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. The strength and depth of ice can change very quickly please watch for any changes. 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,” We had fishermen come in this past week. We have plowed the road and if the wind does not get too bad the snow will not drift. Some of the guys made a path. Those guys were able to fish at or near Little Bug. They did catch pike on smelt and minnows. Some were able to fish going north on the west shore. They did catch some fish . The ice is 18 inches thick.”
Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg
Raymond said,” Not many people out fishing this week. The few fishermen caught a few crappies and perch. The roads in the park are icy but over all good and there are no problems getting in. Most guys were catching with minnows from the Marina. We have 10 to 12 inches of ice. “
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 reports,” over the weekend there wasn’t a lot of people here. Some guys were struggling. There was one guy who was there for 3 days and got his limit fishing in the bay all three days. He was fun to watch. He was having a heck of a good time. He was fishing at 35 feet using a glow in the dark spoon and with my small fathead minnows. He said the smaller work better. The roads are good around here.“
The Marina is open Friday, Sat and Sunday. Our hours will be 6 am to noon each day. I am getting minnows right now. I will have worms. Mill worms, tackle, beer, pop and snacks. Check out Tongue River Marina on Facebook. This year there will be no vending machine for minnows.
Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne 1-406- 557-2345
Lane says,” it has been slow fishing this week. I believe it is the cold. The northern pike have picked up. They are finding them at 10 to 15 feet depths so they are coming up. The walleye bite is better. It seems to be more consistent. Mostly eaters with a few bigger.
The ice in some places is shallow starting at 14 feet but going to 2 foot elsewhere. Fishermen are using 4 wheelers and side-by-sides. We have several pressure ridges so check with us for details. There are two in the bay and two out on the main. The road is good Clint plows the road as needed. It has been plowed”
The Marina is open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm.
Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597
Taylor says, “fishing has slowed down some. We have had a lot of weather fronts so that slows things down. The lake trout had just started to bite. People need to know there is 4 to 6 inches of snow on the ice. Some had caught northern pike and walleye. We just have not had great reports of catching. ”
We do have minnows, hooks, floaters, full suckers, wax and meal worms and white and pink maggots here for the guys to use. Our hours are 7am-6 pm Monday through Sunday. ”
Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson.
Marina reports,” We had lots of drifting this week. I have been plowing. I have seen a few people about 4 on the ice this week. those few people said it was slow fishing. I have closed Cottonwood and Overlook going north is also closed. You can fish at Red Lodge Campground, Fisherman Point and Marshal Cove or on the shore by the boat ramp. I got help getting the deep plowing done so now I can maintain it better with my plowing. There is 12 inches of ice at the Red Lodge campground area. Right now at Fisherman Point there is 14 inches at the shore line and 8 inches in the middle. “
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
“ Right now there are a bunch of shacks out there. Elmo still has good ice. They have catching lots of perch. They are catching mostly small ones a little above the bottom in the deeper part of the lake. Guys have been using everything from corn to cut worms and crawlers. The recent cold weather has made 8 to 12 inches of ice but you will be shoveling snow off of it. You need to come see the snowman someone built out in the middle. It is walk on only of course ”, Bob says.
Deadmans Tony Stefani
Pat said,” We have had a couple of ice fishermen at Deadman’s this week. They did plow the road but with wind like today drifting becomes a problem. So if they come watch the weather closely. “There are shacks on Broadview pond. So we think people seem to be catching fish.”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22
Terry says,” not many out fishing. We have been having trouble just getting around. They were snagging some Kokanee at 5 to 6 feet at Deadmans . ”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Rick says, “ It was fair fishing this week . I would say it was slower. Everybody caught something it was a lot of time between bite. You can get into bair just make sure to be prepared with chains because of the patches of ice on the road. There is 14 to 16 inches of ice all over on Bair. Rumor has it that some were catching ling. Getting in can be touch and go. On Sutherland it is tougher to get in. be prepared don’t leave home without a shovel and chains. With the drifting use snowmobiles to get to the ice. ”
Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194
Dale says, “ We have lots of snow. At this point there are not a lot of places you can get to the ice because of snow and road conditions. You can fish at Achley. That is really about the only place right now. They are catching rainbows. Guys are using a micro jig bite. You can also fish the East Fork and get some perch.”
Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana James (Slim) and Abbie Craig 406-429-2999
Slim says, “ I have had to close the Marina right now. Getting in on the road is next to impossible because of the snow. I have a plow but the snow is more than it can handle. I do not advise trying to go in the road is not passable. There will be no services and no one will be there. I had the wounded Warriors there for 5 days and it all came to a head when I had no way of getting them out. The road had drifted closed. I ended up calling for help and thankfully after a lot of trying they got them out. Pay attention to facebook for any changes. ”
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
Sharon says,” fishing is good and the ice is good. The wind has been an issue. Guys are catching trout and some walleye. Today the weather is good. All in all fishing is good. The ice is 12 to 15 inches. There are still pressure ridges so check at the marina for details. “
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,” It was 33below this morning. It is just too cold to fish. We decided to cancel the kids fishing day. The kids should be having fun not fighting the cold. So not much fishing going on. I hear Forchette is blown in. So do some tying or making lures and come to the shop for supplies. “
Stop by the store. We do have bait, minnows and crawlers here if you need them. Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday”
Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Dan, Matt
Matt says,” I was at Crooked Creek when the Wounded Warriors were there this week. It got tougher to get out because of the weather. I went in on a snow mobile and I would not recommend going in right now. Slim closed the Marina.
I have not heard anything else. People are laying low because it was so cold and staying home. ”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “ The river is full of ice it probably will get worse with the forecast.
I talked to some guys who said they still are doing good on perch and trout at Canyon Ferry. They were catching them by the Silos. I have talked to a few doing well on walleye. They were going 35 feet or less in depths.
Holter- The perch are still biting. The ice is getting bad I am hearing. In some places because of the warming weather it is only 8 inches they tell me. I also heard three 4 wheelers went through the ice. They are finding fish at 25 to 60 feet down. ”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill
“ It is tough to access anywhere right now. There is a lot of ice. Right now we are looking at ice building up that could lead to jams. The rivers are not safe. There is lots of shelf ice. You just cannot safely get close ,” Chris says.
Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612
Beau says, “It is too dang cold to be out there fishing right now. I have heard the water is much clearer. They bumped the cfs up on the Big Horn. ”
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
Stephanie says,” we are just not seeing many fishermen. It just has been too cold. The cfs is up to 4500. There has just been not much for traffic out there on the water. The tough guys who have gone out had some good luck fishing. The wind has been blowing a lot this week. They are seeing a baetes hatch. Use a dry size 20. Streamer fishing is still the way to go. For streamers use dirty hippies. Try a thin mint or a vanilla wafer.”
Our winter hours are 8 am to noon all week. “
Riverside Anglers in West Yellowstone : Alice Owsley, fishing guide and outfitter 406-640-1698
Alice says, “ 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 should work well. If you want to throw streamers, go big and olive. Rainbows will be spawning soon, so be on the look out for redds.”
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is closed for the season until May.