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About mjhowe

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    Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family
  • Birthday 03/28/1961

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  • Location:
    Kalispell, MT USA
  1. Hi Guys, It is $100 to enter...but with 60 entries, first place is worth $3,500! I have talked to several of the NAIFC teams, and many are going to enter as they will have their pre-fishing wrapped up.BUT, this is not meant to be a series dominated by touring pro's, but for folks who do not regularly fish the "Team events". We thought it would be fun to do one in conjunction with an NAIFC event and see what happens You do not need a partner, you do not need to pre-fish for days, spending hundreds on hotels and etc. What you do need to do is quickly figure out those fish below you for that 30 minute round. Events are spectator friendly, so you can observe the guys doing well, and learn the secrets. It is ALL out in the open, in a controlled environment. There are events in 4 states, so possibly one near you! Web site has much more details. Mike
  2. I have 9 of these reels that I use for lake trout (47's) and kokanee and smaller trout (27's). I guide and these reels get used hard, many times by inexperienced anglers. Up and down on the downriggers 7 months out of the year. All 9 have two hard years of use on them and I havent even had them apart yet! I don't see any reason to buy anything else unless you just want to waste money.
  3. V&H have been making quality, performance exhausts for over 30 years...Hard Krome...? I am guessing not. I would bet that they will make you one in gloss green if thats your thing. You cant go wrong with a v&h pipe.
  4. Are you towing a lot? Stop and go driving? Way too many variables for vehicle use and driving style to even remotely suggest you should get this or that for mileage, IMO. Nowadays, it is almost cheaper/easier to replace rotors rather than turn. So many of todays vehicles do not have enough material to be able to turn them and get the correct runout. Old vehicles had plenty of material, but everything is lighter these days in the interest of fuel economy. Also, as you get into the material, heat and cool takes a toll on the materials effectiveness, so if you tow lot (I do) and deal with bad roads, snow, ice, etc, (I do) dont take chances. Replaceing pads and rotors every 50-60K ensures you have the optimum braking performance at all times. Also, if you dont have vibration, pulsing of the pedal etc, you probably dont need to turn/replace the rotors, but while you're in there...why not?
  5. You basically have to select 900 as your first choice or forget it...LOTS less tags this year ue to blue tounge and some bad winter kill last year.
  6. For those of you near NW Montana, we are putting on a tournament Sep 25th at McGregor Lake. It is located half way between Libby and Kalispell. Best 5 lakers by weight with an added big fish pot. Two men per boat, $50 entry. Top 5 teams will cash. Same guys who have been putting on the Perch Assault ice fishing tournaments for the last 5 years so you know it will be a well run event. More info to come in the next couple of days
  7. Most of out local lakes have 5-8 inches of good clear ice...but now with snow on them some with up to 15 inches of snow on them Our bigger lakes, they still had water temps of upwards of 42 degrees, which meant even with the sub zero temps, the water still had to cool a lot before freezing. I think the cold deep freeze was great, but a little too early to really do much good on the big waters. Now we are going to warm up into the mid thirties, with more snow Once the barometer settles the fishing might get better! I will keep you informed!
  8. Montana is in the middle of a 10-14 day major cold front. It is about 8 below right now, and has not got out of the single digits for several days now. I would imagine most of our lakes are capped now, and will all have fishable ice by the weekend. I have been out on several of the lakes that ice up early and will be going over to Idaho panhandle this weekend for some early bluegill and crappie fishing. I will post up in a couple days and have full report on area lakes. If anyone wants to come out to NW Montana and fish some perch, check out my webpage for info on our awesome Perch Assault tournaments. Of course, if you just want to come out and fish, I will be happy to show y'all around, Hopefully, we will be fishing some big lakes for trophy lake trout in a couple weeks. That is going to be my target fish this year, as we will have good solid ice on many of the lakes that hold good mackinaw populations, but dont always freeze up until later in the season Good Fishing!
  9. I would recommend the Gravelly Range if you want to see lots of elk and trophy potential is not critical. Lots of nice animals, easy public access, no real threat of grizzlies. This is the area north of West Yellowstone and just east of the town of Ennis. Big, rolling hills, not real tough to hunt. My second area would be the Madison range, from the west side. The Madison river divides the Gravely Range from the Madison range. The Taylors Fork area is the most beautiful country, but there are lots of bears. Head north into the wolf creel, indian creek and bear creek country and you will be into lots of elk, with a better trophy potential, but a little tougher hunting, terrain wise. Lastly, the Fort Peck/CMR areas has a lot of elk, and its wide open breaks country. If you access by boat, you open up a huge area to hunt. A lot of guys from MN hunt this and it is now a draw only area. Some of the biggest bulls in Montana come from here and archer success ratio is very high. Go to Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks web site for more info
  10. You will have ice in March, depending on where you are. Big Dry arm, [PoorWordUsage] creek and the more protected areas will hold well into March Contact the folks at [PoorWordUsage] Creek Marina for more advice. Keedp tabs here and we will keep you posted
  11. I ran my 10 year old Mag2000 all last year with the Saber at 100:1. Never ran or started better. Go with the recommended ratio with no hesitation.
