Go green to catch Lake Whitefish on their spawning run

Print Article

Every fall many thousands of lake whitefish leave Flathead Lake to make to make their spawning trek up the Flathead River.

For shorebound anglers, the migration offers a rare opportunity to catch these hard-fighting, tasty fish.

According to Chancy Jeschke at Snappy Sports Senter in Kalispell (257-7525), “Lake whitefish are in the river now in pretty good numbers.”

Jeschke recommends casting a 1/8-1/4-ounce leadhead jig with a Pete’s Craw or tube tail. Gitzits also work.

Green is the most productive color and when asked why, Jeschke replied, “I have no idea!”

“In the river, lake whitefish hang in water 10-15 feet deep, but the jig doesn’t have to bounce on the bottom,” said Jeschke. “Try to keep the jig a couple of feet above the bottom.”

Whitefish are resting in these spots on their way upstream to suitable spawning gravel sites.

“Look for big eddies and backswells, where the water is slower and deeper than the main current.”

While lake whitefish may bite all day long, the early morning­-first-light-bite is generally the most consistent.

More words of advice from Chancy, “Take a long-handled net because it’s easy to lose fish right on the shoreline.”

The Old Steel Bridge area, east of Kalispell, is a good spot for newcomers to lake whitefishing to watch how (and where) more experienced anglers fill their buckets.

I’ve also seen anglers fishing off the Highway 2 bridge, east of Columbia Falls, but it seems there are different people almost every time I drive by.

Jerry Smalley’s Fishful Thinking column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

Print Article

Read More Outdoors

Follow Rock Creek fish study online

February 13, 2019 at 8:13 am | Hungry Horse News About 10 years ago I got re-acquainted with Rock Creek, east of Missoula. I had fished Rock Creek many times in the ‘70s and ‘80s, but not until my daughter and son-in-law lived there did I fish the...

Comments

Read More

Whitefish Lake falls to near record low levels

January 30, 2019 at 8:14 am | Hungry Horse News Whitefish Lake is known to fluctuate throughout the year dropping in winter, but a recent measurement of the lake’s water level show it approaching the record all-time low level. The lake was 0.3 i...

Comments

Read More

Wilderness speaker series starts up in February

January 30, 2019 at 8:19 am | Hungry Horse News The annual Wilderness Speaker Series is at the Flathead Valley Community’s College’s Art and Technology Building, in room 139. Lectures are February through April, from 7 to 8:15 p.m. There is no cha...

Comments

Read More

Forest plan record of decision released

January 30, 2019 at 8:18 am | Hungry Horse News Like Glacier National Park, the Flathead National Forest is once again in business after the longest government shutdown in history. A key document that was delayed by the shutdown has been released...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

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

©2019 Hungry Horse News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X