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 did have a few fishermen here and we could hear fishermen across the ice as well this week. I don’t know how they did across the ice but the guys here caught 2 walleye. We have been snowed in but as of today we finally were able to get out. If you use our road you have to have chains. As the wind blows that may change again but we finally got some plowing done. We would still recommend you call about the road. You can still get to Rock Creek but people are coming in through the north end and use a 4 wheeler to the Marina. There were a few using pickups. Most are using 4 wheelers and snowmobiles and side by sides. There is 6 to 8 inches of snow on the ice. It makes it hard to see any cracks. If you have more questions call us.”
Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg
Raymond said,” I am still hearing of guys catching crappies and a few perch. It has been cold at night. Right now it is sunny. With the snow on the ice you need to be cautious. We were fairly busy this weekend. Roads are okay. The highway does have some ice on the highway in places but it is pretty clear. Most guys were catching with minnows from the Marina. We have 12 inches or more 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,” we had a busy weekend. Some perch but more crappies being caught. I have heard of rumors that some are catching walleye. No one is talking about if and where they are catching. We sold a bunch of minnows again. I am hearing the ice is anywhere from 12 to 18 inches depending on where you go. Try fishing using a glow in the dark spoon and my small fathead minnows. The smaller minnow work better. “
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
Layne says,” we have had fishermen here this week. The walleye bite is better. It seems to be more consistent. They seem to have gone deeper. The bite is not running away I would say. Use a live minnow. The northern pike are doing pretty good in the bay and on the main lake. Someone caught a 20 to 21 pounder. The roads are good. They are finding all species at 10 to 20 feet. 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 Marina is open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm.
Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597
Carrie says, “ today it is 20 degrees. It is sunny and the wind is only blowing 15 mph. It is great. Fishig has been slow. We just keep watching the barometric pressure because when it changes fishing will really pick up we believe. It just has not happened yet. Some guys today had luck at the Pines catching walleyes and pike. As things warm up the walleye bite should get better. In the past the walleye were only biting an hour before sun rise and an hour after sun set. There is 8 to 10 inches of snow on the ice. The ice depths are 22 to 25 inches. ”
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,” I have been constantly plowing. We did have drifting this week. I spoke to one fisherman today. He has come and fished a lot and he said it was extremely slow. He has been getting a few bites on shrimp and worms. Hr has caught a few. They were small and they definitely are not abundant. There have been people all over the ice. Most people are walking on the ice. There is now access everywhere except I have closed Cottonwood and Overlook going north is also closed. You can fish at Red Lodge Campground, Fisherman Point and Marshal Cove. “
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
“The ice conditions are still good. There were quite a few ice houses on the ice yesterday. I saw some people catching fish. Guys have been using everything from corn to cut worms and crawlers. There is 8 to 12 inches of ice with some snow on top. It is walk on only. ”, Ken says.
Deadmans Tony Stefani
Tony said,” We again had no fishermen at Deadman’s this week that we saw. They have plowed the road. So far drifting has not become a problem. So if they come watch the weather closely. “There are shacks on Broadview pond. People seem to be catching fish.”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22
Terry says,” I have had no one again who went fishing. Everyone seems to be staying close to home. I had music this past weekend and it was even quiet for that. ”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy says, “We fished this past weekend to Bair. We caught 3 fish and another group caught 4. We were all using worms and maggots. It is not lively fishing . You can get into Bair, just make sure to be prepared with chains because of the patches of ice on the road. There is 22 inches of ice all over on Bair.
We talked to some people who went to Sutherland. They parked at the top of the hill and walked down. The road was open yesterday. They said they caught ling. Today it is blowing, so there may be drifting on the road today. Don’t leave home without a shovel and chains. ”
Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194
Dale says, “ We still have lots of snow. There is just not many places to go right now. You can go to the East Fork on the county road toward the East side and catch some perch. Just watch for drifting. You can also get to Achley. Some trout are being caught there. The wind is really howling again today and it is cold. Just not great for getting out to fish .”
Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana James (Slim) and Abbie Craig 406-429-2999
Slim says, “ We are still closed. . It is impossible to get to Crooked Creek because of the snow. The Marina cannot be accessed so it IS closed right now. The road is not plowed. I do not advise trying to go in with a snow mobile either. There will be no services and no one will be there. Pay attention to facebook for any changes. ”
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
Sharon says,” the ice is good. Fishing has still been good. Some days there is wind. Guys are catching trout and some walleye. If you want to catch fish and don’t mind the cold you can catch them. All in all fishing is good. The ice is 12 to 15 inches. There are still pressure ridges. Just go around but don’t go over them. 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,” guys are catching on Nelson again. There is a lot of snow and you will need chains. The wind has settled down. There were guys catching some nice walleye. Some 3 to 4 pounders. They are fishing at night starting right at sundown using minnows. I hear Forchette is still blown in. You can’t get in there. “
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
Jayce says,” Not many people going out.
Holter-They are still catching perch on Holter. They say the perch are really deep, like 50 feet deep.
Fort Peck- I had some guys say Fort Peck fishing was okay.
Cooney- Guys say fishing on Cooney has been slow.
Rock Creek- A couple of guys said they did well at Rock Creek for northern pike. ”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “ we have had days with 3 degree temperatures. We still have a lot of ice out there. It is sunny today which should help. We also have wind today. No one has gone fishing and told me they caught anything this week. ”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill
“ There are no ice jams yet. The cold and freezing weather makes it tough to try fishing. There is lots of ice buildup in the Yellowstone. It is tough to access anywhere right now. Use the break to tie flies and book your trips for later ,” Chris says.
Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612
Beau says, “I don’t know of anyone who has gone fishing on the Big Horn river. It is just too cold. The water is clearer. The Missouri should be good for fishing right now on days when it is sunny and warm. ”
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
Stephanie says,” I had a couple of guys come in and go to try fishing today. It will be cold fishing . The cfs is still at 4500. The water is 45 degrees. Some guys have seen a few midges at 3 mile when the wind is not blowing. Today is the first day it has not blown in a long time. Streamer fishing was the way to go.”
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 reports, “ Midges will be hatching in the middle of the day if it stays warm. Before and after the hatch try , nymphs with a smaller midge below a stonefly nymph pattern.
You can try olive streamers also, .
Watch for rainbows which will be possibly prepping a redd, Stay away.”
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is closed for the season until May.