Should I make the trip over to Fort Peck Reservoir for the third time in less than a month and a half? In my mind, it wasn’t a hard decision to make, based on my recent fishing success. The truth of the matter is I kind of expected to go before hand because I left my 5th wheel and boat over at Hell Creek in storage. This trip I was curious to find out if the walleye fishing would continue to be good. For the most part it was the first two days but with the hot weather finally hitting Eastern Montana the fishing started to taper off by the end of last week.
Let’s just say the fishing went back to what it normally is this time of the year. Normal fishing on Fort Peck means that you go from lake point to lake point trying to find walleyes, some points produce and some don’t. Jim Johnson from Lincoln and my brother-in-law Tim Frost from Rapid City joined me last week. On this trip the best presentation was pulling a bottom bouncer with a smile blade with some beads/floaters with a slow death hook tipped with a crawler. It didn’t really seem to matter what colors the blade and beads were but green, orange, or blue were the best.
Tim Frost’s 30-inch walleye
The walleye fishing on Monday and Tuesday was very good. I think that might have been due to the thunderstorm that rolled through the area on Monday afternoon. Wednesday, the fishing was very good until about 11am. By then the daytime temperatures started to climb into the upper 80’s and low 90’s. It was a bluebird day with the sun shining bright. The fish we were catching were running about 20 feet deep. On Thursday it was very slow for us as the daytime temperature reached into the 90’s by mid-day. However, on Thursday, Frost caught and released a 30 inch walleye that looked to weigh around 10-11 pounds. It was the largest walleye he has ever caught so it made the day, and his trip. So if you plan on heading over to fish Fort Peck in the next few weeks make sure you are prepared to deal with the hot weather.
The Montana Walleye Governors Cup was held last Friday and Saturday on Fort Peck Reservoir. The 26th annual Gov Cup was based out of Fort Peck Dam and sponsored by the Glasgow area Chamber of Commerce. This year 120 teams competed for the top prize of $7500. The teams came from Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and as far away as Nebraska. In fact the top team this year was a husband and wife team that calls Leigh, Nebraska home. Mike and Sheryl Johnson have fished the Governors Cup for years and finally got the top prize with a two day total of 43.64 pounds. The second place team was from Gillette, Wyoming as Don and Cole Barton caught 41.6 pounds. Ken Schmidt from Glasgow a former Gov Cup winner partnered with Mark Jones from Billings to captured 3rd place with 40.38 pounds. Schmidt and Jones were the leaders after day one but had a rough second day with only 12 pounds of fish turned in. You can view the rest of the winners of this year’s Gov Cup and Tim Frost’s 30 inch walleye by logging onto montanaoutdoor.com.
(Written by the Captain; Cover photo: pbs.org)