Winter is here and with it comes sudden changes in weather and changes in water conditions. Outdoor enthusiasts including fishermen need to pay attention to these changes. Storms can happen quickly so fishermen or fisherwomen need to keep in touch with the weather service. 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, fire and precipitation including snow can come on in fierce strength very fast. 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
Linda reports, “I am looking out there and see 2 boats on the water right now. The wind has blown this week. It has been quiet the last two days. We did have ice in the bay but it is only on the shore edges. It is cold at night.”
Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg
Spencer said,” That water has frozen overnight in places. We have a skim of ice starting on the south end. We have one fisherman in a boat off the marina right now. He is in a ¼ acre size of open water. Both boat docks are frozen over. Going south is not stable ice. The wind has been blowing. I think with the warmer weather and wind the skims of ice will change. “
Some of the campgrounds have been shut down of electricity. Campers point north has electricity. That is the camp site closest to the marina. The cleaning station is closed. The water is turned off. There is no water at the dump site and in the campgrounds. The boat inspection site is closed.
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie, Greg /Warden Jordan Staley
Wade says, ” It has not iced up yet so we are still not open. We are just waiting. The south end has started to skim ice but it is not safe to go out on . “
The Marina is still closed right now. As soon as there is safe ice we will be open weekends but not yet. This year there will be no vending machine for minnows. When we do open we will sell them. So bring your own worms as there are none here right now with the marina being closed. There will be no fuel available “, Wade explains.
Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne 1-406- 557-2345 Marina Matheson-Park personnel
I heard they only had a few fishermen there. A few local fishermen have tried and they worked for them .
We are open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm now.
The park manager for Hell Creek State Park is Marina Matheson.
(Feature photo via Taxidermy.net)
Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597
Eddie says, “ Fishing has been a zero right now. The lake is wide open. The wind has blown this week. The last two days have been less. There is not any ice. I know of only a couple of guys who went out. They got a few lake trout and a couple of walleye. They were in Marina Bay. The walleye bite is on the river right now. It is more walleye than sauger. The walleye is eater size. Use a jig and a minnow . The water is 37 degrees. ”
Our hours are 6am-8pm Monday through Saturday, 6 am to 7 pm on Sunday. ”
Cooney Reservoir –
Aaron reports.” There is a thin film of ice from Fishermen’s Point to the dam. The middle is open sporadically between the ice. On the north shore and red lodge there is ice on the shore. Maybe after Christmas the ice will be firmer. There were a few fishermen fishing from the shore. They say the bite is slow. “
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
Bob reports , ” Elmo is 90% covered with ice. The geese can stand on it but it is very thin. Nobody is fishing. “
Deadmans Tony Stefani
Tony says,” No fisherman visiting here. We have had wind. There is no ice yet.”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22
Terry says,” Guys have said the wind has blown too bad to go out this week. No ice news yet for Martinsdale.”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy says, “Bair and Sutherland are making ice but it is just a skim of ice. It has gotten really cold here at night. During the day it has been in the 40’s. We also have had wind. ”
Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194
Dale says, “About the only place to fish around here is at Spring Creek. It is clear water. Use an assortment of nymphs. Nowhere else can you really fish. There are just skims of ice elsewhere. ”
Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana James (Slim) and Abbie Craig 406-429-2999
Abbie says,” The bay is open right now to Anderson Point. No fishermen have been down. The Marina is closed until December 20th. “
There is full service at the Marina with non-ethanol fuel, bait, minnows, worms, leaches and fishing lures. We also have some rods and reels. There are cabins to rent. We hope to be open year round.
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
Sharon says,” There is 2 to 3 inches of ice in the last 2 to 3 days. Be careful it is not thick. Discretion is always advised. Our maggots are arriving on Thursday. The wind has been blowing this week. We have gotten in our ice fishing stock. Don’t forget the Broadwater Lions Club Ice fishing Tournament on January 27th and 28th, 2018. “
The inspection station at the landing has closed.
The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm. We still are making and selling sandwiches at the Marina.
West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611
Jim says,” Nelson has ice off and on right now. It is not safe and is not fishable. On Forchette I fished and we caught 6 walleye and 2 northerns. My friend got 2 northerns and 2 catfish. It was fair fishing for nicer fish. Go deep 40 to 50 feet depth jigging with a minnow. We do have minnows here if guys need them.”
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday
Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Dan, Matt
Jayce says,” I have not heard much on fishing.
We hit the Yellowstone close to Billings to fish going east. We actually caught a few lings. I also heard of some walleye being caught going east by Forsythe and Miles City. That is it for news this week.”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “ The rivers have iced up. We have had 5 degrees the last couple of weeks at night.
I had a guy who said there is 3 inches of ice on Harrison and caught some rainbow trout. He thought it would possibly be 6 by the end of the week.
I also talked to someone who said George Town has ice. They had 9 inches one week ago.
I had a guy come through who said Henry’s Lake on the Idaho border had 9 inches of ice as of Saturday and they were catching big rainbow.
I have not heard anything on Canyon Ferry except wind”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill
Chris reports, “ The rivers are open. There is no ice on the edges of the rivers. Wading is also possible where the bank is clear. Try a wooly bugger. Streamers and nymph fishing should work. ”
Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612
Beau says,” I am on the big Horn River right now. The water seems to be down about 3600 cs. The water is off color. The visibility of the water is not good. The grass is still in it. Try a streamer maybe in black with a flasher. Fishing is not spectacular. Watch the redds if you see them and stay off that area. ”
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
Collette said,” The fishing is slowed down. The water is 45 degrees. You can still use dries like a baetes #20. Streamer fishermen are having a blast. Nymphing is real slow.” We are open 8 am to noon now all week. “
Riverside Anglers in West Yellowstone : Alice Owsley, fishing guide and outfitter 406-640-1698
Alice says, ”If you fish the Madison streamers and small nymphs are the most productive. Midges can also bring fish to the surface with no wind on the water. Water levels are unseasonably high so fish are in unusual winter lies. Stay warm! ”
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is closed for the season until May.