Anyone have any tips to help point me in the right direction? Looks like the lakers are pretty abundant in that lake. Thanks!
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Re: Fishing Flathead Lake?

Postby phutch30 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:32 pm

Stop at Zimmers tackle in Ronan for advice.

I usually fish the south end (requires a tribal licese) but painted rocks and some other areas off the res can be good also. I mostly jig for them but we have done good trolling also out around wild horse and bird island. I usually find then close to the bottom in 150-265 feet. 1 1/2 oz glow bucktale with a chunk of sucker or squawfish is the ticket
....its like taking x-lax when you have a bad cough. It wont clear up your lungs, but it sure stops you from coughing
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Re: Fishing Flathead Lake?

Postby Will_Hunt_4_Food » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:36 pm

phutch30 wrote:Stop at Zimmers tackle in Ronan for advice.


That is the best bet to talk to Zimmer. Mack Days is going on now and you should sign up. It is free to do and you could win something cool. You can enter online here...

http://www.mackdays.com/

Are ya bringing a boat or just going from shore and when are ya coming. I can get a good fishing report for ya tomorrow from the Pastor of our Church.
God...Family...the outdoors...the rest is just details.
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Re: Fishing Flathead Lake?

Postby MTDUCKS » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:26 am

I'll be fishing from a 14ft V-Bottom and watching the weather closely. I've had this boat on Lake Michigan several times and several other bodies of water as large or larger than Flathead and I always keep an eye on the weather...

I will probably be going up March 31-April 1st. I have never fished Lake Trout this early in the year, I thought they were shallower this time of year?

I did come across the Mack Days website and I'll probably sign up for that!
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Re: Fishing Flathead Lake?

Postby phutch30 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:14 am

Really the only time lakers are shallow in Flathead in late Oct when the spawn. You will occasionally pick them up shallow but, my most consistant fishing has been close to the bottom in water over 140' and deeper. You may pick up 10" fish shallower.

Lake trout in other lakes come shallow at ice out, Flathead almost never Freezes so the water stays stratified and the lakers stay deep.

Most of what you are going to catch is going to run 12-20" unless you run big plugs on downriggers

If your going to jig for them get some braided line. I use 30lb test braid. It will greatly increase you success jigging in 200' of water.

On the south end of the main lake, on the SE side and off wildhorse Island you can find 250' of water 50 yards off the shore
Last edited by phutch30 on Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
....its like taking x-lax when you have a bad cough. It wont clear up your lungs, but it sure stops you from coughing
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Re: Fishing Flathead Lake?

Postby wingnutty » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:03 pm

Yup, deep vertical jigging in 200-300' will get you into fish, sometimes big fish. Skidoo Bay, Blue Bay, all good. Find that depth and anchor up (bring a lotta line :lol3: ) or, better yet, get an ipilot electric motor and hold your spot perfectly. It's fun and you catch good numbers of fish pretty often, but I get a little bored with it, but vertical jigging beats the heck out of trolling. Trolling to me is like shooting goldeneyes, just meh.. But fishing for lakers is kinda like reeling up a boot from 200 ft until you get them the last 20 feet and then they start to fight a little. They are good eating though. Stop by Zimmers and get some jigs and cut bait and they'll steer you in the right direction.

Might as well enter the tourney cause if you don't you'll end up catching a tagged fish. My dad caught a tagged fish last weekend.
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Re: Fishing Flathead Lake?

Postby phutch30 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:04 am

One very important tip. Make 100% sure you can tell the difference between a lake trout and a bull trout. Odds are very slim you will catch one, but if you do make sure you release it.

The lakers under 5lbs are great eating with nice orange flesh. The little ones feed almost exclusivly on mysis shrimp. Once the get a little bigger they start eating mostly fish and the table quality drops fast.
....its like taking x-lax when you have a bad cough. It wont clear up your lungs, but it sure stops you from coughing
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Re: Fishing Flathead Lake?

Postby TopWop » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:17 pm

Good call on the braided line.
Especially if you plan on jigging at those depths.
Too much stretch in mono.
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Re: Fishing Flathead Lake?

Postby MTDUCKS » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:20 pm

Thanks for the tips guys. I have fished them in Canada before, but usually they were in about 100ft and I would troll Cowbells, by the time you got them down to around 60ft you got hit. I have never tried the vertical jigging.

All my gear is rigged with superbraid so I've got that covered!

Thanks again!
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