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Brown trout, perch biting under ice

Mac Man

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Lots of snow on relatively thin ice makes for a cold sloppy mess. Fortunately the discomfort you feel above the ice doesn’t affect the fish under it. 

This has been one of the best years for trout (mostly brown trout) at Crow Reservoir. A lot of small perch and a few larger ones is also the norm. When fishing with two poles there I like one to be baited with night crawler and the other with maggots and/or fish eyes.

Both Turtle Lake and Kicking Horse Reservoir have myriads of small perch with some larger perch and bass not being uncommon. Here again I prefer a smaller setup baited with maggots or fish eyes and a larger setup (tube jig) baited with a good-sized piece of Night Crawler. Almost all of the larger fish I catch will be on the Night Crawler setup.

Lake Mary Ronan has produced some good catches of perch near Camp Tuffit in depths around 20 feet. Fishermen are getting good catches of Kokanee many places in the lake, including out in front of Lake Mary Ronan Lodge.

Pablo and Ninepipe Reservoirs open up on Jan. 22.

The annual McGregor Lake fishing tournament for lake trout and rainbow trout will be Feb. 7-8.

On Jan. 13 I finally found large numbers of perch on East Bay. I was fishing in a 3.5-foot depth in weed beds directly north of Ducharme Creek. The small perch were so thick it was often difficult to drop a lure through them without catching one. I was able to come home with enough fillet-sized fish for a meal (see picture). I marked the area I was fishing with an upright pole. A quarter-ounce Double Treble Trilobite and a Flat Rat — new this year — were excellent for these super aggressive fish. Fish eyes were my bait of choice. Also whole fish and sausage setups have been harvesting some monster lake trout here.

For more information, call our store at (406) 675-0068 or my personal cell, (406) 250-0241, or email us at Come in for your ice fishing needs; new inventory coming in. Check out our product line at:

Good fishing. 

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