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Thread: Mixed Fishing Montana and Oregon......

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    198

    Default Mixed Fishing Montana and Oregon......

    So I got to redeem my fishing mulligan starting the day after my disastrous trip to my parents on Flathead Lake. After going through all the trauma of travel day it ended with the blessed appearance of Flathead Lake as night fall…..well, fell.



    Got a miserable nights sleep (nothing to do with the day just insomnia) and enjoyed a beautiful day helping out the old folks. As the sun was waning I couldn’t help but put the old fishing rod together and chucking a big lure into the harbor directly behind my parent’s house. On the third cast this exquisitely colored pike absolutely inhaled my offering:



    If you notice the braid disappears into his mouth…..the rapala I was using was 5 inches long……this boy was really, really hungry. I cast for another 45 minutes and managed a bass about 2 lbs. Was very satisfied as my wife loves pike and they aren’t exactly welcome in these waters.

    After another night’s mildly less miserable lack of sleep…..had another good day. Usually I head up the Swan River to fish trout but the river was still running very high and decided I just wasn’t energetic enough. So I spent a few hours getting drone flying lessons from my brother-in-law so I wouldn’t thoroughly trash my own drone. Just before night began to fall I decided to hit the little harbor again. This time with a good sized bass jerkbait. Took about 15 minutes but I popped another nice pike, then nothing else for the evening. The fun part about this harbor is it is only about 25 yards wide and no deeper than 4 feet. Everyone who lives on it doesn’t really think anything of size is ever in there….oh yea of little faith.



    Another night of a little more sleep time. Cast for about 30 minutes in the morning and just caught one small bass. Wasn’t sure casting in the evening would be open as someone was using the grass area next to the harbor for a casual wedding party…..but they weren’t disturbing the water so what the heck. Still chucking a 4 ½ inch northern largemouth bass LuckyCraft 100SP (maybe those guys will give me some sponsor money….haha)…..it took about 20 minutes before it was absolutely nailed in the middle of the harbor. I thought, another nice pike then it proceeded to ripoff 20 yards of my braid and then performed a half jump…..this was a toad. So there I am, on the dock and all of sudden I have an audience of 40-50 people. I’ve fished long enough to stay pretty casual but I was thinking, “Don’t lose this puppy with all the folks looking on!” Additionally, I could see it only had one barb on the rear treble hook in its mouth. Being on the dock, and a bit cocky, I never was near a net so I was going to have to lean down and gill the pike without getting chomped….yeah, a little short-sighted. I played him till he was really pooped out Was glad for the braid as he lunged for the dock pilings several times. Then I kneeled down, moved my rod to the right hand (I’m left-handed)….leaned out and (yeah for my team) slipped my hand in the gill plate on the first try and swung the pike up on the dock…..actually I managed to keep it in the air as I stood up and walked to the bank. There was much cheering and some clapping and I kept looking for an Oscar award for Best Performance Catching a Good Pike of a Dock…..but, alas, that did not happen. I loved the 3 or 4 times walking the short distance to my dad’s place people said, “You caught that right here?” No idiot, I brought it from somewhere else and had a scuba diver hook it on…….guess I should be a little less judgemental. Yes, this pike was whacked also and added to the meat pile to satisfy my wife. It took me about 15 minutes to get back fishing and on my second cast I nailed a 3 ½ lbs largemouth…..largest we’ve caught in 40 years here. At that point I decided to be done for the night. The pike scaled out at 14 lbs….



    The other 3 nights I was there, only caught a few smaller bass but I was quite happy. The 4th of July in monstrous Bigfork, MT has a 4th parade and low-and-behold the entire Budweiser Clydesdale horses marched in the parade….pretty good for a town of about 5,000 people. Took off the next day with my dog Jackson and we headed back to Boise going through mostly flatland through Washington and Oregon…..I absolutely was sick and tired of looking for “Rock” and the idiot rapper “Ice” so we avoided the mountains where they are obviously hiding.

    About 4 pm we arrived at Umatilla, Oregon at the Columbia River….it was a lovely 103 degrees with no clouds and not a hint of wind. Great time to go fising…..yes!
    Meet my buddy Bill who guides there, we went out for 4 hours and just about died of sun poisoning. We only managed about 6 walleyes, none of note. Headed in, cooled down a bit (I think the low was 70) and next morning picked up two others to go out fishing again. Too say the heat was oppressive would be a massive understatement……it was way tooooo frickin’ HOT.

