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
Other report givers have said parties have said the bay of Rock Creek is frozen over. The have been told McGuire Creek has good ice and people are catching some nice northern pike. Another source said that Nelson was also okay fishing.
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
Spencer says, “No one is fishing out there today. (Tuesday) It has been below freezing every night and some days this week were 2 below so not as many people have chosen to come out. I have been hearing a few people are catching pike and crappies. . The ice depths are 14 inches. “
People are being ticketed by the warden as they are not looking at the very specific rules on live bait at Tongue. 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, “It was a cold weekend here. Not as many people coming out to fish. The ice is 14 plus inches everywhere. People did catch crappies and pike if they were brave enough to go out in the cold. I know of one guy in the bay that did get his limit. A hand full of people braved the cold and found the fish suspended at 15 feet from the bottom. They were going 32 feet down.
Remember the rules on bringing minnows to Tongue River. I do have legal live minnows at the Marina so you can be legal on the ice. “
The Marina right now will be open Friday to Sunday from 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
Staff reports,” The entire bay is frozen. People are catching northern pike, eater size walleye and a few lake trout. People are using 4 wheelers in the bay right now. We are asking that you watch out as you head to Peterson towards H marker as it varies in ice depths. Going east to Sutherland the snow has created pockets so the ice is questionable and caution is needed. It has been 6 below for a high every day. The bite is a little slower. The road in is snowy but good. Stop by for information at the marina. 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
Eddie reports, “Fishing has been fair to good at Little Duck, Flat Lake and Duck Creek. There is 8 inches of new ice at Flat Lake. The ice is good in the bays or on the dredge cuts. The ice there is 10 to 16 inches in depth. I know that at Flat Lake guys were jigging for lake trout and catching them at 54 inch depths.
Do not assume things. The ice is “new” ice so use caution. Check with us for a travel plan as the snow makes it hard to see what is going on. There is a line out there you can barely see. It is recommended 4x 4’s use only.
At McGuire Creek there is 12 inches of clear 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. ”
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. Give him a call for a cabin rental, a delicious meal or fishing tackle or news. **
Scott reports, “Ice is in better shape. It is still new ice so be careful. There is 9 inches of snow on the ice. The lake trout fishing is starting to pick up. They are finding them in the humps out there. In the bay the guys are catching walleye. We do have 10 to 14 inches in the bay of ice.
Use extreme caution when over deeper water. Understand that you cannot see the danger because of the snow on the ice. Conditions are changing a lot. “
Rock Creek, McGuire Creek and Nelson Creek have 12 to 14 inches and they are catching fish. We do have ice fishing tackle here if you need any.
Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson. Shauni, Cynthia
Marina reports, “It has been super cold. The wind has been blowing daily in the last week. Today (Tuesday) is the first time this week people have been out there. My gauge for how fishing is if no one complains they are catching. Today I have not heard any complaints so they are catching but not many. There is 4 to 5 inches of snow on the ice. No one wants to be out in this brutal cold until today. “
Another source said that fishermen the week before at Marshal Cove had caught walleye and trout. Word has it that they caught a few ling.
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,” We had 13 women at the “Becoming an Outdoor Woman” this weekend. There were 115 fish caught, a few kept and some released. It was 5 below but everyone had a good time and kept on fishing. The fish caught were all perch. They were using maggots and mealworms.
It’s been so cold that the number of people fishing is less. There is good ice on Elmo and everyday there are some people fishing. Monday was a no school day and it was full of people with kids fishing. Just dress warm. They continue to do well catching perch and a few small trout. The ice is more than 8 inches thick. Fishermen are pretty much using just about everything in bait.
Today we had an interesting happening. We had a swarm of robins and cedar wax wings. It was over 50 to 60 birds. Normally they already had moved south. People say seeing a robin means spring but really that is not true because some do stay around. I can say it was neat to see and I had never seen it before. I hope to put some pictures on the site for people to look at. “
Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat
Tony reports, “There is ice on Deadmans that is 6 inches and there is 6 inches of snow as well. We have seen no fishermen this week. The road is decent. ”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner bar Lavina 406-636-2261
Terry explains, “I have not heard from anyone ice fishing it is just too cold they think and they are out hunting the shoulder hunt. “
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Rick reports, “I know of 4 people who fished at Bair. They got 5 fish total by noon. It was slower fishing at Bair this past week. The weather included temperatures of minus 13 and minus 20. Bair has 15 inches of ice. The ice does have 8 inches of snow. People are using 4 by 4’s on the ice. My hut is imbedded in the ice at the top of the board. It is not moving anywhere until things thaw.
