The changes of winter with snowy weather means fishermen should stay aware. The weather and ice have changed drastically. Enjoy yourself but remember alcohol alters your judgment. So use it sparingly while enjoying the outdoors. Keep an eye on the weather as conditions such as temperature, wind and precipitation will change quickly. This report is compiled on Monday and Tuesday and reflects conditions and results of fishing from the past week. If you wish other information feel free to contact most parties for current daily information. Good luck fishing from the Montana Outdoor Radio Crew.
(Report compiled by Carol Henckel)
Rock Creek Marina-Bill 1-406-485-2560
Bill says “There is drifting. I know because my front door is drifted shut. No one has been out this week. Just too cold. The ice is 14 inches from Rock Creek south. We are supposed to be full with fishermen this weekend so I soul have more of a fishing report next week. ” The marina is closed. We will still have cabins for rent. So some services will be available if one of us is around.”
Tongue River Reservoir /Bob
***After working 47 years for the State and 17 years for the department Bob Pederson is retiring from Tongue River this Friday. Thank you Bob for your service. May your retirement be full of relaxation and outdoor adventures? ***
Bob says “ Fishermen have been reporting that fishing was good this weekend. There seemed to be a lot of catching going on. Most people say the bite is slower but guys are catching a fair number of people here. Mostly day fishermen not campers. Last week guys were fishing off of campers point and said they caught crappie and perch. “ The fish cleaning station is now closed. We now have only camper points 1 to 8 to the north and 9 to 11 open. The camp sites are now first come first serve. The water is down but fishing is still possible. ”
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade Stephanie /Warden Jordan Staley
Wade says,” It’s cold! My boy went out on Friday with his coach and they caught 25 perch. He also caught 5 ½ pound small mouth bass. On Saturday, a fisherman speared a 15 pound northern pike. Really a nice one. They are catching a lot of perch. Perch fishing has been Phenomenal. Not all perch are big but there are a lot of keepers. They are also catching crappies but not like the perch. A good week of fishing even with the weather. I am getting a good report no matter where they go on the ice. I now have a good source for fathead minnows and during the week the machine will be full. I will be open weekends. Our hours will be 6 am to noon Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There will be live minnows in the machine all week. ”
Clint Thomas- Hell Creek Marina 1-406- 557-2345 Marina Matheson-Park Hell Creek-Fort Peck Reservoir east to
Clint reports, “Fishing has slowed with the cold. The northern are shallow. One group got some nice pike in the 4 to 5 pound range. So pike fishing is decent. They have found them at 18 feet. No one has found any lakers on the other hand you cannot get out where they would be. There is 5 inches of ice across way out there. I am telling people 4 wheelers only. People want to go to Sutherland but I am discouraging that because all you have to do is hit one soft spot in a pickup and it is over. It is not ready for anything bigger than a 4 wheeler right now. Wait a while and it will be ready. We are open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm now. “
The park manager for Hell Creek State Park is Marina Matheson.
Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597
Eddie says, “I really have no new report this week. The lake froze over on Saturday. We have about 4 inches of ice there. On Saturday we had 4 or 5 bunches of guys fishing. They were out using 4 wheelers or side by sides. Sunday the wind was blowing so hard no one was out. No one told me if they were catching anything. It is frozen by the dam. Last I heard there was 7 inches there. “
Cooney Reservoir -Glennis , Mark Teynor is the new game warden at Cooney.
Mark says,” The ice is definitely thicker. Cooney ice is 2 feet in places on the south east end by Fisherman Point and Red Lodge campground. East by the dam I am hearing it is 1 foot deep. People are still saying everything they are catching is trout. I am not hearing that any walleye are being caught. I have seen some nice size ones, some football size trout with a really fat big body. Trout is where they are getting the best success. Monday was absolutely gorgeous. Guys were out of their ice houses fishing. There was absolutely no wind. “
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
Bob says, “It has been slow for fishermen out there this week. Mostly because of the weather I believe. The cold has definitely decreased traffic on Elmo. We have 7 inches of snow on the ice right now but it is snowing so that will change.”
