Best perch fishing ever
In the last few weeks we’ve had the best summer perch fishing around the docks at Polson than I can ever remember. Recently I was out with Eric Smithers from Missoula along with three of his kids — Anna, the oldest, Aaron and Caleb. Once we were into the fish there was no going home until the cooler was nearly full. At the end I said, “10 more fish and we go home,”
Anna piped up and said, “But they’ve got to be keepers.” Eric and I were up ‘til 10 p.m. filleting nearly 100 perch and small mouth bass.
We didn’t have any jumbos, but 8 to 10-inchers were the rule with very few small perch. The numbers of little small mouth bass we caught and released point to a wonderful future for this fishery. In three or four years I expect a five-fish limit of these scrappers will be the norm.
It takes a boat to get to the weed beds where these fish reside. Two spots: immediately west of the center of the new City dock in a 13 to 14 foot depth, and centered between the boats launch dock and the new dock in about the same depth. Both places have high weed beds. Surprisingly the best set up has been two plain size 10 hooks above a bottom weight bait with maggots.
Night crawler and cut bait don’t seem to work quit as well.
As water temperatures cool the fish normally become even more active ‘til about mid-October. When water temps get below 70 percent East Bay will be another spot you’ll be able to catch numbers of perch.
If you are closer to Elmo, Big Arm, or the strait between Cromwell Island and the shore, these areas have been perch productive and should continue to be.
Lake trout fishing continues to be consistently good in the Narrows and Rocky Point areas with trolling fish, whole fish and jigging all producing fish. For information on what’s going on at the north end of the lake give the folks at Snappy Sports Senter a call at 406-257-7525.
The Fall Mack Days begin Sept. 15 and go through Nov. 19.
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