Yellowstone River Low, But Fishing Strong: Eastern Montana Fishing Report
By Matt Schauer

Posted: September 20, 2012

Please be advised that the extremely hot weather has been making precarious high wind conditions as well as potential for heat stroke. Please use caution while on the waters . Call the contact person in the area you are planning on fishing for current daily information. Also use extreme caution on the water at all times. Good Luck Fishing from the Montana Outdoor Radio Crew.

***Bill -Rock Creek Marina 1-406-485-2560

“Fishing is still great,” Bill says. People are walking away with their limit of walleyes. They are catching them at 10 to 15 feet using worms and slow death hooks. Water temperature is now 65 degrees. Northern pike are really doing well. I have seen northern as big as 39 ½ inches. I caught one that was 31 inches. They are liking cranks and spoons at 8 to 15 feet. “ Seems like all colors are working, they will bite on anything” Bill said, “One boat was using four different lures and they were beating off the fish because they were all catching!”

***Grant-Crooked Creek Marina 1-406-429-2999

Crooked Creek Fort Peck Reservoir

“To find the walleyes and northern pikes use a boat and head to Forchette and then into the narrows,” Lucky, from Scheels says. You will absolutely catch Northerns and some big ones. The average length is 15 to 20 inches. The walleye fishing and bass fishing are good also.

***Clint Thomas- Hell Creek Marina 1-406- 557-2345

Clint says, “northern pike are doing the same as last week.  The fishing is good. Bass can be found in the shallows off the rocks and in the drop offs at 8 to 10 feet. Northern pike are biting well on cranks and are being caught at 16 to 20 feet of water. Walleye are liking the shallows in early morning and late in the evening, try pitching jigs with a crawler. During noon, in the heat of the day, go 14 to 20 feet. The heat pushes them down,” he says.

***Gene Moore Lake ridge Motel 1-406-526-3597

Fort Peck Reservoir Dam/Bear Creek/Pines/

Gene says, “a few salmon are being caught at the dam using flutterspoons and squids.” Northern pike and smallmouth are biting as well. The river has really slowed down. “

***West Side Sports – Dan 1-406-654-1611

Nelson, Forchette

Dan at West Side Sports told us, “Nelson is the same. They are still finding bottom bouncers, and crankbaits are working. Crawlers are working for northerns also right now.” Dan says, “it is a bit longer time to catch some days,” he says. Forchette is just about the same. It is a bit slow. The guys are using bottom bouncers on walleyes there too . Pike are biting on cranks, “ Dan explains.

***Deadmans and Martinsdale

Not many people on the water. At Martinsdale’s a few fish are caught from shore. Gravely point south of point was catching fish. Boat fishing is okay and people are catching rainbows. On the river ,if you find decent flows, you will find browns. Just do it in the morning before the heat is up. It is low though.

Deadmans boat launch can be done but is difficult. If you try at Carl’s cove you might catch fish.

***Matt Stephens- Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225

Tongue River Reservoir

Luckie from Scheels says, “The Tongue is absolutely bizarre for bass. It is at the top of its game, at the top of the list. Small mouth bass and largemouth bass are good. The water is low, but not low enough to stop fishing. “Walleye are slow. The water temperature has made it a tougher bite,” he says.

*** Silos Marina Sharon 266-3100

Canyon Ferry

Fishing is good this week. People are finding the bite is still in the middle of the lake from Confederate to Goose Bay. “Usually they’re found at 6 to 20 feet depth,” Sharon said. Lots of numbers being caught of walleye . Walleye are usually 14 inches and quite a few perch are caught. I am seeing some trout as well. Shore fishing is best by the day use area at the end of the campground. As far as bait, try “whatever feels best,” Sharon says.

*** Minnow bucket Allen Camarillo 348-2440

“Fishing is good. The river is clear and the channel is low. People are catching smallmouth at Huntley. The good eater size fish.” They are catching their limit of 1 ½ to 2 pounders of smallmouth. They are catching nice sauger by the dam using a heavy jighead. They are catching 3 to 4 pounders,” Allen says. “Some guys are catching catfish at Waco, about 15 pounders on crawlers,” Allen explains. The lower Musselshell is producing smallmouth and they are good eaters. “Cool steady weather will turn on the bite,” Allen proclaimed. “On the Missouri, go in the middle of the day and in the morning and evening get your hunting in.”

***Lake Elmo Billings

Still some smallmouth bass being caught. They used plastic worms and were in the 2 pound range. Off shore fishing is still producing catches as well.

***Cooney Nate at Scheels, Billings

“You’ll find walleye at night in the shallows with stick bait of crankbait. Some perch have been caught,” Lucky says. “The water temp does make day fishing not very good. The water is low but fishing is still happening,” he told us. The Marshall Cove boat ramp is closed because of low water and we have heard they have also pulled a second one.

***Don’s Charlie 1-800-879-8194

Lewistown East Fork Reservoir

Charlie says, “Spring Creek fishing is good. On the river the catfish are biting, as are the sauger on worms. Fishermen at Crooked Creek are trolling at 10 feet with jigs or worms for walleyes. No one is having luck with minnows. The depth they are finding fish in is 10 to 16 feet of water. A few are using bottom bouncers as well. The cooler temperatures are helping.”

At Forchette people are fishing through the narrows.

*** Lucky at Scheels Sports

Petrolia Lucky says “the water is low and it is tough to get a boat in but if you do it is good fishing. Walleye and pike are good. The fish are congregating. Just remember you can only use small boats.”

“The Yellowstone River is lower and the catfish are in abundance. The water level makes it dangerous to run a boat, but be careful and go slow. Sauger, walleye and bass are fishing really well. On a scale of 1 to 10 it is a 10. Just go in the middle of the current as the fish are looking for oxygen,” Lucky says.

Big Horn is really good. Really it is awesome. They are using tan cattis and tricos dry flies and catching nice ones.

The Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the week of 9/18/2012 is written by Carol Henckel