We have seen one person on Sutherland with his hut. It has been good ice and people have caught ling.”
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
Achley- At Achley fishing was slow this week. Only a few fish I heard caught. The ice is 1 foot deep.
Hanson Dam- Fishermen have been catching trout on a regular basis there.
Crooked Creek- At Crooked Creek fishing was slow people say especially because of the front. Guys were catching big walleye and doing well on pike. You do have to watch the pressure ridges they say.
East Fork- People say the East fork is good perch fishing. Mostly small perch on maggots are being caught. The fish are being caught in anywhere from 20 to 7 feet depths. The ice is 8 to 9 inches. ”
Petrolia- Fishing at Petrolia people say is slow. They are catching an occasional northern pike and some perch a foot down.
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 reports,” It is slow fishing this week here. I would estimate that the ice is 2 feet in the bay and 16 inches in the river channel. We have a foot of snow on the ice. That is making some challenges in getting around. If you come bring chains for your 4 wheelers or side-by-sides as it can be tricky navigating the foot of snow on the ice. They are hitting on minnows and smelt but they are hitting the smelt more right now. The road is good, no drifting as of now. (Tuesday)
If you come I advise you bring chains for your vehicle just in case. People are using minnows and smelt. I suggest you bring minnows if you have them. 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 seen very few people fishing this week. I want people to stop at the marina before fishing. There is snow on the ice. We also have had some new pressure ridges and the snow makes them difficult to see. Stop by us especially if you want to head toward Hole In The Wall. We have 12 to 15 inches of ice. Due to the non-consistent ice conditions further out it is not yet safe.”
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,” we have had really cold temperatures. It has been minus 17 with a wind chill of minus 38. Obviously, people do not want to go out in it. I know of only a few guys going out.
I do have minnows for sale and ice fishing supplies.
I hear Forchette has been building nice ice. There is 7 inches of ice in the bay.”
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt
Jayce reports, “On Tongue people say they caught small perch. Due to the cold you spend a lot of time taking ice off the hole water. Guys say it was a constant battle. It seems to be slower fishing this week.
Crooked Creek people say is slower fishing right now. They are still catching walleye and pike.
People are catching perch at Elmo. There seems to be people fishing there a lot.
At Petrolia guys are saying it was slow fishing this week. They caught a couple of big perch.”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says,” Canyon Ferry has ice but check at the shop for information. I have heard of a few people catching a couple of perch but more trout. People have said minnows are a little harder to find. The Jefferson is frozen over with ice and is jamming in places.
The Madison has a lot of chunks of ice in it so it is not fishable.
The Missouri has huge chunks flowing down it as well. “
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 and an icy shoreline it is hard to even get close. It is tough fishing. Small streamers may work.”
Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612
Beau hears,” it has been pretty cold but you can still go out and float or wade. The Big Horn is decent is decent fishing although cold. The water clarity is good. Orange scuds have worked. Sow bugs in pink are also catching fish. Try dark streamers with a bit of red. ”
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
“The temperatures have been cold but we are seeing a few fishermen coming. Today (Wednesday) we actually have people going out and excited to fish. With the water being low you can actually wade in a lot of places on the river. The ramps are clear. If it is sunny try midges and baetes patterns. Nymphing seems to be slow. If you use streamers use dark colors like a thin mint or a black leech pattern. The water has cleared,” 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
“There are midges around for the occasional fish looking up on the calm days. Most fish are eating nymphs, small olive mayfly nymphs and black and white midge patterns work well. If you want to throw streamers, go big and in olive colors. Rainbows will be spawning soon, so be on the lookout for redds.” Alice says.
All fishing in Yellowstone is closed until 2019.