Winter is here and that means sudden changes in weather and water or ice 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 and let others know where they are for safety sake when out and about. 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 can come in with fierce strength. 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- Monty LeTexier , Wyatt, Linda , Neil
For winter call 1-406-465-0241 for Monty
Marina number is less reliable in winter. 1-406-485-2560
According to a fly over of Rock Creek here is a report of what conditions were seen this week. In the bay of Rock Creek there was more ice. The main lake still has some open water. At McGuire Creek it was almost all froze up Linda says, “ she has been told the bay has ice and the main lake still has open areas.”
Neil is recovering well from his heart surgery . Due to the emergency they will not be up at Rock Creek. Monty is still available to make reservations for spring by calling 1-406-465-0241 and he can set you up. He has the book with him. At this point Linda has no idea when they will be back at Rock Creek. So there are no services there. We at the Montana Outdoor Radio Show wish Neil well as do all of their fishing friends.
“We have closed the Marina as of October 1st. The Marina number will not bring results at this time. “Monty says.
Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg
Raymond says, “ The ice is good at Tongue. Today (Tuesday) is a beautiful day. We had plenty of people fishing this weekend. There were some nice crappie caught this week. Two crappies were impressive in size. The ice depths right now are 8 to 12 inches. Some people are using huts and ATV’s on the ice. People are catching perch, crappies, pike and just a few walleye. The north end does have some thin spots. People are sticking to Sandpoint. Rattlesnake and Campers Point seem to be the most popular spots.”
There are no reservations needed for camp sites it is now first come first take. Everything is shut down like the electricity and water. The cleaning station has been closed. There are sites still open at Campers Point #1 to 11 and have electric hookups on year round. “ .
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie, Greg /Warden Jordan Staley
Wade reports, “ I went fishing this weekend and found the ice is anywhere from 8 to 12 inches at Rattlesnake Point as well as in the bay. Going north it is thinner. In some places it is 6 inches and in others 10 inches. At the dam the ice is 8 to 19 inches now. We nice white crappie caught Saturday that was 17 inches and 2.52 pounds. It was caught at 25 to 30 feet. On Sunday morning another crappie was caught that was 16 ½ inches and 2.72 pounds. Both were just a bit shy of the state record. Some really, really nice catches. We did have a lot of people on the ice again this week. This week people were catching lots of perch and some crappies, pike and some small walleyes. They are using 4 wheelers on the ice. There were many shacks out there as well. “
The Marina right now will be open all week from Monday to Thursday from 8 am to noon. Friday to Sunday we are open 6 am to noon. I have park passes and can do fishing licenses. We have smelt, fatheads,sucker smelts but I have no worms. . ”
Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne 1-406- 557-2345
Shelley reports ,” we now have ice from the Marina to Boy Scout Point. There is ice out at Boy Scout Point is 6 to 9 inches as of Tuesday. We have seen a few 4 wheelers on it. The ice at Lucky Point is 3 inches and walk on only. We do see that going south toward the main lake everything is frozen. You do have to think about the snow that is now on the ice from the storm. The wind blew but the amount does vary and could make a difference in ice conditions. Feel free to call and inquire about conditions as we check the ice often.”
Marina is open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm.
Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597
Jamie reports, There is ice at Nelson dredge cuts. Flat Lake does have plenty of ice. It is walk in. At McGuiere Creek there is 12 inches of clear ice. Eddie was at McGuiere Creek and caught 6 pike. At Duck Creek there is 4 to 5 inches . They caught a couple of pike/ There is open water in the lake but the bay is frozen at Rock Creek.
We have meal worms, wax worms and maggots. We also have smelt, herring and large sucker minnows. Feel free to call for conditions. Conditions are changing on a regular basis so feel free to call. I have numerous sources that are reporting to me conditions on a daily basis. Our hours are 7am-6 pm Monday through Sunday. ”
Fort Peck Marina Jessica & Scott Collinsworth 1-406-565-6283
Thursday, Friday and Monday 9am to noon/ Saturday and Sunday 8 am to 9pm
**I would like to welcome a new addition to the fishing report. Jessica and Scott are the new owners of the Fort Peck Marina. After meeting Scott I can say he is so excited about his new venture and his enthusiasm is contagious. He is very anxious to get to know and service his customers in their fishing adventures. Give him a call for a cabin rental, a delicious meal or fishing tackle or news.
Jessica reports, “We do have ice finally. It has just formed. It is safe in front of the Marina. At Duck Creek it is a foot on the edges and out further it is just 3 inches. With the cold weather it should get better this week. We do have ice fishing tackle if you need any available. “
Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson. Shauni, Cynthia
Marina reports, “ We do have ice at Cooney. Willow Creek has 6 to 12 inches. The North shore has 4 inches of ice. The middle area has gotten a little thicker. Some say Red Lodge arm has 8 inches.”
The fish cleaning station is still open. The campground is now first come first serve now as the reservation system is done taking them for the season. The boat ramps are out. The Marshall Cove campground is open. The drinking water has been shut down for the winter. Our electric is on year around. The North shore campground is now closed.
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
Bob report,” there is ice on Elmo but bring your snow shovel. You are going to have to shovel a spot to see the ice. There are quite a few people on the ice and they have been doing well catching perch and a few small trout. The ice is around 8 inches thick. Fishermen are pretty much using just about everything bait wise, corn, worms, meal bugs and lures.
