It is Christmas Eve and I know that with the schools on Christmas break you probably have been enjoying the outdoor activities with your family and friends. The snow has been welcomed by cross country and alpine skiers. The local ski hills have all received plenty of snow to make the skiing fantastic for the holidays – a huge improvement over just a week ago. Along with the recent snow, Montana has received enough cold weather to create some nice ice fishing opportunities to take advantage of over the next week too! Nelson Reservoir a popular lake to ice fish northern pike and walleyes has 7-10 inches of ice in the bays according to Jim at Westside Sports in Malta. Jim also says he has plenty of minnows in stock. Fresno Reservoir over by Havre has been fishing pretty decent for walleyes according to Cameron Moline from Lewistown. Moline has sent a couple of photos of limit of walleyes that he caught through ice from two separate fishing trips. Tiber Reservoir is still open around the main lake but there are reports of 4-6 inches of ice up the Willow Creek arm according to Leonard from Roberts Bait and Tackle in Great Falls. He also is stocked up with minnows. Roberts also reports that Lake Francis near Valier has 6 inches of ice on it.
Ryan Corwin from Bob Ward’s in Helena and Butte had this report for a few of reservoirs in his area: “On the Causeway on Hauser Reservoir – ice is coming in…but has thinned out we’ve had a few of our guys out already and they hooked up on ling, perch, and trout. Trout bite was particularly hot, ling will continue to pick-up throughout the winter. We’d recommend using some Swedish Pimples tipped with worms for trout or smelt for the ling. With colder weather this week ice conditions should get better but please be extra careful as ice conditions are always subject to change. The Holding Reservoir: also is starting to ice over with about 5-6 inches of ice”. Fishing has been okay—continue jigging Swedish Pimples tipped with maggots. GeorgetownReservoir is fishing fair for salmon, the brookies andcutthroats are biting as well. Orange and chartreuse Swedish Pimples have been working fair. Ice spiders have been working well. The Ruby Reservoir has been hit and miss this past week, however, the browns are hitting pretty regular on night crawlers and marshmallows. Ling fishing should be picking up on Clark Canyon. Sucker meat fished 1-2 feet off bottom probably work best for the ling.
Crow Reservoir has 3-5 inches of ice thickness and anglers have been catching some trout according to Rob at Ronan Sports. The latest report from John Harris from the Lakeside Motel and Tackle Shop in Trout Creek on Noxon Reservoir is that there is no ice but that was on Monday so maybe conditions have changed since his report. Harris did say that snowmobilers are having fun with the good snow conditions in the higher elevations.
If you plan on going fishing call a local bait shop or sporting goods store for current conditions on the lake before you head out and have a safe and happy holiday.
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