We got an early start Tuesday and made it all the way to Gifford, 8 AMto 5 and landed 3 walleyes. 17" and 16". Just enough for two HUNGRY fishermen. Then Wednesday fished till 2:00in the wind and threw in the towel. Did not hook another fish. Saw about 6 boats total, which might have been a telling observation.
We had a good turn out for our Fish Day with the Tri Cities club. Spokane Walleye Club had 8 boats and Tri Cities had several boats as well. A few big fish were caught. A member of the Tri Cities club landed and released a 13 pounder. Greg caught and released a 10 pound walleye. Travis caught one nearly 8 pounds and another around 5 pounds. In general fishing was slow. A 10 to 15 mph wind developed between 10 am and 2 pm that made boat control tricky. The weather was ideal for those of us who stayed Sunday and Monday, but the fishing slowed as the weather got warmer. Allan caught a 5 pounder on Sunday and Greg got one just shy of 5 pounds on Sunday as well. Linda caught the biggest fish on Monday at 18 inches.
I took the week off. I love fall fishing and my father-in-law from Illinois is in town all week. Since I drug him to the Snake River and back on Monday, we didn't feel like spending much time in the car. We went to Roosevelt. For a change of pace, we targeted rainbow trout. We caught 8 rainbows between 17 and 20 inches in 3 hours. With more than enough trout for the smoker, we targeted walleyes for a couple hours. Caught nothing but a few smallmouth. We talked to a couple others at the boat ramp, and only one other walleye was caught between 2 other boats.
We went back down Wednesday and got skunked. Marked a lot of fish schooling up in 20 ft but no action. Talked to several guy who said it was slow for them. Good call to cancel fish day, it will be ugly. Hopefully next week they turn on. Last year mid Oct thru Nov was best for me.
Fishing on the Snake River was very slow. My father-in-law and I made a day trip. We launched the boat around 930 AM and fished until 530 PM. We only caught 2 walleyes. I had a couple other hook ups that gave a head shake like a walleye, but didn't stay on. Even the bass bite was pretty slow. Typically, I catch dozens of smallmouth, but we boated less than 10 bass. The big walleye for the day was 27 inches long and weighed 7lbs 6oz (released). We kept a 15 inch walleye and a half dozen 12 inch bass for the frying pan. Water temp was 63 degrees.
Texas rapids fishing was slow, only one fish for 5 hours of feeding nightcrawler to shaker bass. This fish was 31"x 17", she took a chartreuse smile crawler in 18 feet of water. I was marking some good fish but wasn't connecting. Water was 65 degrees, spillways where closed, I do better when they are spilling water . Fishing should be better by fish day, see you then.
Patrick and I have heard rumors of nice walleyes in the Pend Oreille system. We thought we would give it a go. If nothing else, the PO river has some of the best bass fishing around. We fished from 11 AM to 630 PM. Caught a mixed bag of smallmouth and largemouth. No walleyes. No pike.
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-Mercury 250 HP Pro XS w/ Mercury Tempest Plus 3 blade SS prop
-Shorelander tandem axel trailer
-3 Bank Minn Kota on board battery charger
-Mercury BigFoot 9.9 HP kicker w/ tie rod to main motor and trim and tilt on kicker
-5 seats; 2 behind each windscreen, one in bow (height adjustable), one butt seat (height adjustable) and one for raised platform in back of boat near livewell.
-Crestliner custom boat wrap
-Minn Kota 101# thrust electric trolling motor w/ foot pedal and 2 remotes
Serious offers only. No trades.
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Since I didn't get to the Camp Out until noon on Sunday, I stayed through Tuesday. I went back to Rufus Woods to attempt to duplicate the success we had the previous evening. I caught 2 walleyes (22 and 20 inches) and 6 trout. I had to be home by 5 PM, so I was off the water by 2 PM. It would have been nice to stay longer to see if the evening bite would have materialized again.
Since Rufus Woods is so close to Coulee Playland, a group of us headed over to the Seatons Grove launch on Monday. There were 5 other boat trailers at the launch. It appeared that one or two of those boats were fishing for triploid rainbows. We struggled in the morning and for much of the afternoon. The current was swift leading to lots of snags and tangled gear. At 530 pm, we only had one trout in the live well, but the evening bite allowed us to end on a good note. We finished the day with 6 walleyes and 6 trout. The walleyes were 22, 21, 21, 19, 17 and 16 inches. The trout were fat with beautiful pink meat.
The smoke cleared for our weekend at Coulee Playland. Thursday was still pretty grey, but the visibility got a little better on Friday and a whole lot better on Saturday. The winds on Saturday held off long enough for our annual fishing contest. Doug S took our cash pot while Sharon V took the trophy. In general fishing was slow over the weekend. Ken V and Stan J had the most productive day on Sunday catching 6 walleyes and a 12 inch perch between the two of them. The tackle shop at Coulee Playland confirmed our experience saying that fishing has been slow the last few weeks. The big weather change over the weekend probably didn't help matters, but it was nice to get rid of the smoke.
