Winter 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 New Year from the Montana Outdoor Radio Crew. May you be surrounded by family and friends
This report has been written on Sunday and Monday because of the Christmas on Wednesday and will also be written on the same days next week because of New Years. .***
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
Neal reports, “ The whole bay is frozen. We have been out with friends ice fishing. In checking the depths we have found 5 inches in the bay. Right now it is walk on. We caught a northern pike. It was 29 to 30 inches. We got lots of misses. They are hitting light. We are using 3 inch smelt. ”
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 have quite a few people here. The Marina is open for the weekend, People have caught crappie, perch, northern pike and walleye. They are fishing mostly around the marina and at Rattlesnake, Rattlesnake now has 6 to 12 inches of ice. The Marina ice is 8 to 10 inches. They are using ATVs and putting huts on. I want to remind people that camping fees still apply in winter. “
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
Wade said ,“ The Marina now is open on Saturday and Sunday 6:00 am to noon. We will be open New Years and have something special to eat. I have lots of minnows. The guys are using ATVs, 4 wheelers and side by sides on the ice. I am hearing that the average ice is 7 to 12 inches. Out further it is 8 to 10 inches they say, People have said they have caught lots of crappie and perch. The northern pike are at 30 feet depths. The walleye right now are suspended 4 to 8 feet but the bite is slow. ”
Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne-Kayler 1-406- 557-2345
Layne reports, ” we have some ice. There is ice at Boy Scout, and someone caught 8 northern pike. It is about 4 to 6 inches. There is 2 inches by the boat ramp. There is 1 inch at the Marina. The north end is open. The road is okay. We suggest you put chains on at the big hill. “
Hell Creek Marina is open 7 days a week.
Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597
Eddie reports, “ there is no ice up here yet. I did hear Nelson and McGuire Creek have 8 inches. They are catching some pike and walleye. It is decent fishing. The walleye are at 10 to 20 feet. The bite is definitely slower.“
We can cover all your needs. 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 “ Sounds like the dredge cuts have fishable ice but fishing has been spotty as of late. The dry arm has been producing good numbers of fish in the bays where you can find good ice. Duck Creek and the bays around the dam where you can find good ice. Duck Creek and the bays around the dam had a skid of ice on them so things are starting to ice up.
Hopefully we will have fishable ice in the very near future. I will be providing updates on ice conditions in our Facebook page and if you have any questions please call us at 406-526-3442 Happy New Year’s everyone. “
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 ,” we do have ice . The entire lake is frozen. There is 7 inches I have been told at Marshall Cove. There is still 2 inches of snow on the ice. People are fishing but I have not heard how they did. The neighbors are still telling me that the ice is making a lot of noise more than they have ever heard before. It gets very loud as night falls and through the night so that may mean things are shifting a lot. Use extreme caution.”
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
Mike Ruggles tells me, “ I see people with chairs and augers so the ice must be good depths. The ice does look good. We are seeing guys out ice fishing. They are mostly catching perch. People need to use caution.
I did hear that the Big Horn has improved fishing wise. They are catching a few fish. It is definitely not hot and heavy.“
Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat
Pat reports,” we saw some fishermen out on the ice the day before Christmas. There is ice all the way out now. We have not heard how thick it is. ”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner bar Lavina 406-636-2261
Terry reports, “ Some people looked at Martinsdale and did not think the ice was good enough yet. It has been warm enough you just don’t know what is under the thin ice. It is supposed to get colder so that will help Ice. “
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Rick reports,” I am still hearing fishing out at Bair has been pretty good. There is 8 inches of ice. The fishermen are catching trout. There have been people on Sutherlin fishing for ling during the day. Someone caught a 2 pounder. It has 8 inches of ice. No news on Martinsdale. ”
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
Jon reports , “ there is good ice at Hanson and at Carters pond . There is 6 inches of thick ice. They are catching rainbow trout on nightcrawlers and power bait.
On East Fork the fishermen are catching perch using maggots.
Spring Creek can still be fished. It is open water. They are using a panther martin or a Mepps.
Achley is slow fishing right now.
I have heard Crooked Creek was good. They are catching walleye and northern pike. Most are using minnows and tip ups. ”
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.
Slim reports, “ fishing has been slow here. There has been a walleye and northern pike. Just not a fast bite. We have had a lot of people up here. There is You can find ice from Nancy Russell Creek formally called Squaw Creek. There is 12 inches of ice in the bay. There were lots of 4 wheelers and side by sides out there. People who brought snowmobiles have found it tough because the machines are overheating. The road is rough but passable.”
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
Sharon reports, “we now have 6 to 8 inches of ice. The bay has 6 inches. Going south there is 8 inches of ice. The few people who have gone out have caught trout and small walleye using maggots and worms. We have no snow right now. Mark your calendar for the Lions Perch Derby ice fishing tournament on January 25th and 26th. ”
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, “I fished Nelson for the last two days. It continues to have good ice. I was told that the ice varies from 22 to 24 inches of ice at Nelson. Some people have had shacks on it. Four wheelers are being used. We caught 7 northern pike the first day and 3 the next day. We caught some walleye. Many are using tip ups or jigging. They are using minnows. Some are spearing for northerns.
On Forchete there is 7 inches in the bay. I heard big northern pike were being caught this week.”
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt
Jayce reports, “ Fishing has been decent in some places through the ice at Cooney . Cooney I was told has 8 to 9 inches in some places. The guys have caught multiple perch and little walleyes.
At Crooked Creek people are catching northern pike on minnows. They do say there is not a lot of action.
On the Yellowstone River going south they have caught ling . You just have to be able to avoid the ice chunks. They were using minnows.
I heard at Tongue the guys are catching lots of crappie and some little perch at Rattlesnake.
I was told that Canyon Ferry has just barely froze up.
I also heard going north to Forshette the walleye fishing was pretty good.”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “ The Jefferson, Gallatin and Madison rivers definitely now has ice chunks floating and ice on the edges. It has been really cold here.
Harrison has 5 inches of ice on Thursday.
I was told at Canyon Ferry there is 5 inches at the dikes toward south end. He said out 150 yards there is only 2 inches of ice.
I have heard there is some 9 inches of nice ice at Crooked Creek for fishing. Someone went Thursday and Friday and fished towards Anderson . They caught some small walleye and a 15-pound northern pike. ”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken, Jasmine
Chris reports,” on the Stillwater you will be seeing less slush if you fish because of the . There is open water on the Yellowstone, but the edges are slippery . You can try nymphing with a beadhead. You might see some hatches late in the afternoon. My shop is closed except by appointment now.”
Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612
Beau says, “ the fishing on the Big Horn is about the same. Fishing was pretty good. The water is now clear. Use a streamer as it is working okay. In a few spots orange scuds and midge larva nymphs were working. The pseudo patterns should work around noon. You are catching rainbows. Most of the time. Please stay off the reds as they are out there. “
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375 Rick/Stephanie
I had two reports this week that said fishing is good good this week. The water is now clear. Fishermen are seeing baetes. Look for them around 3- mile between noon and three o’clock . When it is overcast and cloudy use streamers. Please pay attention to where you are standing when you fish as you may be standing on reds. . Please don’t stand on the reds. ”
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 10/7/19
No further fishing report until Spring