Smalley gets in some fall bass fishing

Print Article

Last week, when wife Nan told me she wanted to go fishing, I kinda knew what she meant—bass fishing.

Years ago, we spent many enjoyable evenings casting plastic worms for largemouth bass in Echo Lake and Lake Blaine.

We also made numerous camping/bass fishing trips to Noxon Reservoir.

Matter of fact, I was sitting on Lake Blaine with a casting rod in my hand the evening the ash from Mount St. Helens blew into the Flathead Valley.

Fall bass fishing is a bit out of my comfort zone, so I had to do some homework.

Makes sense that bass wouldn’t be as active — like, chasing topwater lures — as they were in July and August.

From my graduate school days, I remember the term “poikilothermous”, meaning the fish’s internal temperature varies, matching the ambient temperature of their immediate surroundings.

Some people call this “cold-blooded.”

Cooler water would mean a cooler digestive system, thus slower metabolism. A fish might eat more food, but not spend as much energy getting it.

All this translates into fishing a lure or worm slower than a couple months ago.

As for depth, a retired fisheries biologist suggested water from 10 to 12 feet deep.

For us, that depth would be do-able as Nan could drop-shot a plastic worm and I could slowly retrieve a big-lipped crankbait.

Chancy Jeschke at Snappy Sport Senter (406) 257-7525 recommended drop-shotting with ½-ounce sinkers off deep points 25-30 feet deep.

Another good fall bassing technique, according to Jeschke, is fishing big jerk baits along deeper weed bed edges.

Last week we arrived about noon but didn’t launch from the Echo Lake public boat ramp until Nan came back from our nephew’s nearby house because I had forgotten PFDs.

Garage was locked but a guy pulling his boat out gave us a couple of lifejackets he didn’t want back so we eventually left them on the loaner rack.

We spent about an hour on a wonderful fall day in the Flathead Valley casting for bass, until the whitecaps chased off my little 12-foot aluminum boat.

Print Article

Read More Outdoors

Close calls on the famed Rock Creek, as it lives up to its name

June 20, 2018 at 7:06 am | Hungry Horse News Recently we floated a section on Rock Creek, east of Missoula. Reason was the prolific salmonfly hatch which generally happens in early June. At one point we floated next to some very high, steep r...


Read More

Tally Lake District welcomes new ranger

June 20, 2018 at 7:05 am | Hungry Horse News As the new Tally Lake District Ranger, Bill Mulholland says he enjoys wearing a variety of hats. “Rangers do a little bit of everything,” Mulholland said recently. “Rangers are some of the busiest ...


Read More

Next river meeting is June 20 in Kalispell

June 13, 2018 at 8:16 am | Hungry Horse News The next comprehensive river management plan for the three wild and scenic sections of the Flathead River is June 20 in Kalispell. The meeting will be held in the lower level of the Arts and Technol...


Read More

You’ll catch more trout if you keep that line nice and straight

June 13, 2018 at 8:03 am | Hungry Horse News Keeping the fly line straight is one of the most important keys to catching fish. When the line has curves or waves, it only makes sense that a fish could actually pick up the fly and move it withou...


Read More

Contact Us

(406) 892-2151
PO BOX 189, 926 Nucleus Avenue
Columbia Falls, MT 59912

©2018 Hungry Horse News Terms of Use Privacy Policy