I camped at Steamboat Rock State Park from Sunday Sept 27 - Wednesday Sept 30, and got in some fishing. Overall walleyes were spread out as also were the observations from the WDFW biologist I talked to at the boat ramp. Ended up catching 8 walleye over about 5 hours of targeted walleye fishing at various depths.
On the water by 3:30. The army Corps of Engineers decided to flush the reservoir and raised the water level 2-3 feet, two days ago.... I've never seen so much $#!* in the water. It was worse than Roosevelt in late May...... Literally hundreds if not thousands of logs in the water ranging from 1 inch thick to whole trees 20 inches in diameter. It made the going slow. Pulled six walleyes from 4:00 - 6:00 PM. Ranged between 16 and 18 inches.....
We took Ken's rig to the south end of Banks Lake for a day trip. We arrived at the lake around 8 AM. We had a nice 5 to 10 mph wind in the morning. We started the day with a double in the first 15 minutes of fishing. Ken boated an 18 incher and I got a 22! In another 20 minutes, I put a 15 incher in the boat. We thought it was going to be a great day, but our bite really slowed. By 11 AM the wind went calm, and the fishing became very slow. We ended the day catching 8 walleyes, 12" (released), 15", 17", 17.5", 17.5", 18", 19", and 22". Water temperature was 71 degrees and air temp warmed to 93 degrees. We were off the water by 5 PM.
I left Spokane later than I had planned to on Friday and didn't get to the Campground until about 5 PM that evening. Also, after launching my boat and mooring it in one of their slips, I also had to set up my camp, as I didn't want to have to set up my tent in the dark, so that took up some valuable fishing time.
I finally got on the water about 6:30 which would give me a little over an hour to fish. The sunset was gorgeous, but I only caught one 16 inch walleye.
Saturday was a great day with 8 eaters in the live well. My biggest was just under 18 and the other two coming in at just under 17". The other 5, were simply solid eater fish. The picture below doesn't do them justice, but Snake River Walleyes are chunky, which makes them great eaters.
Target Species: Walleye
Lake or River Fished Fort Peck Montana
Date(s) Fished August 5 thru 11, 2017
Weather Conditions: Sunny to high over cast or heavy cloud, Mostly sunny
Wind Dead Calm to 15 mph
Ambient Temp Mornings mid 50’s to day time highs of low 90’s
Water Temp 64 to 68 never say 70 but did not go all the way to back bays
Water Clarity 2 feet, water was really churned up due to wind
Moon Phase: Full moon on Tuesday
Species length & weight lure
Walleye 18” TTM20 Silver
Walleye 12” TTM20 Chrome
SMB 19 x 3-11 Silver Blade
Northern 30” TTM20 Chrome
Walleye 18” Deep 30 purple
Northern 24” Deep 30 purple
Walleye 21” Spinner Chrome
Northern 28” TTM 20 Silver
Walleye 22 x 4-5 Gold Spinner 2.5 oz
Walleye 14” Gold hammered Spinner 2.5 oz.
Northern 28” Silver Spinner 2.5 oz.
Walleye 23 x 4-8 Silver Spinner 3.0 oz.
Walleye 22 x 4-4 Cody Copper Spinner 2.5 oz.
walleye 3 each 12” throwback silver and copper spinners
Skip Jack Golden Eye
Walleye 26 x 5-4Jesse Spinners
SMB 17.5 x 2-4 Silver Spinner 3.0 oz.
Perch 4” feed to Artic Turn
Walleye 12” Silver Spinner 3.0 oz.
Walleye 21 x 3-2 Gold Spinner 3 oz.
Northern 36” Silver Spinner 3.0 oz.
SMB 12” Silver Spinner 3.0 oz.
Walleye 20” Silver Spinner 3.0 oz.
Northern 36” White Smile 3.0 oz.
Walleye 2 x12” & 14” Silver Spinner 3.0 oz.
Perch 4” White Smile 3 oz.
This trip was to be to Lake Wenatchee for the annual Sockeye run. But the returns were so low no season was declared. So on Tuesday August 1, I cancelled my camp site reservation for Lake Wenatchee State Park and lookedfor/researched other fishing locations. Central and Eastern Washington were to be in the 100’s and filled with smoke from the Britch Columbia fires so they were out. Considered Flaming Gorge in SW Wyoming too hot. Then I thought about Fork Peck, it’s on my bucket list, not the best time of year to fish it (May, June July and fall are much better). But is will be in the 70’s and 80’s no smoke… So I made plans for Fort Peck Hells Creek at the advice of Dale Gilbert. Made State Park reservation because I have never been there before.
Thursday 8-3 left work at 3 to pick up Nancy (Linda’s sister) at the airport dropped her at home and hit the road about 5:30 pm PDT. Drove to Missoula and crashed at a truck stop. Very smoky in western MT.
