Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 11.27.19
By angelamontana

Posted: November 29, 2019
Fall  is here. This year we are still having very unusual weather and that means sudden changes in weather and water.  Outdoor enthusiasts including fishermen need to pay attention to these changes.   Storms like snow and dangerous fire 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.

**Happy Thanksgiving from the Montana Outdoor Radio Show**

(report compiled by Carol Henckel)

Rock Creek Marina- Monty LeTexier , Wyatt 1-406-230-1283  for Linda 

Marina number is less reliable in winter.  1-406-485-2560

Linda  reports, “the wind was really  blowing  this week.  We had a couple come up and we were going to fish from shore, but you could barely stand up because of the wind.  At one point it was shaking the house it was so strong.  It was terrible.  It also has been cold, but we have no ice.  ”

If you wish to make reservations for the 2020 summer, please call Monty at 406-465-0241.  If you wish information for winter ice fishing call me, Linda, at the Marina at 1-406-485-2560.  I check my messages fairly often and will return your call.  You can also call me on my cell phone as well 406-230-1283 to get information.   The marina is closed for the season.

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond reports, ” we talked to one  fisherman this week and he was fishing below the dam which has open water. He said he did not get anything.   There is a skim of ice on the lake.  It of course is really thin.  You sure cannot walk on it.  You cannot shore fish right now.  The water temperature I suspect is around freezing. We are just waiting for the ice to get thicker and the storm coming may help that.“

The power and water are turned off. That means the dump station and fish cleaning station are off .  Camping spots 1 to 11 have power but no water through the winter months.    Reservations  are no longer needed for the campground and it is first come first serve.

Remember to check your regulations for the information for this region about what minnows  you may use on Tongue.     .

Tongue River Marina  1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie, Greg, Fletcher /Warden Jordan Staley

The marina is closed until ice fishing.

Wade  said ,“  I heard  the south end was   forming ice. The bay is forming ice by the marina, but it is really thin. The cold weather coming might help that.  ”

Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne-Kayler 1-406- 557-2345  

Staff reports, ” We have seen lots of hunters. They are using boats to go hunt and a few might have tried a pole in the water but with no luck.    Otherwise no one has been out fishing. We do not have ice  yet.“

Hell Creek Marina is open 7 days a week. ­­­­­­­

Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597

Eddie reports, “ Fishing has been quiet.  We have only had a few fishermen.  Most people  are hunting. The few people going out have only caught a few lake trout. They got a walleye or pike in the mix.  Their focus was on lakers and they got the other just by chance.  Last Saturday we went on the river  and caught a couple of walleyes.  The river was wide open, and the water temperature was 40 to 41 degrees.“

We can cover all your needs and if you want to charter a boat, we can help with that too.   Our hours are   7am-6 pm Monday through Sunday.

Fort Peck Marina  Jessica & Scott Collinsworth   1-406-565-6283   

Open  Monday to Friday  11am to 9am/ Saturday and Sunday 8 am breakfast and open to 10pm  Tackle Store is open 7 am to 9pm daily

Scott  reports “

Lake trout -For the  guys out fishing the  lake trout seem to be still cooperating very well.  Cranks,  spoons and pitching jigs are all still working for the guys, Try 10 to 35 feet of water.  but in order to get them in many times I have to write it a particular way to get it in. o be the best.

Walleye- No  reports from this week.

Pike-A few reports of guys catching fish on weed lines in the backs of the bays throwing cranks and spoons.

Smallmouth bass-No report from this week.

Happy Thanksgiving.

You can also  call  us at the tackle shop for an up-to-date report if your planning a trip up to  Fort Peck. Our number is 1-406-526-3442. “

The bait and tackle store are open  Thursday thru Monday, and we have everything you need for chasing fish on Fort Peck. We also have campsites available with power for anyone that wants to bring your camper to the lake. The spots are  on concrete and right on the lake shore. You can access the lake right from your camper.   “

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson. Shauni, Cynthia, Jake

Marina says ,” everyday  was different out here.  The wind seems to be  changing conditions constantly.  Today the ice  is from 1 foot to 6 feet from shore.  It is really thin. Some of the water is open.  The boat ramp is open right now and that seems to be constant in the middle of the day.  I have not seen anyone on the water all week. “

The water has been turned off now.   The electricity is also off except at Marshall Cove and Red Lodge campgrounds.  The docks are pulled. Soon we will be working on dock repairs after the pre-winter maintenance is done.    You no longer need reservations, so the camp sites are first come first serve. The kiosk has the reduced rate for camping  listed.  Remember, your dogs are welcome but don’t forget your leash.

