March 12, 2016


As of this report Spring Mack Days is one week away beginning Friday March 18th.  Because spring has come early this year another opportunity presents itself if your find a day when the lake trout arenít uncooperative. 

For the last three years, probably due mainly to a decrease in lake trout numbers the yellow perch fishing in Polson Bay has gone from excellent to incredible.  Yesterday, March 11th, Roger Smart and I took advantage of a calm warm spring day along with 5 other boat loads of fishermen with incredible fishing results.  As water temperatures rose to near 45 degrees the perch began to feed in a frenzy.  To have 10 to 20 big perch chasing your bait at the same time is an awesome sight that I never tire of.  For the most part we used perch flies baited with night crawlers, not because other baits wouldnít have worked as well but because we wanted something that was convenient and fast. 

By 3:00 p.m. I had a full 52 quart cooler and Roger had a full 5 gallon bucket.  There wasnít a boat around us that wasnít having similar results. 

The picture that I took to help whet your appetite for a day of fishing on the East side of Polson Bay (East Bay) is of only half of our total catch. 

Let me give you a three year over view of the progress the perch have made.  Two years ago there were probably close to 20,000 perch harvested in the bay in the normal early April to early May bite.  As water temperature warms, which happens rapidly in that shallow water, the large fish become less active until the large fish there become near dormant in the summer heat.  There normally is a short window of opportunity in June when cool water from a rising lake again create some fishing opportunity. 

At this point the perch fishing shifts to the west side of Polson Bay. 

Let me continue with a three year progression of perch fishing.  Last year judging from the increased number of boats and the continued fantastic fishing I estimate near to 50,000 perch were harvested.  Then to top the summer season off the perch fishing around the Polson area on the west side of Polson Bay near the river outlet was the best Iíve ever known.  Just the fishermen with me caught at least 1000 perch plus numerous limits of small mouth bass. Three different times this winter fishing through the ice I filled a 5 gallon bucket.  Like fishing in an aquarium I could selectively choose which fish Iíd let take the bait. 

Now with the advent of the 2016 spring perch season my partner and I kept over 200 perch to start the things off.  Because it started three weeks early, I estimate that somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000 could be harvested. 

If you are interested in great fun for the family and a perch fry for the whole neighborhood watch the weather reports for a decent day and head out to East Bay. 

There is one added aggravation that I hope is eliminated as soon as possible.  Because the norm is for smaller fish, mostly males, to begin biting toward the end of the spring season and the larger fish to become less active, some fishermen came to the false conclusion that it was because the larger fish had been all caught by earlier fishermen.  The Fish and Game accepted their complaints and conclusions and made a law that you are supposed to keep only 10 fish over 10 inches.  Here again an unnecessary tension is created between the authorities and the sportsmen.  With thousands of fish involved at best it is going to be cumbersome to enforce and cause ill will.  Their best avenue, in my opinion, would be to admit their mistake and leave a world class fishing event alone. 

For more information or comments call us at 406-675-0068, my personal cell is 406-250-0241, or email us at  for our product line go to: www.

We had a great ice fishing season with new lures that Zimmer is dreaming up every year.  Iím heading to Polson Bay and Pier 93 today with the perch flies you will need for this immediate fishing flurry.  Among all of our customers we thank you especially Snappys Sports Center in Kalispell and Bob Wards in Missoula.  You have been with us from the very beginning and we appreciate your faithfulness and generous orders.  We have too many faithful local customers to count or list but we thank you so much for your friendship and your faithfulness to a small, local shop that majors in Fishing Tackle. Tell us if you are looking for a lure (we sell all brands of lures and jigs, downriggers, augers etc.) and we will find it for you or faint trying! 

Good fishing

The Macman ( perchman?) and his dear wife.

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