Whitefish Lake is located in the resort community of Whitefish,
and is one of the most popular lakes in Montana. The lake is quite large,
measuring about a mile wide and seven miles long. The lake itself is
ringed by summer homes and condominiums, with most of its use being in
the form of pleasure boating, sailing and water-skiing. However, Whitefish
Lake has populations of lake trout that rival that of nearby Flathead
Lake, with fish often exceeding twenty pounds. The lake also has
sizable numbers of large mountain whitefish, with some bull trout, rainbow
trout and northern pike also being found.
Like lake trout elsewhere, they are best fished while trolling in the
depths of the lake using spin gear, although some streamers on sinking
fly lines can occasionally pull in some fish. Lake trout can also occasionally
be caught near the inlets to the lake which are found on the northern
end of the lake.
Whitefish Lake is very scenic, lying at the base of Big Mountain, which
has a popular ski resort on it called Whitefish
Mountain Resort. Not surprisingly, use of the lake is very heavy.
To get away from the crowds, one will need to head down to the north
end of the lake, which receives somewhat less use due to its distance
away from the public boat launch.
Access to Whitefish Lake is good, with a public boat ramp located at
the City Beach near downtown Whitefish. Additionally, the shore fisherman
can access much of the western side of Whitefish Lake by risking the
wrath of the railroad and walking down the tracks - these tracks follow
the west side of the lake for its entire distance. The west side of the
lake is also the least developed, with only a handful of homes being
located along the lakeshore.
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