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 frozen over. From several sources I have heard the McGuire Creek has good ice. They are doing well on catching northern pike. Another source said that Nelson was also good 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
Raymond says, “I have been hearing this week that fishing is pretty good. People seemed to be spread out more on the ice. I talked to some people who got their limits this week. I also have heard of more northern pike being caught by spearing. The ice is good at Tongue. The ice depths are 12 to 14 inches. Some people are using huts and ATV’s on the ice. 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, “Fishing this weekend was good. Quite a few fishermen were on the ice. The ice is 14 plus inches everywhere. More people were catching perch but crappies and pike were also being caught. Kaiden Jones of Powell, Wyoming caught a 22 pound pike spearing. I had a friend who did well fishing last week. He came out this week and got his limit in a few hours on minnows. Last week the limit was caught on maggots. He said this week he could not get a nibble on a maggot. It was 21 below with the wind chill overnight so the ice is not going to go away.
People need to remember the rules on bringing minnows to Tongue River. We do have People were being ticketed because they brought in minnows from elsewhere. We 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,” People are catching northern pike, eater size walleye and a few lake trout. People are using 4 wheelers in the bay right now. The entire bay is frozen. 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
Carrie reports, “We have lots of snow. We already have 9 inches. The ice is good in the bays or on the dredge cuts and all the way to Flat Lake. Guys have been catching northern pike and lake trout on live minnows. The best results come at 15 foot depths. There is ice at Nelson and 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. The main lake just froze over yesterday. Of course it is not enough ice to go out there. “
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, “There is 7 inches of snow on the ice. We do have 10 to 14 inches in the bay of ice finally. There is about 3 inches on the main lake. It is not building as it should because it is capped over ice by snow. You have to use extreme caution.
There is 8 inches of ice at Duck Creek, Flat Lake and Bear. The fishing has been pretty good. They are catching more pike, a few lake trout and some eater size walleye. They are using smelt and live minnows. Fishermen are using tip ups and spearing to get fish.
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
A source says the ice is good at Cooney. Fishermen at Marshal Cove have caught walleye and trout. There have been some ling caught. Marshall Cove and Fisherman Point have 8 inches of ice. 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,” we got another skiff of snow on the ice. It’s been so cold that the number of people fishing is less. There is ice on Elmo and everyday there are some people fishing. 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.
The ice fishing “Becoming an Outdoor Woman” is scheduled for February 9th. It starts on Friday evening and continues on Saturday on the ice. Please call for more information and registration details. “
Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat
Pat reports, “There is ice on Deadmans that is 4 to 6 inches. We have seen no fishermen this week. We do have a lot of snow on the ice. ”
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. “
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Rick reports, “ It seems to be slow fishing at Bair this past week. I heard from three guys who caught only 7 fish over a couple of hours. Another group of guys did fair. They still thought it was worth going out though. Bair has 15 inches of ice. The ice does have 8 inches of snow. People are using 4 by 4’s on the ice.
I am still hearing Sutherland has good ice and people have caught ling.”
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
Colby reports, “There was a derby at Achley last week. All the people, 57 one man teams only caught 6 trout total. It really was hit and misses. The ice was 8 inches deep.
Crooked Creek- At Crooked Creek fishing was good. Guys were catching big walleye and doing well on pike. You do have to watch the pressure ridges they say.
Hell Creek- I hear some nice pike have been caught using smelt.
Nelson- People who fished Nelson guys caught a lot of fish but not huge ones.
East Fork- They tell me the East fork is good perch fishing. The fish are being caught in anywhere from 20 to 7 feet depths. The ice is 8 to 9 inches. ”
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,” I would estimate that the ice is 2 feet in the bay and 16 inches in the river channel. The road is good. I just came in on it. (Thursday) there are people out there fishing but I have not heard how they are doing as I had to leave quickly. People are using 4 wheelers in the bay.
The week before fishing seemed to be little slower. They were catching crappies and eater size perch in the bay Only a few walleye were being caught. You have to be aware of the 3 pressure ridges out there. 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. I can tell you where they are so ask. The crappies and perch seem to be at 10 feet. The walleye are being found at 5 to 14 feet and the pike are at 8 to 19 feet depths.”
If you come I advise you bring chains. People are using minnows and smelt. I suggest you bring minnows if you have them as I 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,” It has been decent fishing this week. There is 3 to 4 inches of snow on the ice. 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. 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,” we have had really cold temperatures. My minnow tank had a skiff of ice on it this morning. It was -25 below last night.
Nelson’s fishing has been decent fishing this week. Guys have been catching lots of perch. Nelson still has good ice, 11 to 16 inches of ice. People are using 4 wheelers, side by sides or walking on. I do have minnows for sale and ice fishing supplies.
Forchette has been building nice ice like 7 inches in the bay. I haven’t heard how it is fishing.”
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 a few crappies. It seems to be quieter this week.
Crooked Creek is a bit of slower fishing right now. They are still catching walleye and pike.
Hell Creek has ice. Word has it they are catching pike.
On Nelson they are catching perch but the bite is not super-hot guys are saying. ”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says,” The Rivers are full of ice and the Jefferson is frozen over with ice.
The Madison has a lot of chunks of ice in it so it is not fishable.
The Missouri has huge chunks flowing down it.
Canyon Ferry has good 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 close. 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,” it has been too cold to go out. The Big Horn is decent if you want to go out in the cold. 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
“The weather has not brought out many people to fish. 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. We do have 10 to 12 inches of snow,” Collette 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
“Seasonally Warm sunny days are seeing midges hatching and fish eating them for a short window in the middle of the day. Otherwise nymphing with one big and one little fly is the most effective. Heavy streamers can also produce a few fish. Stay warm if you do fish! ”, Alice says.
All fishing in Yellowstone is closed until 2019.
(feature photo of Brad Smudzinski from last season)