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Fishing At Flathead Lake In 2024

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By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, brook trout, lake trout, pumpkinseed sunfish, yellow perch and northern pike at Flathead Lake in Montana.

Flathead Lake, MT

Massive Flathead Lake, in the northwest part of the state, provides over 128,000 surface acres to explore for boating, fishing and other water-related activities. It is well known for big lake trout and pike, as well as plentiful yellow perch and whitefish.

The purpose of this page is to deliver an overview of this lake, the fishing options, and area amenities. Our goal is to provide info to first time visitors, as well as beginner and novice anglers. We gathered details from personal experience, numerous trusted websites, and videos of fishing activity on the lake. These websites include the Montana Fish, Wildlife And Parks Department, marinas at the lake, campgrounds, boat rental agencies and others. By consolidating this information to one page it allows visitors to see the entire picture, all in one place.

Lake Video

Flathead Lake, located in northwestern Montana, is the largest natural freshwater lake in the western United States and a renowned fishing destination. Covering over 191 square miles, this majestic lake offers anglers a wealth of fishing opportunities, scenic beauty, and a variety of fish species to target.

One of the most sought-after fish species in Flathead Lake is the lake trout, also known as mackinaw. These predatory fish can grow to impressive sizes, with some reaching over 40 pounds. Anglers can target lake trout by trolling deep waters with downriggers or by jigging near underwater structures. Flathead Lake is famous for its trophy-sized lake trout, and the thrill of hooking into one of these powerful fish is a highlight for many anglers.

Flathead Lake is also known for its population of native westslope cutthroat trout. These beautiful and prized fish can be found in both the lake and its tributaries, providing opportunities for both lake and stream fishing. Fly fishing with dry flies or nymphs is a popular method for targeting cutthroat trout in the lake's clear waters. These fish offer a rewarding angling experience and a chance to connect with the region's natural heritage.

Other popular fish species in Flathead Lake include yellow perch and northern pike. Yellow perch, known for their delicious white flesh, can be targeted using small jigs or baited hooks near submerged structures. Northern pike, a voracious predator, offer anglers an exciting fight and can be caught by casting large spoons, spinners, or jerkbaits.

Anglers visiting Flathead Lake should be aware of fishing regulations and obtain the appropriate licenses. It's important to follow catch limits, size restrictions, and specific rules regarding certain fish species to ensure the sustainability of the fish populations and the preservation of the lake's ecosystem.

With its breathtaking scenery and diverse fish species, Flathead Lake offers anglers a premier fishing experience in Montana. Whether it's targeting trophy lake trout, casting for cutthroat trout, or pursuing other popular fish species, Flathead Lake provides an unforgettable fishing adventure amidst the beauty of Montana's landscapes.

This virtual fish factory has over 185 miles of shoreline which are surrounded by scenic mountain settings. The Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Department provides over a dozen public access areas around the lake. Fishing enthusiasts pursue bass, trout, sunfish, perch and pike year round, including ice fishing in the winter - once there is safe ice. During the warmer season, shoreline fishing available at public access areas. Several marinas and numerous campgrounds serve the boating and camping visitors, both on and off the water. Fishing guides and charters offer a variety of fishing options in search of the various fish residing here. Choose from a half-dozen boat ramps for launching all types of fishing and pleasure boats.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Montana

Primary fish species residing in Flathead Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Rainbow trout Cutthroat trout Brook trout Lake trout Pumpkinseed Sunfish Yellow Perch Northern pike

Flathead Lake Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: YES
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: YES

Today's Weather & Forecast

Boating is a popular activity on Flathead Lake, with numerous marinas and boat launches available for anglers to access the lake. Whether it's trolling for lake trout, searching for prime fishing spots, or simply cruising along the scenic shorelines, boating enhances the fishing experience on Flathead Lake.

Fishing Boat Rentals

Boat Rentals and Rides
Rentals: Pontoon boats and kayaks
406 260-5090

Flathead Boat Company
Rentals: Pontoon boats
406 883-0999

Glacier Powersports
Rentals: Pontoon boats
406 249-3397

OId Faithful Watersports
Rentals: Pontoon boats
406 253-2702

Polson Boat Rentals
Rentals: Pontoon boats and kayaks
406 546-3778

Riverside Recreation
Rentals: Pontoon boats and kayaks
406-883-2300

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Big Arm State Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, west side, off Big Arm State Park Boat Launch Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Blue Bay Campground Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, east side, off Montana Highway 35, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with docks and paved parking.

Elmo Fishing Access Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, west side, off Public Access Road, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Flathead Lake State Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the south side of the lake, off S Finley Point Road, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with docks and paved parking.

Lakeside Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northwest section of the lake, off Bierney Creek Road, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and street parking.

Point Salish Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southwest section of the lake, off 2nd Avenue E, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with docks and paved parking.

Somers Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northwest corner of the lake, off US Highway 93 S, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Sportsman's Bridge Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast corner of the lake, at the east end of the State Highway 82 Bridge, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with gravel parking.

Wayfarers Campground Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off Harry Horn Road, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Woods Bay Point Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off Woods Bay Point Road, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with docks and gravel parking.

Yellow Bay Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, east side, off Montana Highway 35, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Marinas

Flathead Harbor Marina
7135 US Hwy 93
Lakeside, MT 59922
406 646-2656

Hidden Harbor Marina
33336 Whitecap Lane
Bigfork, Montana 59911
406 274-6830

Click here for a Montana Fishing License.

Camping facilities are available in the surrounding areas, providing opportunities for anglers to extend their fishing trips. Campgrounds offer amenities such as picnic areas, restrooms, and lakeside campsites, allowing anglers and their families to enjoy the beauty of the lake and its surroundings.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Wayfarers Campground - 406 837-3041

Outback Montana RV Park & Campground - 406 837-6973

Finley Point Campground - 406 887-2715

Polson Motorcoach & RV Resort - 406 883-2333

Rollins Restaurant & RV Park - 406 844-0572

Polson-Flathead Lake KOA Holiday Campground - 406 883-2151

Flathead Lake State Park Campground - 406 752-5501

Flathead Lake MT Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Flathead Lake
Flathead Lake State Park
23861 MT-35
Bigfork, MT 59911
406 751-4598

 

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