Deadmans Tony Stefani
Tony’s wife says, “ We had a few people out fishing this week. The fishermen were farther out than last week. They were about 10 to 20 feet. They were even by the dam. The roads are clear. The county has plowed the road three times. ”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22
Terry says, “this dang weather! It is just too dang cold to go out. No one is talking about fishing this week. I do know Martinsdale is frozen over and has 8 inches. ”
Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194
Dale says, “There is lots of ice out there to fish. Lots of places to go.
The hot spot to fish is Crooked Creek, Forchette and Devils Creek. There is good ice. Use minnows vertical jigging. All of them have 8 to 16 inches of ice. I did hear that Forchette and Duck Creek toward the big lake is a bit dicey with ice.
The local waters, like the East Fork, are doing well fishing. They are catching perch with maggots. “
Crooked Creek has good ice. Word has it people are catching fish. Please Call for information. The number is 1-406-429-2999.
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
“The fishing has been pretty good. Ice is now 15 to 20 inches thick. We do not have much snow on the ice maybe 1 to 2 inches. Guys are catching trout pretty much anywhere going shallow. Going north to Hole in the wall they are catching a few walleye and perch. They are at 25 to 45 feet. The wind has been down this week making it nice for fishing. We do have plenty of bait here. Make sure you call for conditions, weather and how the ice is. The Lions Club perch tournament is January 28 an 29th. Call Silos to register. “ Sharon says. The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm. Except for the upcoming holiday
West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611
Don says, “ I am hearing Nelson has been slow for tip ups. There is 20 inches of ice. It has been pretty good for decent size perch. Cold weather has slowed for walleye fishing.
I hear Forchette has been real slow down there this week. They ha 9 inches of ice one week ago.”
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Billings-Scheels Dan , McCahen.
McCahen says he has heard,” I’m still hearing people are doing well at Tongue. They are catching little crappies. Use jigging raps. Guys are catching walleyes early and late in the day. A few perch are being caught they say.
At Cooney they are quite a few ling at night. Walleye fishing has been hit and misses this week.
People are saying it is good fishing for pike at Fort Peck, Rock Creek, and Crooked Creek. Walleye is slow fishing
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says,” I am hearing fishing is pretty good on Canyon Ferry. They are catching lots of trout, a few walleye and perch. They are catching all sizes, some pretty big and some pretty small. The say 12 to 13 inches to some 5 inches. There is 8 inches of ice at Canyon Ferry by Silos. People are catching rainbow trout.
At Holter they are saying they are getting a lot of perch, they are killing them. The limit is 50 and everyone is catching their limit right now. That is if they want to clean them. They are catching lots of perch. ”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977
Chris says, ” There is way too much slush and ice. It is not safe. Footing is not good. I would not recommend fishing right now. I don’t see any change until we get a string of warmer days. You can book trips now for later, just call the shop. Our hours now are 9 to 1 Monday to Saturday and 9 to 1 pm on Sunday. ”
Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612
Eau says,” one I know has gone fishing on the Big Horn. They don’t want to go out in the cold. Stock up on your flies. Wait for the warm to come back. .”
Steven Caldwell guide * Unable to contact. No new report this week.
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
Colette says, “If you go out fishing right now you would find your guides freezing up. If you are on the water it is just to get out not to fish at this point. The river is going up to 2800 cfs later today (Wednesday) The water temperature right now is 59 degrees. The water is warmer than the air is right now. “Our normal hours are we are closed Sunday and Monday. We are open 9 am to 2 pm now Tuesday to Saturday.
Riverside Anglers in West Yellowstone : Alice Owsley, fishing guide and outfitter 406-640-1698
Alice tells us,” Well fishing has changed a wee bit from the last two weeks, as the temps are now in the plus double digits. Open water doesn’t persist throughout the Madison, but more is probably opening up in the next few days with warmer winter weather forecasted through the weekend. Midges are the nymphs of choice, to use behind a size 16-12 stonefly and should bring in some trout. Water levels were dropped out of Hebgen, so deeper pockets for streamers are a little harder to find.”
Yellowstone National Park
Alice explains, “Fishing in the park is now closed for the season.”