    Initially we spent about 3 hours bouncing 4” gulp minnows off the bottom in 20-30 feet of water. We roped a few walleye, then Duwayne nailed the monster of the trip, a nice 5 ½ lbs eye……I’m glad he got it because it was one of only 2 he caught. Me….I was cursed with the BassMaster title as smallmouth after smallmouth kept hitting my bait…..I wanted walleye. I must have been near a dozen smallies before I finally caught the targeted species. It was pretty slow so we tried bouncing nitecrawlers on a worm harness in some shallower water, about 10-15’ and were rewarded with about 8 walleye in 30 minutes…..then they quit….I mean quit….nothin’. By now we were 5 hours into the day and were mostly medium parboiled. We hopped out to 20 odd feet again and bounced minnows. But I was soon bored so I started jigging a blade bait off the bottom. BAM……had 5 walleyes in less than 30 minutes. So the other two changed to blades but they aren’t that easy too work if you haven’t jig fished a lot. Anyway we kept out until about 3 pm at which point my buddy Bill was beat red and starting into some kind of heat delirium and the other 2 were looking similar. To be honest I wasn’t doing so hot myself. We headed back in and were surprised when we went to clean the fish we had 28 (Bill and I caught about 20 or so of those). Bill filleted them and I let them paying customers take most of them home….Bill said we would fish in the morning for a few hours to get some more for me….yeah. Here’s the entourage…..Virginia was a real trooper and not a bad fisherperson:



    That’s the 5 ½ lbs. walleye in the back…..yes it looks horrible but sometimes you just have to kill…..er, remove and fillet those nasty invasive fish…..



    Bill and I took long cold showers…..NO, not together….went out to eat and hit the very hot sack to sleep. We were on the water about 6 am the next morning. It was nice to find out my terrier mix (he’s half possessed by demons….we call him “Legion”), who hates water was a natural in the boat.



    First drift through our chosen spot we spooked up 7 walleye, including this nice 21 incher which was my best (of course, the Jackson had to horn into the picture):



    Then the dang fish just went dead again. Finally we moved around to a new spot right across from the launch and I hit about 8 in a row……I was using the blade and Bill was still bouncing the Gulp…..oops for him. Anyway we called it a morning after 4 hours and were surprised to have culled out another 19 of those nasty, salmon frye gulping walleye. The boat dog led us back to the dock:



    I headed home very satisfied, realizing my mulligan had been fully redeemed. Some fun fishing, and for the rare “meat” trip, it was really productive. Jackson and I got home and slept in till noon the next day. Unfortunately we have been home a week now and we are heading for day number 9 over 100……..SEND ME BACK TO ALASKA!! Oh right, that’s next week….hehehe.

    Brian

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    SOUTHBAY
    Posts
    1,672

    Default

    nice kill'
    good report and pic's...



    cm

  3. #3

    Default

    Great report on some fantastic fishing...those are beautiful pike!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Thooget of Humilityland
    Posts
    11,409

    Default

    Nice pike!

    How fun was the removal of that Rapala on the first guy?! I wouldn't want my hands anywhere near those teeth.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    198

    Default

    I didn't go through the mouth......had to remove the hooks by going through the gills....

  6. #6

    Default

    Doc,

    That first fish looks like a Musky. If you look at the lines on the side. The Pike are more parallel and the Musky more vertical.
    You can see the difference in the two from the first two photos.
    Great post as usual. Your posts always make me want to go fishing!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    198

    Default

    I thought the same thing after looking at the picture....it has a lot of vertical stripping. I had a fisheries biologist look at the picture and he said it was a pure pike it just has held onto a juvenile color pattern as it's gotten bigger. On viewing a pike I caught in the same place last year it has some of the vertical markings also. Never been any muskie or tiger muskie put in anywhere in the Flathead drainage....here's the one from last year....



    Here's another from the same spot about 4 years ago...real fatso....



    Brian

    PS: None of these pike suffer from any kind of food deprivation.....obese suckers....
    Last edited by DocSpotty; 07-20-2017 at 09:52 PM.

  8. #8

    Default

    Great Report Doc... those pike are sure well fed. I still have to head to the Columbia. Maybe Next week for a couple days. Either will hit the Canadian side or head down to the US side. Thanks for the report and pics.

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