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 For winter call 1-406-230-1283 for Linda
Marina number is less reliable in winter. 1-406-485-2560
Word has it the bay of Rock Creek is froze over but due to the very gusty winds and fluctuating temperatures the ice is shifting so the assumption is depths are not stable. . The main lake still has some steam coming off of it so there are places of open water.
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. “We have closed the Marina as of October 1st, 2018 for the season. The Marina number will not bring results at this time. “Monty says.
Neil is recovering well from his heart surgery . Due to the emergency they will not be up at Rock Creek. At this point Linda has no idea when they will be back at Rock Creek. So there are no services there. Keep improving Neil . We at the Montana Outdoor Radio Show wish you well.
Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg\
Raymond says, “ Fishermen that I talked to have said they were catching mostly perch and on the little side. They are finding the fishing slowing down “a little” . The ice is good at Tongue. The ice depths right now are 12 to 14 inches. Some people are using huts and ATV’s on the ice. Be cautious on the north end as it does have some thin spots. Below the dam there is some open water. People are sticking to Sandpoint.
Raymond wants to remind people there are very specific rules on live bait. There have been people ticketed by the warden for illegal bait this past week. Check your regulations for the information for this region.”
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 14 plus inches in places. Going north it is thinner. In some places it is 6 inches and in others 10 inches. We did have a lot of people on the ice again this week. People were catching more walleye but on the smaller size. The walleye were at 20 to 30 feet from the Marina bay to Sand Point. They are also catching perch, pike and some crappies. We do legal live minnows at the Marina now. “
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
Clint reports ,” The northern pike is good right now. People are also catching eater size walleye early in the morning and late in the evening. They are also catching a few Lakers. The bay right now is 4 wheelers only. Most all of the bay is frozen. Most all of the bay is frozen. With the fluctuating temperatures of warm and the wind the ice out farther has shifted so we are waiting to see when it will be safe enough. It can be 2 inches in one place and 6 somewhere else. I think it just needs a couple of days and it will be stable again. The main lake is still dangerous in spots. Ask for information at the marina. 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.
The Hell Creek ice fishing tournament is February 9th. 8 am to 3 pm. There are big fish prizes for walleye, northern pike and perch. You can enter that day before 8 am. We have lots of door prizes.”
Marina is open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm.
Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597
Millie reports, “As of today there is a very thin layer of ice almost over to Bear Creek so that is a first. We have 10 to 4 mph winds so we will have to see what happens but it looks like ice is being made. We have some people from Wisconsin here. They have been hopping like popcorn popping from place to place such as in the bays or to the dredge cuts and to Flat Lake. They have been catching northern pike and lake trout. There is ice at Nelson in the dredge cuts. Flat Lake does have plenty of ice. It is walk in. At McGuiere Creek there is 12 inches of clear ice. At Duck Creek there is 5 inches. “
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.
Scott reports, “We do have ice finally. There is 8 inches of ice at Duck Creek, Flat Lake and Bear. Out further it is just plain thin and guys have to be real careful. The fishing has been decent. They are catching more pike, a few lake trout and some eater size walleye. They are using smelt and live minnows. Some are jigging with raps for lake trout. With the cold weather it should get better in the weeks to come. Rock Creek, McGuire Creek and Nelson Creek have 12 to 14 inches and they are getting fish. There the guys getting some nice pike, a few big walleye but mostly eater size and some lake trout.
We do have ice fishing tackle if you need any. “
Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson. Shauni, Cynthia
Staff reports, “The ice is good at Cooney. Fishermen at Marshal Cove have caught walleye and trout. I have not heard of any ling caught. Marshall Cove and Fisherman Point has ice of 6 to 8 inches. Willow Creek has 6 to 12 inches. The North shore has 4 inches of ice. The middle area has gotten a little thicker. Red Lodge arm has 8 inches. There is snow on the ice. ”
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 reports,” there is ice on Elmo and there are a lot of people fishing. . Unlike last week they are all over the ice and not in one location. They have been doing well catching perch and a few small trout. The ice is more than 8 inches thick. Fishermen are pretty much using just about everything baits 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 reports, “There is ice on Deadmans. We have only seen one fisherman this week. He had his shack out there early in the morning and he stayed only 3 hours. I kind of think he had slow fishing. ”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-2261
Terry explains, “On Bair people say the fishing has slowed some.
I have not heard from anyone else. “
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Rick reports, “ It was again slow fishing at Bair this week. Bair has 15 inches of ice. There have been lots of huts on the ice. As a group we have decided we need to move to more spots on the ice as our cluster may have exhausted that fish highway. People are using 4 by 4’s on the ice.
Sutherland has good ice and people have said ling have been caught. ”
Sports Center 120 2nd Ave South Lewistown, MT 535-9308 Colby / John Tognetti
Congratulations to new daddy, Colby and Grandpa John as they welcome the new little
fisherman, Garson to the family
Our hours are 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10 am to 4pm on Sunday
John reports, “ There was a derby at Achley last week. People were catching in ice that was 8 inches deep. .
Crooked Creek At Crooked Creek fishing was good. It really is a mixed bag. One day might be real good and the next slow. They were using live minnows and herring. Some people have caught walleye. You do have to watch the pressure ridges they say.
They tell me the East fork and Casino is decent fishing. The ice is 12 inches and they are catching perch. .
On Hanson Dam people are saying fishing has not been good for trout. It has 10 to 12 foot of ice.”
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 with 20 inches in the bay. With the storm fronts the fishing is a little slower. Northern pike fishing is slower.
They are catching crappies and eater size perch in the bay. Cowboy point on the north side has 12 to 13 inches. People are traveling out to Squaw Creek. Only a few walleye are being caught. There are 3 pressure ridges. One is in the bay. The other two are from Cowboy Point to Anderson and the other one is in the river channel and 3 miles long. 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. They are catching some walleye, 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,” 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 yet 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. The trout are biting along the edges. Feel free to call if you want to know how conditions are.”
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 decent fishing this week. Nelson still has good ice, 11 to 16 inches of ice. With the changing warm to cold weather when I was there on Sunday there was a false layer of ice on top and when you went out it broke and then there was water. Underneath the water was 11 inches of ice. On Saturday lots of fish were caught. 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.
Forchette has 7 inches in the bay. I don’t know how it is since the warmer weather. It is going to get colder again.”
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt
Jayce reports, “Yellowstone has too many chunks of ice to fish in it right now.
I heard Cooney was slow fishing. People caught fish just before dark and a few ling right at dark or when dark. It was a slow bite .
Crooked Creek is a bit of slower fishing right now. They were catching walleye and pike.
Hell Creek has ice. Word has it they are catching pike.
I have heard fishing was slower at Bair. They have a good 18 inches of ice
Martinsdale they say is half half open and half ice.
On Nelson they are catching quite a few pike and small walleye. ”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says,” The rivers are full of ice.
The Jefferson is frozen over with ice.
The Madison has a lot of chunks of ice in it.
The Missouri has huge chunks flowing down it.
Canyon Ferry has ice and some people are catching perch, “
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 hears,” The Big Horn has been decent fishing. The water clarity is good. Orange scuds are working. Sow bugs in pink are also working to catch fish. Try dark streamers 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 Upper Gallatin river has definitely iced up more . On the Madison in the middle of the valley has iced up also. 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.