Ice Fishing, Shore Fishing and Boat Fishing: Captain’s Column
By angelamontana


Ice fishing, shore fishing, and boat fishing highlight the weeks fishing activity around much of Montana. The Helena reservoirs fishing report this week from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks contains all three of those fishing methods. It makes sense because it is the time of year when the ice anglers get in their last trip of the season and boat anglers are itching to start fishing. Canyon Ferry and the Helena Valley Regulating reservoir are the only bodies of water that have safe ice and those ice conditions are deteriorating fast so if you plan on ice fishing use caution.

AKKUD00ZOn Canyon Ferry Reservoir, anglers are doing well for rainbow trout between the Silos and Pond 4 and in Beaver Creek Bay.  Fish are being caught at shallow depths using plain worms or ice flies.  Few yellow perch anglers are heading to areas between Hole-in-the-Wall and Duck Creek Bay as ice conditions deteriorate.  An occasional walleye has been reported while searching for perch.  Ice conditions were recently reported at 12 to 13 inches between the Silos and Pond 4, 10 to 13 inches at White Earth and EXTREMELY VARIABLE on the north end.  Open water has been confirmed at Hellgate Bay. On Hauser Reservoir rainbow fishing is good from shore at Riverside, York Bridge and Devil’s Elbow on worms or flies.   Boat anglers at Riverside are catching rainbows while trolling jigs and orange colored crank baits.  There have been reports of a few walleye being caught from boat at York Bridge on jigs and worms in 40 feet of water.  Ice in the Causeway and Black Sandy is to unstable to walk on. Holter Reservoir

Rainbow fishing is good at Gates of the Mountains from both shore and boat while using worms, powerbait or flies.  Walleye are being caught at Gates of the Mountains while using jigs and worms.  Ice around Log Gulch, Black Beach and Holter Lake Ramp has become unstable and should not be accessed according to FWP.

On the Helena Valley Regulating Reservoir Kokanee fishing is very good.  The kokanee are being caught at varying depths in 15 to 25 feet of water on green or pink ice jigs tipped with maggots or corn.  There is 9 inches of ice; however, it is deteriorating daily and anglers should use caution.

Chancy from montanaoutdoor.com says folks getting out on Flathead Lake and doing well getting some nice trout on the delta off the bottom, 10-20ft of water with bait fish. Trolling from Westshore State Park using flatfish and doing pretty well on lake trout. Smith Lake kind of a slow but when you do catch one it is pretty nice.  Still pretty god ice on the Lower Stillwater catching some nice perch in the 9-12 inch range.

Bill Brown from Bob Wards reports that Georgetown Lake has slowed some but ice anglers are still catching kokanee salmon in 15-18 feet of water and trout by Piney Point in 5-8foot of water.

Friday, March 15th is the start of Spring Mack Days on Flathead Lake and it is also the deadline of hunters to get their deer and elk permits in to FWP.

Saturday, March 16 is the Safari Club International Banquet in Missoula at the Holiday Inn Parkside. For more information log onto www.westernmtsci.org or call 1-866-633-8110!






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