The ice fishing “Becoming an Outdoor Woman” is scheduled for February 9th. Please call for more information and registration details. “
Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat
Pat explains, ”There is ice on Deadmans. We have not seen any fishermen at all this week. With the recent snow there is also a couple inches of that on the ice as well.”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-2261
Terry explains, “I have heard people fished on Bair.
They have had success. I have not heard from anyone else. “
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy reports, “ It was slow fishing at Bair this week people have said. Friends of ours who are good fishermen only caught a couple of fish. Bair has 15 inches of ice. There has been lots of huts on the ice. People are using 4 by 4’s on the ice.
We know of some guys who went to Neuland and caught some small ling. They said they were marking fish but never caught any of them except the ling late in the day.
Sutherland also has good ice but we have seen no one on the ice. ”
Sports Center 120 2nd Ave South Lewistown, MT 535-9308 Colby / John Tognetti
Our hours are 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10 am to 4pm on Sunday.”
Scott reports, “We have a couple of inches of snow in the past couple of days.
I did not hear any report from Achley.
Crooked Creek Fishing was good fishing. Some people have caught walleye. They tell me the East fork was decent fishing this week.
On Nelson people are saying fishing has not been stellar It has a one foot of ice. They caught some walleye, a few perch and pike . It is sketchy some days.”
We do have smelt, worms, meal worms, maggots and wax worms. We have live minnows but they are sold out quickly at times. “
Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana James (Slim) and Abbie Craig, Carri Craig 406-429-2999
Slim says,” The ice is good, 17 inches in the bay. Cowboy point on the north side is 12 to 13 inches. There is a pressure ridge out of the bay so be sure to talk to me to know where to be careful. The river channel has 8 inches of ice. Anderson point has 13 inches. Everywhere has a foot of snow and right now (noon on Wednesday) it is snowing again. You can use a 4×4 and side by side. The fishing is very good. They are catching some walleye, pike, crappie, perch and some ling. The crappies and perch are at 10 feet. The walleye are being found at 5 to 14 feet and the pike are at 8 to 19 feet depths. They are using 4 wheelers in the bay.
If you come we advise you bring chains. People are using minnows and smelt. We do suggest you bring minnows if you have them as we don’t have many if any. I do have some bait but not a lot so I suggest people try to bring some.”.
Slim is at the marina full time now. He is open 7am to 7 pm Wednesday to Monday. He will be closed on Tuesday. If you have questions call Slim at 406-366-6313 and leave a message.
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
Sharon says,” The Lions club perch tournament has been cancelled.
We have ice, 8 to 10 inches to the middle of the lake. The main has less ice. Due to the non-consistent ice conditions further out it is not a given that it is safe. There are some big pressure ridges so check with us for current details. Use caution with4 wheelers. They are catching some trout. The perch seem to be at 25 to 30 feet. They are catching perch daily. The trout are biting along the edges. Feel free to call if you want to know how conditions are or check the web site. I will post things there.”
Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the last week in January for the annual Lions perch tournament.”
The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.
The Flamingo has closed for the season.
West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611
Jim reports,” Nelson’s fishing has been hit and miss. Nelson still has good ice, 11 to 16 inches of ice. We got into some perch at 35 feet. Most of the perch were 10 inches average. We caught a few walleye and they seemed to bite in early morning and late in the day at depths of 15 inches to 4 feet. People are using 4 wheelers, side by sides or walking on. I do have minnows for sale.
Not a lot of word on Forchette except last week someone said they were fishing and the ice started cracking and making noise so they got off. It has gotten colder since then so I don’t know if that is still true. ”
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt
Jayce reports, “I heard Cooney has had 5 inches of ice. People caught fish just before dark and ling right at dark or when dark. It was a slow bite .
Crooked Creek is pretty good fishing right now. They were catching walleye and pike.
Hell Creek has ice. Word has it they are catching pike and lake trout.
I have heard fishing is pretty good at Bair. They have a good 18 inches of ice.”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says,” The rivers are full of ice.
The Jefferson is covered over with ice. The Madison has a lot of chunks of ice in it. The Missouri has huge chunks flowing down it. No fishing there.
Canyon Ferry has ice but it is not far enough to catch perch yet, “
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken, Jasmine
The shop is closed right now except by appointment.
People who headed out are trying from shore but with the snow it is hard to even get there. It is tough fishing. Watch out for the ice on the edge of the water. Small streamers may work.”
Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612
Beau says,” The Big Horn has been decent fishing. Not much traffic down the river. The water clarity is good. Orange scuds are working and Sow bugs in pink are working to catch fish. Streamers are fishing well. Try dark ones with a bit of red. ”
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
“ Fishing is weather dependent. If it is sunny try midges and baetes patterns. Nymphing seems to be slow but orange is working. If you use streamers use dark colors like a thin mint or a black leech pattern. The water has definitely cleared and is lower. All the ramps are open. We do have 10 to 12 inches of snow . Wade access is good,” Rick says.
Our hours are 8 am to 12 every day.
Riverside Anglers in West Yellowstone : Alice Owsley, fishing guide and outfitter 406-640-1698.
Fishes Madison River and Yellowstone National Park waters
“The river has definitely iced up more on the upper Gallatin. On the Madison in the middle of the valley it has iced up more. It is mostly nymph fishing. Use small midges, like size 18 to 20’s in dark colors are best. Smallish, bright color streamers work well too on the cloudy days ”, Alice says .
All fishing in Yellowstone is closed until 2019.