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 or using 4 wheelers on.
Enjoy yourself but remember alcohol alters your judgment so use it sparingly while enjoying the outdoors. 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 are doing well this week. Lots of walleye, Northerns and a few trout have been caught. I haven’t heard of any perch caught. They were catching all day. Both bays have 16 to 24 inches of ice. With some of the warm temps the ice got a layer of water on it but it has frozen again. We had wind this week again. You need to be careful on the ice. The points are open,” 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. Remember the sauger limit is only one. Fishing has slowed. It just seemed to be slower this week. The catch rate when I checked this week appeared to be down. They are trying pretty much anything from night crawlers, gulp to minnows. The ice is still good, 2 feet at the South end and 1 1/2 feet 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 good. The have caught a few ling, a number of walleye, Northerns and lake trout. They are catching walleye at night. One group caught 18 fish and there were 4 in the group. Another group caught 18 pike. 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. We are skiing people to be careful with 4 wheelers especially at night. Sadly we did have a death over the weekend and because of that we are keeping people off the main lake right now but the bay is open for fishing. We think the main area will be open to fishing, depending on the weather, either Wed. or Thursday,” the worker states.
Clint has said earlier, “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,” Our weather has been off and on. We have had wind and on day is hot and the next is cold. We have open water in the middle again this week. It got colder last night and then it froze again in spots. It is just very dangerous. You wouldn’t catch me out there. You can fish in the dredge cuts. No matter what you do be careful. Just call for ice information before coming as it changes often.”
Lake Elmo Billings
“We have open water and even have had geese on it. There is no ice fishing right now. We just don’t trust the ice,” Bob said.
Cooney Reservoir Jenny/ Maleri
“Fishing is fairly poor. There were a ton of people out there but not many aught much. They were all rainbow trout. Fisherman has 20 inches and Red Lodge has 20 inches of ice. Not much fishing going East,” Malerie said. Camp spots are first come first serve through the winter.
“Weather was not good this week. It was way too windy. I saw no one on Deadmans. It has soft ice in places and is open in the middle.
Martinsdale is still open out in the middle. Dam fishing is still possible. Fishing has been fair.
Martinsdale has better ice but I hear not much catching happening. Lots of wind as well,” Justin says.
Don’s Lewistown- Dale 1-800-879-8194
“We are catching fish in this country. At Achley Lake fishing has been holding steady. They are going 15 to 20 feet for rainbow trout using live bait small worms. Ice is about 20 inches thick”, Dale says. At Nelson the derby went well. At Fort Peck we are hearing they are doing good at Forchete Bay and Devils Creek. Northern pike bite has been steady and walleye have been sporadic,” 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
“I am still hearing Tongue River has some fish caught. They have had lots of wind. I know the Yellowstone is doing okay spin casting. The browns are running. They have caught some 2 ½ pounders using minnows, 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 very good, I would say. We had 375 people with kids for the Lions Perch Tournament this past weekend. The winner was Mary Saltzman with a 1.6 # perch. The winning 3 man team with Jim Sparring of Helena won with 15 fish and a weight total of 13.8#. They have been catching medium size perch, not many walleye and lots of trout. In the center the ice is 16 plus inches. It is 6 to 10 inches on the edge.
The North end of White Earth is open so you can’t go there. They are using maggots, little crawlers, wooly buggers, and girdle bugs. They are using hali for perch. Also using glow jigs and fish eyes for others. 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. “Stop in any time,” Jim says.
“Nelson has been good fishing this week. It has been warm and windy. The ice is stable. The Fishing derby this week ha 250 fishermen. The big northern was 16.4 pounds, 8.8 pound walleye and a 1 pound perch. There was 3 inches of water on the ice. It has been cold Sunday and Monday so it has frozen again. Be careful when walking close to shore as guys were spearing and there are lots of holes, more than normal,” reports Jim.
Nate says, “Still hearing from guys Tongue is doing good for perch. A few nice ones. I have heard of a large catfish and pike.”
“Cooney seems to still be slow. Guys are catching ling at night. I have heard of 12 from one guy.
No matter where guys go just be safe and watch ice conditions, “Nate says.
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Canyon Ferry was slow fishing for me. I am still hearing it is hit and miss. The North end is open. I have been looking at the moon phases and from what I am hearing it has been right on. When you find perch they are ¾ to 1 pound.
Harrison is good fishing. There have been catches of rainbow trout, browns and a brook trout 14 inches long.
The Madison headwaters are fairly good. There is shelf ice to watch for.
There is 1 to 2 feet hard access.
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
A few more guys are trying to go out. Things have opened up more this week but shelf ice continues to make it something to watch. You can get to places to fish now and guys are doing it. You just have to pick your spot.
Some places are slushy. Just always keep safety in mind. Nymphing seems to be what is working using a stonefly or Copper John. 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
(Unable to get a new report) 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: 1zoom.ru)