Friday 8-4 up and on the road about 8 am MDT and cut across the state on hwy 12 to 191 to 200 to Jordan MT. there was a huge (350,000 acre) fire between Lewistown and Jorden 10 miles wide. At Jordan turned north on to Hell Creek Road 25 miles of dirt road hell the worst I ever driven wash board the whole way 10 mph for 2.5 hours. The inside of the Gladiator was distroyed, cupboard opened and stuff was everywhere, the garage door on the garage opened and it was full of dirt. Yuck. Spent Friday night cleaning the inside of the Gladiator and launched the Lund into her slip with power that was nice.
Saturday 8-5 got up about 8am and cleaned the Gladiator garage 2 hours just to make it liveable. Took a walk around camp. Checked on the Lund and crashed for a couple hours. In the pm took the Lund out for a spin and 2 hours of fishing just to make sure everything worked and it did GLORY BE.
Sunday 8-6 was the first real day of fishing. Found out the Navionics chip I own only mapped the east half of the lake 25 miles from hell creek. I wanted to get catching off to a successful start so reviewed the map and picked a few spots to start trolling cranks. Caught 2 walleye on the first point, then a stinky northern. I saw on the chart a hump just upstream and decided to throw a silver blade and on the 4th cast a nice 19” SMB hit fight on. N & SMB released. Mike Cook had given me some tips from his trip to Fort Peck and referred to his fishing diary. So I started my own and it came in handy (see above) I was not relying on my memory for fish caught, good thing. That evening I met the Anderson’s from Billings and would hung with them the rest of the week Fine Folks. Shane and the boys had been catching in 30+ FOW and using bottom walkers and spinners.
Monday 8-7 headed for deeper water and silver spinners. I started with 2.5 oz. and had to move to 3 oz. to stay in contact with then bottom. Picked up nicer fish still not big numbers. The walleye are similar to Snake River or Rufus walleye in color and that they are fat and health. Just like me Fat and Healthy with good color. I added way points to my fishing diary. Very helpful.
Tuesday 8-8 FULL MOON Sure is nice to have a boat slip with power. About a ½ mile walk from the camp site to the dock. Fished with Cody today best catch day of the week. Followed Shane, Wyatt and Jesse today to learn some new spots. Cody caught big fish of the week out of my boat walleye 23” 4-8 a little while later I got a 22” 4- 4. Fish fry dinner that night with the Andersons. YUMMY
Wednesday 8-9 the day started with me having the droppers and went downhill from there. Fished 8 hours and I caught 1 Skip Jack or Golden Eye or Shiner. I just could not get anything to bite. Lost 2 dozen crawlers to short bites. Yuck. I ran to the west as the wind out of the north was really strong and made most of the main lake unfishable. As I pulled in to one spot 100’s of turns and gulls took off. One gull could not get out of the water it was really weird how it was acting. So I investigated and it has both feet and beak in a flicker shad crank bait. So I netted it and set it free. Good deed for the day. Heard the Hell road had been graded that’s good news.
Thursday 8-10 so todays plan was to go back to all the places I had caught fish and fish those areas again. Then Friday fish the spots I caught fish today. Well that worked pretty well. Kept one walleye fed a 4” perch to an artic turn, kept a 26 northern for pickeling. Tonight I broke camp not really that much to do.
Friday 8-11 good day on the water to finish my week. Fished the spots I caught fish on Thursday and one other SOUTHERNLAND POINT. Kept 2 walleye. As I was reeling in to leave (all my crawlers were gone) there was a 4” inch perch on the piece of crawler on my spinner. LOL. I loaded the Lund, dumped tanks took a shower and hit the road. The Hell Road was great and did 45 mph all the way to Jordan. Then onto Moore where I crashed for the night. There was a thunderstorm and it rained most o farther night. Central/eastern Mt sure needs the rain. Uneventful drive home.
Over all good trip to Fort Peck will fish her again.
This was my first time fishing the Snake and I am definitely going back! It's beautiful down there, the fish fight hard and are nice and fat and there was almost nobody down there! I saw maybe a total of ten boats all day.
Travis and I have tried to arrange a day on the water since early spring. I have been looking forward to fishing out of Travis's new Tracker boat. It took til August to finally get it done. We met at 515 AM (ouch) and headed to Ft Spokane. We fished until 1130 AM. The bite was really slow. We only managed 9 small walleyes, 5 smallmouth, and a 17 inch trout. The water level is still high, but appears to be down a foot or two since it's peak in mid July.
We arrived at the Snake River on Friday around 330 PM and were on the water by 4 PM. It took a couple hours to find fish on Friday evening, but we ended with a strong evening bite at sunset putting 10 walleyes in the boat in the last hour and a half. Fishing was steady the whole weekend. We averaged about 12 walleyes per day and lots of little smallmouth bass. Most walleyes were in the 16 to 18 inch range, but we did get several around 20 inches. No monsters this trip. The biggest walleye was 4.25 pounds and about 22 inches.
Travis launched out of Ft Spokane and fished spots between the launch and Porcupine Bay. He caught 14 keeper walleyes and a couple bass. Supposedly, he put 11 in the live well within the first hour then left his hot spot to look for bigger walleyes.