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob tells me, “ the water has a  skim of  ice out there on the edges right now.  The lake has been  covered with geese.  There were a couple of fishermen fishing off of the pier.  They did not catch anything that I saw. The skim of ice moves a lot with the wind. “

 Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat  

A  fisherman   told me that they tried fishing but got nothing. Most people are  out hunting they think.

Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner bar Lavina 406-636-2261

Terry reports, “ No one has talked about going fishing this week.  People are talking hunting but not fishing. “


Checkerboard Inn   Checkerboard, MT   Rick and Judy Geordge  406-572-3373

Judy reports,” at Martinsdale  I talked to a few guys who went fishing.  They caught 5  fish while they braved the wind.

Bair Lake was froze over then it opened up with the warmer temperature and wind.  That opened up half the lake.  A couple of guys fished from shore and got a few trout.

On Sutherlan  three fellows went out by the water to hunt.  They shot three elk on the ice. They got them off.  Then a calf and cow got spooked and ran out on the ice and fell through. The guys worked for 2 hours to get the thrashing animals in and when that finally happened both elk died of exhaustion.   The bus driver who saw it happen got some elk meat with permission from FWP.  So obviously the ice is not thick enough to fish on yet.”

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 East Fork and Hanson Dam have about 3 inches of ice. So you might be able to fish there.

Hunting is what people are talking about.

Crooked Creek I was told had some ice in the bay but still thin.

Missouri – I know that the Missouri river was slow fishing.  You could get a boat out, but the water visibility is only 5 to 6 inches.  The guys who went out got a handful of fish.  It also was muddy.

Spring Creek- Spring Creek is clear and open.  So you could  fish there but I  have not talked to anyone who did. ”

Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana   James  (Slim) and Abbie Craig, Carri Craig   406-429-2999 

The marina is open.  We are open 7 am to 7 pm every day.

Gary reports, “we have some ice. One person went out, but I sure would not yet. It is 3 to 4 inches thick in places.  One day it is stiff and the next the wind has blown it around.  The water is open outside of the bay.  The road  is  rough, really rough right now.  The wind has made drifts.  I suggest you call before you come so you can hear what the  conditions are.  ”

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon reports, “there have been a few  fishermen going out this week.   They have caught a few  trout.  It is truly dependent on the weather especially the wind.  We do not have ice, but we have had a lot of wind.  The wind has kept  boats  off. The docks have been pulled.  ”

The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.

The Flamingo is closed.

West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611  

Jim reports,  “Nelson is completely locked in with ice.  Only a little  on the main lake. There is 6 inches in the  Bay, and someone had a shack on. I don’t know if he got anything. ”

Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.

Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt 

Jayce  reports, “ I have not heard much from fishermen.  I know the wind has been blasting all week so getting on anywhere has been tough.

Yellowtail-  Last week  guys told me that they were jigging and caught a few sauger.

Yellowstone- I did see a  jet boat heading out but he did have hunter orange on.

Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “ People are anticipating ice fishing, so they are buying for that.  I have not heard any  news on ice fishing. ”

Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken, Jasmine

Chris reports,” We have open water.  I would try nymphing using a beadhead.  If you try floating the Yellowstone, I would try a streamer.  The weather is supposed to be getting cold.  I will be closing the shop for a while starting December 1st.”

Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau says, “  The water on  the  Big Horn is definitely  clearing.  People say it has improved some. The  pseudo patterns should work around   noon.  Some say they are seeing them around  about 1 pm.  Nymph and  streamer  fishing  has improved.  People say they  are catching rainbows. The reds are starting and so please stay off them. “

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375   Rick/Stephanie

Some people have said they are seeing  baetes  this week. The water is  clearer. Look for them around 3 mile  between one and three o’clock .  When it is  overcast and cloudy use streamers.  The water is 54 degrees and the cfs is 3200.  Some have said fishing is  better. Some nice 20-inch fish have been caught.  Fish deep  and use a sink tip line.  Rick says he finds  you have to get out of the boat to do well fishing. Stay off the reds, the browns have started.”

We are in winter  hours and are open  8 am to 12 every day.

Madison River Outfitters- West Yellowstone – Tom Forsberg.  Open 730am-9pm  406-646-9644.

 West Yellowstone Area Fishing Report 

No further fishing report until Spring