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.
*** AT THIS POINT THE CHANGES IN WEATHER MAKES ICE CONDITIONS VULNERABLE IN SOME LOCATIONS PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU CHECK WITH THOSE IN THE KNOW IN THE LOCATIONS OFTEN TO FIND OUT CHANGING ICE CONDITIONS***
(Report compiled by Carol Henckel)
Rock Creek Marina-Bill 1-406-485-2560
Bill says, “Fishing is still good. We still have good ice. As long as the lake level isn’t changing it will stay the same. We have 3 feet of ice in the bay. I went to town this morning (Tuesday) and the road was muddy. Guys are catching northern pike and lake trout. Two walleye have been caught this week that were 32 inches and 28 inches. Other smaller walleye were also caught. Fishing for walleye maybe picking up . We still have only a couple of inches of snow. 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 /Spencer
Spencer says “Right now, I would say be really cautious. The edges are getting softer. People are taking off their ice houses. There is slush and water on the ice. I have seen four wheelers breaking the ice at the edges. We did have 12 degrees this morning (Tuesday) and it is refreezing at night. I have heard of people catching some crappies, more perch and northern pike. The ice is anywhere from 12 to 15 inches. Just be aware.”
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.
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade Stephanie /Warden Jordan Staley
Wade says,” the ice by the marina is still good. (Tuesday) We never got the extreme warm weather. On Saturday, the fishermen found the ice at 15 inches at places. They are catching more perch than anything else. Slower on crappies being caught. I am checking ice conditions daily so check the facebook page for conditions. I have lots of fathead minnows and during the week the machine is full. “
I am now set up to do SP passes. Fishing licenses and OHV permits now. I will be open weekends. Our hours will be 6 am to noon Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”
Clint Thomas- Hell Creek Marina 1-406- 557-2345 Marina Matheson-Park Hell Creek-Fort Peck Reservoir east to
Cody says, “ We still have ice. In the bay we still have 2 feet of ice. The main bay Clint and Cody both say it is 14 to 16 inches. The pressure ridge has gotten bigger. It is still good for fishing. (Tuesday). Guys are catching lake trout, walleye and pike. The walleye are decent size. We are still saying 4 x4’s it only as it is just not good for pickups. “ 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
Carrie says, “Fishing picked up on Saturday. More and more walleye are being caught. Lots of fish being caught are northern pike and some lake trout as well. They are finding depths of 14 to 30 feet for pike. We did not get snow this week. The lake trout are being found at 35 feet and walleye at 18 to 22 feet. We have 5 inches of snow. We have no water on the ice.”
Cooney Reservoir -Glennis, Mark Teynor is the new game warden at Cooney.
Mark says, “ FWP biologists will again be out tonight (Tuesday) checking for ling. Last night they found a healthy fishery with trout. I don’t know about the ling count. There was some ice melt this week. The edge has broken away in places so guys are bringing boards to prevent them from walking in water. Many people have limited out on rainbows this week. Cooney ice is 1 to 2 feet. The 2 foot depths is at the south end. The north shore has pretty thin ice. It is not recommended for truck driving on it. Keep an eye on conditions and changes with our warmer weather. “
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
Bob says, “.I am looking out there at the dock and a fisherman is catching a perch right at this moment. Ice is good still and is 18 to 25 inches. Guys are drilling lots of holes. Many are ice fishing. That same fisherman just pulled out another perch just while we are talking. That is not bad fishing.”
Deadmans Tony Stefani
Pat says, “ There is a one foot opening at the edge of the ice. We had a fisherman out there today (Tuesday) but it is obvious the warmer weather is changing things. Pay attention as getting stuck can be a problem so stay on the road. ”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22
“The warm weather and the low water leveI means you really have to pay attention. Watch the warm weather. I have not heard from any fisherman about Martinsdale. I would think things are pretty muddy, Terry says.”
Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194
Charlie says, “Crooked Creek by Lewistown and Crooked Creek by Winnett both are all water. They are blown out. So Spring is here maybe. On the Musselshell the water is really moving and running fast. There are fly fishing on the creek but not getting much action. It varies daily and hourly. “
People who fished this weekend ended up with Crooked Creek being blown out by Sunday. Ice fishing was a challenge as the water was eroding the holes so they were losing tipups in the water on Saturday. Ice was gone early Sunday.
Please Call for information. The number is 1-406-429-2999.
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
“Ice is still good . (Tuesday afternoon) The trout and perch fishing was . Walleye is a medium bite. We have ice that is 18 to 25 inches thick. The ice is in good condition. There is now a second pressure ridge. There has been a very large pressure ridge so you need to stop to hear where both are and avoid them. Stay off of it the whole length of it. We do have plenty of bait here. “ Sharon says. The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.
West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611
Jim says, “ Nelson is good fishing still. The perch bite is good People are catching walleye although the bite was slower and still catching some big northern. There is 34 inches of ice.”
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan
Congratulations to McCahan on his promotion. I welcome John Cooper as my source for fishing news and congratulate him as the fishing department manager.
Dan says ,” Some of our guys were at Crooked Creek this weekend and the ice blew off so they left on Sunday. They were losing tip ups because the water was eroding the holes so the tip ups were falling in. It changed really fast. .
The fishing tournament at Hell Creek had 47 teams. The big northern was 33 inches.
The Big Horn is still fishing well. Try a wire worm in 4 or 8 size is working. The rainbow warriors in size 20 to 16 are also doing well. Try the standard midge in brown or black in size 22 to 18. I caught a 23 inch rainbow by the bank.
Tongue River fishermen I have heard this week the bite is off and on. They are catching fewer perch but they are still getting some. It is just a tougher bite
On Cooney I know FWP is checking ling and will be doing it tonight. (Tuesday) They asked I I could come but sadly I have to work. I know guys are catching ling. So we will see what the smping shows.”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says,” At Canyon Ferry the fish are biting. One group I know ended up going in in on the East side because the pressure ridge had opened to eight feet wide. It did freeze over but I would not trust it. They could not get around it. They did catch trout and the fishing was good.
At Holter people say they are catching a lot of perch. They are really biting.
The rivers are open some but there is a lot of floating ice. There is still a lot of ice around. Footing would be rough.”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977
Chris says, “The ice is breaking up. There is still lots of ice. Footing is not good anywhere. I still cannot recommend fishing right now. You can’t know if the ice is safe anywhere to stand on.
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
The water has definitely come up and it is clear. Streamer fishing is good they say. Use scuds, sow bugs and puppas .”
Steven Caldwell guide * Unable to contact. No new report this week.
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
Hale says,” The water has definitely come up. We are at a cfs of 3400. That is our normal flow number. The water is clear. The feeder streams are cloudier. Like at Sarpy Creek and Beau’s Creek. Streamer fishing is good. I hear Nymph fishing still is good as well Try scuds, sow bugs and puppas. There is a limited midge hatch if there is no wind.”
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,” Sunshine and warmer temps, melted all the ice. A few midges are around for the occasional fish looking up. Although most fish are eating nymphs, small olive mayfly nymphs and smallish midge patterns. Rainbows will be spawning soon, so be on the lookout for redds. .”
.”Yellowstone National Park
Alice explains, “Fishing in the park is now closed for the season.”