Report compiled by Carol Henckel
Please be advised that conditions can change daily so please call the contact person in the area you are planning on fishing for current daily information. Weather is changing constantly and some days wind and snow can be a big factor. Ice conditions are dangerous so be very aware of what you are walking on. Keep an eye on the weather while you are out there and stay safe.
Good luck fishing from the Montana Outdoor Radio Crew.
Rock Creek Marina-Bill 1-406-485-2560
“Fishermen were catching this week. Fishing was really picking up. They were catching all day. One group caught 100 pike and 30 walleye. Of course they let a bunch go. Another group caught 27 walleye on worms and minnows. There was no wind this week and we had a fantastic weekend with nice temperatures. I was walking around in a short sleeve shirt! There was quite a few nice walleye caught. At one point there were 15 4 wheelers on the ice. Both bays have 16 to 24 inches of ice. You still have to watch the point with them. We had one guy go in because he was not watching the ice,” Bill says. There is only a minimum of services but Bill will be around now. We do have gas. If you need information leave a message on the answering machine and Bill will get back to you.
Tongue River Reservoir
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Colton/Bob Pederson/Warden Jordon
Jordon, Tongue River warden, says” People on Tongue are catching walleye and sauger. I want to remind people that the sauger limit is only one.
Look on the back pages of the regulations to see the identification points. People are either telling me that they went and got nothing or guys are saying they did pretty well. It is a mixed bag. They are using pretty much anything like night crawlers, gulp and minnows. The ice is 2 foot at the South end and 1 1/2 foot on the North end.” Check the regulations before bringing minnows in.
You can purchase live minnows from the minnow machine. It is set up by the marina. They are sold by the dozen at the machine.
The marina is closed for the winter season.
Clint Thomas- Hell Creek Marina 1-406- 557-2345 Hell Creek-Fort Peck Reservoir
“Fishing has been wonderful. We did have a 6 pound walleye this week. A
20 pound Northern Pike was also caught. We have about 10 to 12 inches of ice in the bay. We have 8 to 10 inches at Hell Creek west. Going east the ice is 12 to 14 inches in the bay and 10 to 12 in the main. Live minnows being used. Ice is good enough for 4×4’s and side by sides but not vehicles,” Donna says.
Clint repeated, “if you are reserving campgrounds for summer there are plenty of first come first serve camp sites available. The only sites filled are the 30 electrical sites you have to reserve. There are plenty of the other ones available you will just have to use your own generator.”
Gene Moore Lake Ridge Motel 1-406-526-3597
Gene Moore, of Lake Ridge says,” We have more open water in the middle then last week. You can fish in the bay and dredge cuts. The Dry Arm has good ice. The Pines west is good ice. Minnows are working pretty much at any depth. No matter what you do be careful. Best thing to do is call for ice information before coming as it changes often.”
Lake Elmo Billings
Ice fishermen are out fishing. The ice has had a soft surface for 4 to 6 inches deep because of the warm and then cold changing temps. So the ice can have water on it some days and be cloudy as well.
Cooney Reservoir Jenny/ Maleri
Fishing is pretty slow. Fisherman has 16 inches and Red Lodge has 20
inches of ice. Fishermen are catching only a few rainbow trout off
fisherman’s point. Camp spots are first come first serve through the winter.
Weather is always changing things. Martinsdale is still open out in the middle. Dam fishing is still possible. Fishing has been fair.
Deadmans ice is soft around the edges and changes with the weather. It has firm ice farther out. It is still a struggle fishing there.
Don’s Lewistown- Dale
“At Achley Lake fishing has been steady for rainbow trout. Catching 1 ½ to 2 ½ pounders. They are using bait. Ice is about 15 to 20 inches thick ”, Dale says. There is ice at Forchette Bay on the lake and we have seen more guys going that direction. The road is good. They are using tipups and minnows. At Nelson we are getting two different reports. One group said they were fishing in the weeds 4 to 6 feet deep and catching small walleye. The other group went out farther and did fair fishing with minnows 25 to 28 feet deep. They were catching bigger walleyes just fewer,” he reports.
The marina is not open. It is closed but cabins are still available for other uses just call 1-406-429-2999.
Minnow Bucket-Eddie White 696-1281
“Tongue River has been fishing well. One group caught 2 catfish, some nice walleye a bunch of small mouth bass. They also caught a 22 pounder and 43 incher northern pike. At Devils Creek someone caught a 10 pound pike. I hear Nelson is fantastic, just awesome, Eddie says,”
Eddie White is the new owner of the Minnow Bucket. Please note the new phone number to call. My hours are Tuesday to Friday 11 to 7 pm, Saturday 7 to 7 pm and Sunday 7 to noon.
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
Sharon says, “fishing has been good. They have been catching medium size perch, some walleye and lots of trout. In the center the ice is 15 inches.
The North end of White Earth is open. A lot of guys are heading to Duck Creek by Hole in a Wall. There is a pressure ridge to watch out for by Duck Creek to Confederate. The Lions Perch Tournament is this weekend January 25th and 26th. You can always call us for conditions on the ice at the Silos. We will give you the latest information.”
West Side Sports Jim 1-406-654-1611
West Side Sports has a new owner. Jim Mayer, the new owner, says, “my hours on the shop will be 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and we will be closed on Sunday.” “Come on in for all your tackle,” Jim says.
Nelson has been good this week. We did not get any snow this week but the warmer temperatures have made things pretty slippery on the ice. They are catching walleyes, northern pike and perch. Guys are having success spearing also.
Last week Forchette was catching eater size walleyes. Just use caution there. In the bay the ice is 10 to 12 feet,” reports Jim.
Nate says, “Tongue seems to still be doing good for perch I hear. It seems to be all over. Go toward Rattlesnake or right at the marina to catch them.”
“Cooney has slowed down. A couple of guys got two ling at night. One was 6 pounds.
At Petrolia fishermen were catching a few northern pike up to 20 pounds this week.
Deadmans can be fished but it is open along the banks and they are walking on planks to get to the solid ice in the middle. People say the fishing is decent at Martinsdale. Bear Reservoir has good fishing as well. I was at the Rock Creek area and it was fantastic fishing this week. There is definitely a lot of action, “Nate says.
Rich’s Tackle Richard
Canyon Ferry fishing and is fishing okay. People are catching trout.
Getting perch off and on. Go deep, 45 to 50 feet for perch.
Harrison is good fishing.
The Madison has opened.
The Jefferson has iced over some.
Shop hours are Sunday 12 to 4 pm. Closed Monday. Tuesday to Saturday 7 am to 6 pm. You can always call ahead if you are coming through and need something on off hours and we may be able to help.
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977
Things have opened up more this week but shelf ice continues to make it dangerous. You can get to places to fish now and guys are doing it. You just have to pick your spot. Just always keep safety in mind. Nymphing using a stonefly or Copper John would be what to use. Our hours during the week have changed in the shop and we are open Tuesday to Sat from 9 am to 2 pm now. We are closed Sunday and Monday.
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375 Rich
The upper 25 miles is open. Use orange scrubs, baetes emersions and yellow pupas. Streamers are working using black and blue. Try JJ’s in yellow brown, thin mints, Kenny Schiedner and dirty red. Really keep an eye o the wind report before coming. Check for your supplies before coming as worms in the area may be in short supply. The lake does have walleye and crappie but it has been too cold for much success. Black Canyon and Bill Bull Creek have ice. Our shop hours have changed and we are open 7 am to noon. Call for information.
(Cover photo: funnymama.com)