  12. Been fishing Flathead lake for the last 4 weekends. This past weekend was the first time I did not fish Fri-Sat-Sun, only made it out Sunday. Put 30 fish in the boat, all counting towards my total fish entered during the Fall Mack Days tournament. Jigging in 60-100 feet of water from before dawn to about 10:30 when the bite just stops. So far I am in 19th place with 73 fish entered. My wife is in 6th place in womens division with 26 fish. This is a great tournament and a step towards controlling the numbers of lake trout here, and giving the native species a better chance of survival. We have caught some big fish this year, releasing 5-6 fish in "the slot" that's 30-36 inches. Some real healthy fish. The event continues for the next 3 day weekends. You dont have to sign up prior, and you can check fish in 3 different check stations. find mackdays on the net for more info. Elsewhere, Bitteroot, MacGregor and Kookanusa are all fishing great for big rainbows, the Lake Superior Whitefish are running up the Flathead River, and the shallow water fishing for big Mac's on Flathead Lake make it a great time to be fishing. With the mild weather affecting the opening days of big game season, now is a GREAT time to be on the water. Take your shotgun along and maybe even get a little waterfowl action while you're at it! Good times to be in Montana, good times...
  13. Comes a time every year when the scoot must go to bed, yes? There are several things you can do to make sure she starts right up and rolls true come spring time. I like to think of it this way, I wouldn't just hop on the bike in the spring for the first ride of the year, I take the time to give it a good once over, twice! You can make sure its ready to go when those early spring days invite a quick ride. First thing is to fill the tank, all the way, but make sure you put some fuel stabilizer in first. I really like the new Stabil for ethanol fuel. Amsoil is also making a good stabilizer, but with all this fear about Ethanol in gas, my confidence is with Stabil for ETHANOL. You Minnesota guys have been dealing with ethanol longer than us, and I have heard some horror stories... Next is the battery, either pull it and put in somewhere you will remember to monitor its condition, or invest in a $29 batter maintainer and leave it hooked up over winter, but not before you top up the electrolite. Next, air up the tires, inspect them for wear and punctures. If you are going to need new tires in the spring, write down the sizes and look for deals over the winter. Same with the chain or belt. Get that one last ride in, warm up the chain and really grease it down, whatever lube type you use, now is the time to cover the chain liberally and let it soak in over the down time. Grease any zerk fittings, (mostly older bikes and dual purpose bikes) and liberally coat rubber and leather surfaces with protectant. If you are going to be covering the bike, avoid plastice tarps and covers that dont breathe. Use an old blanket, sheet or quality bike cover. If you are leaving it outside, make sure that when the wind blows, the cover wont rub and chaffe paint or other surfaces. Lastly, with todays liquid cooled bikes, its is imperative that your coolant, just like your cars, is up to snuff. With air-cooled bikes of old, that was never a care, but if you have a liquid cooled bike, you must maintain the coolant to beyond what you think the lowest temps will be. Do all these things and your faithful steed will be ready to go in the spring. It will avoid costly repairs in the spring, and when that "new bike" lust hits you in the spring, your properly cared for and stored bike will be worth more!!$$
  14. Hi Matt, Bird numbers are looking good all over eastern Montana. Locate Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks on the web, and study the Block Management programs. You can find all the folks who allow hunters on thier lands, free of charge. Sometimes you have to sign up, but most times you walk up and register and hunt. LOTS of ranchers participate, because the state pays them per head, and the money comes from non-resident hunting fees, so you are already paying for it, so you might as well utilize the resource. Once you get the regional booklets, you can contact the landowners directly (most of the time) and get the bird info you seek. Let them know you are willing to pop all the coyotes you see, and you will have one foot in the door right there! Good Hunting!!!
  15. Wow, what a weird year here in NW Montana!!! Our perch fry never hatched in Flathead Lake due to cold spring temps, dirty, run-off stained water, and a lack of emergent weedbeds. Due to this, the Lake Superior Whitefish bite never turned on...There seemed to be lots of fish, but they were eating something different than perch fry, therfore the usual perch imitators that normally take coolers full of fish werent working. Here it is, almost mid September and most folks figure its too late for it to kick in now. The laker fishing on Flathead has been very very good and will keep getting better into late October/early November. The fall Rainbow bite on Lake Kookanusa will kick off as soon as surface temps hit 53-52 degrees, and with the cool weather we have been having, that may happen sooner than usual also. The perch bite on Flathead Lake has been staedy, you just have to find the fish. Try 30-45 feet for the big ones. Drop me an email for any lake specific info if you are heading this way. The Fall mack days tournament runs for 7 consecutive weeekends beginning Oct 3rd. I am going to curtail my hunting until late this year, and fish this tournament hard. Info can be found online, under "mack days" Good Fishing!
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