Lake Frances Ice Fishing Report
Reports by Jack Schilla -Valier, Montana:
December 31, 2014:
Lake Frances ice is 1 foot thick, relatively safe for ATV use with common sense and some caution. Snow drifts on top of Frances ice are up to one foot thick. Monster yellow perch, walleye, and northern pike, are biting fairly well on Frances at Valier. Bring bait because Valier’s One Stop gas station was sold out of bait on Tuesday, December 30th. I have been getting a few “Football Sized” yellow perch that have been 11 to 13 inches long. Montana’s State record yellow perch is 13 & 1/4 inches. My landline is 1-406-279-3202
January 3, 2015: Overall, Valier Lake Frances ice fishing is averaging a wee bit slower than last winter. My theory is that is because we have more snow on the ice this winter…a foot or more, and it’s blocking out the sun underwater, compared to a year ago this time. Last winter we had little snow on Lake Frances ice throughout the winter, and in fact the lake opened up somewhat in January, after freezing earlier, a year ago. It appears that won’t occur this year. More snow means less oxygen production, and more lethargic fish, in my opinion. Scott Curry Owner of One Stop Conoco at Valier has now stocked up on bait from Roberts Bait in Great Falls, in that I bought some there today. I managed to be a klutz today Saturday Jan. 3rd, by dropping my prescription eye glasses down the hole of my permanent ice house on Frances. So tomorrow, Sunday, after church, I plan to take my Aqua View Camera to try to spot my spectacles in over 30 feet of water, so I may be able to retrieve my spectacles with a weighted treble hook? Tight lines!