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
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 some ice. The main lake was open. Only a couple of places from Nelson Creek to McGuire Creek seemed to have ice. At McGuire Creek it was mostly froze up. Of course there is no way of telling how much ice is there is impossible to tell except by ice color. Snow Creek was checked as it had just froze and the party found only a ½ inch thick.
Neil had triple bypass heart surgery recently. He is recovering. Due to the emergency they will not be up at Rock Creek. Linda says that you can still make reservations for spring by calling 1-406-230-1283 and she can set you up. She has the book with her. At this point she has no idea when things will change. So there are no services there. We at the Montana Outdoor Radio Show wish him well as do all of their fishing friends.
“We have closed the Marina as of October 1st. We still have limited services. Linda and Neal sadly will not be at Rock Creek. Call this number 1-406-230-1283 for any questions or news. The Marina number will probably not bring much result. With the other number Linda will help you. “Monty says.
Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg
Spencer says, “We had plenty of people fishing this week. I was told fishing was just okay from some. The ice depths right now are 8 to 12 inches even with some of the warmer weather we have seen. Someone caught a tiger musky. People are using huts and ATV’s on the ice. Wyoming did plant some tiger musky and obviously this one moved up to Tongue.”
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
Stephanie explains, “ 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. . We have had a lot of people on the ice again this week. This week they were catching mostly perch and bass. One person caught 4 walleye. Only a few pike were caught. 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
Clint reports ,” we now have as of Tuesday 3/4 of a mile of fishable ice from the Marina to Boy Scout Point. There is one open hole to the left or north of the Marina. Sources say” there is a very thin layer of ice out from Boy Scout Point. Clint says, “I would guess with the cold weather predicted and the fact that it has started to freeze that we will see better ice pretty soon out further. Today the temperature is 27 degrees. Right now fishing is limited to the Marina to the bay. Side by side are not recommended. You have to know where to stop. We have seen a few 4 wheelers. The ice is far from idiot proof. Make sure you 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
Eddie says, “ We had some people on the lake in the last 4 days using a boat. They did well on lake trout. They are also catching brown trout, rainbow trout and a few walleye. One person by the end of the day had to break ice to get back in. So ice is starting to form. It was only a ¼ inch. There are no boat ramps now to use. Today there are thin sheets of ice out there. The dredge cuts do have ice.
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. ”
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 reports,” there is ice on Elmo. Right now there are 4 to 5 people on the ice and they have been doing well catching perch. It really is phenomenal right now. They put the line in and right away they are getting a fish. They are pulling 7 inch perch out. 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 but it is not good ice or thick ice. It actually is pretty thin. We have not seen any fishermen at all. You can see a lot of cracks.”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-2261
Terry explains, “I have heard people fished on Martinsdale. No one has come back with much success. I have not heard from anyone else. “
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy reports, “ Fishing at Bair was busy. Lots of people had excellent luck. Bair has 15 inches of ice. People are catching their limit. There have lots of huts on the ice. People are using 4 by 4 on the ice.
Sutherland also has good ice. We only heard of a few persons there. Not as many fishermen going there but are catching . ”
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.”
Colby reports, “ The perch derby on the East Fork is this weekend. You can call the shop for details or show up at 7 am to sign up on Saturday. It is two man teams and is sponsored by the Crooked Creek Walleyes Unlimited. The total registration to do the extra drawings is $100. We would love to see you there.
Crooked Creek Fishing is a little slower fishing this week.
On Nelson people are saying fishing has not been stellar It has a one foot of ice. One group caught 10 walleye, a few perch and one pike over 3 days. . Fishing is sketchy some days.
I did hear that Petrolia has a bite that is off and on. Fishing is better at dawn or dusk. They say they caught some small walleye.
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
Dogger says,” We have ice, 10 to 11 inches in the bay. The main has 5 to 7 inches thick of ice. The fishing is slow to medium each day. They are catching some walleye but mostly northern bay in the bay. They are using 4 wheelers in the bay. People are using minnows and smelts. 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 9 inches in the bay. The main has less ice. Due to the non-consistent ice conditions further out it is not a given that it is safe for the number of people who would be out that far. They are catching some trout. The fishing is slow to medium each day. In the Hole In The Wall area they are catching some perch. 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 has 11 to 16 inches of ice. The ice is holding fine. Where the ice house was we found 16 inches . They are catching perch and walleye early in the morning and late in the day. People are using 4 wheelers, side by sides or walking on. I do have minnows”
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt
Jayce reports, “ I have heard of guys using jet boats and heading to Custer and finding walleye and sauger by the Big Horn jigging from the boat.
I heard Cooney has had 5 inches of ice. People have told me they have caught quite a bit of fish but it is a slow bite .
On Tongue the fishermen have said the ice was 10 inches thick. Guys have said the fishing was okay. They caught a few crappies and some little perch. .
Crooked Creek is pretty good fishing right now. They were catching walleye and pike.
At Nelson fishing is okay.
I have heard fishing is 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 frozen over. The Madison has a lot of chunks of ice in it. The Missouri has huge chunks flowing down it.
People are fishing below Houser using a jet boat. “
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 it is slow. 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 this week has been decent fishing. The water clarity is definitely clearer. Orange scuds are working and Sow bugs in pink are working to catch fish. Streamers are fishing well..”
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
“We had more fishermen this weekend. The report of how many they were catching changed from person to person it seemed. The water has definitely cleared. Fishing is decent right now. Streamers are improving and nymphing are working okay,” Colette 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
“Nymphing is the answer these days unless you find fish rising to midges on the sunny days. Small nymphs are best. Smallish, bright color streamers work well too on the cloudy days ”, Alice says .
All fishing in Yellowstone is closed until 2019.
(photo via USFWS)