I have always been a fan of ice fishing. If I could figure out a way to do it without drinking so much, I would try to go pro. But this is the time of year where people who can't afford boats, can walk on frozen ice cubes to where the fish are biting. I recently made a trek up to the Flathead reservation for some perch fishing action. The day was definitely one for the books.

With our Toyota Tundra completly packed full of partially hungover guys, we headed north to Pablo reservoir, just north of Ronan. We stopped and talked to our fishing sensei, Dick Zimmer of Zimmer Tackle. He filled us in on what he had been doing to catch the bigger perch. After securing a couple of his handmade lures, we hit the ice.

The weather was gorgeous, everywhere but on the lake. An inversion had left the lake with a think covering of fog. That did not slow us down as we walked towards the center of the reservoir. After finding the proper depth, we poked some holes and tied on our Zimmer trilobite lures. Within seconds we were catching perch and it didn't slow down. It got to the point to where we had to pull our lines out of the water, just to put our gloves on and warm up.

The day was full of some great fishing, and the fish are still biting. Check out Dick "The Macman" Zimmers report from our friends at the Montana Outdoor Radio Show.

Finally Pablo Reservoir is open and as of yesterday.  I would to tag it as
the hottest perch fishery in Western Montana judging from all the reports
I’ve received.
There were reports of guys taking home as many as 100.  Steve Speckert of
Polson said he landed the biggest perch he’s caught in 30 years.  The size
spectrum is from tiny to jumbo with steady action being the norm.
I had the best success yesterday with a ¼ oz all –glow  Double Treble
Trilobite which is a Trilobite with hooks and   willow leaf blades on both
ends.   I’m amazed at how aggressively they attack this jig.  The size
helps attract the bigger fish and is somewhat of a deterrent to catching
so many small fish.  Tube jigs also work well.
After initially catching a fish on maggots I switch to fish eyes.  There
is something about the appearance and the smell of the fluids in an eye
that drive the fish crazy.
Perch fishing is a great way to initiate young anglers.  Being on the ice
frees them from the confines of a boat and the chance of having a positive
outdoor adventure is much increased.  I’ve never known anyone who’s
developed a passion for outdoor sports that has any regrets.
For more information give us a call at: 406-675-0068 or email us at:
Good Fishing,
The Macman