Central to Eastern MT Fishing Reports 1.8.20
By angelamontana

Posted: January 9, 2020

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.

(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, “ starting with New Years the whole  bay was frozen. There was 5 to 8 inches of ice.  We used top-ups  and  caught a few fish.  Then the New Year’s rain came.  We got everything off the ice just in time.  It was 50 degrees and the wind blew the ice to the south.  So the ice has pulled away from the shore.  So there is no ice fishing now.  The word is the weather is going to go down to zero so we are hoping it will ice up again.    ”

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

Spencer reports, ” we have quite a few day  people here this weekend. Fishermen were saying it was slow fishing.   People have caught  mostly perch,  a cat and a northern pike on the south end.  I was told the ice  around the marina is 1 foot.  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  is open on Saturday and Sunday  from 6:00 am to noon. People said it was slow fishing.  Someone caught a nice 8 -pound catfish.    The guys are using ATVs, 4 wheelers and side by sides on the ice.  I am hearing that the average ice is 10 inches and holding.     People have said they have caught  lots of crappie, perch, northern pike and even a few bass.  ”

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

Clint reports, ” some of the  ice was  pushed out by the wind. The ramp to Boy Scout has 4 to 6 inches and by the boat ramp it is 3 to 4 inches.  It is fishable at this time (Wednesday) If we get a good freeze it very likely will build ice.  That is if the wind does not blow.  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

Haley reports, “ there is no ice except at Nelson and McGuire Creek.  They are catching northern pike and walleye .  I did hear Nelson and McGuire Creek have 12 inches.   They are catching some pike and walleye. They are finding the fish at depths of 12 to 20 feet depths.  I do want to tell people there is a pressure ridge building so be really careful when you are out there.  Up here we are producing some ice but the wind for one day was 60 mph with gusts of 70 mph.  People lost lots of top-ups and the ice definitely moved.  They are fishing at the dredge cuts and someone caught an 18 ½ pound northern pike the other day.  At Nelson Reservoir they are catching 12-inch perch on small fatheads.    “

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 “  Around the dam area we still do not have much fishable ice as of yet.  The dredge cuts have fishable ice with reports of a few walleyes and northerns being picked up.   Nelson and McQuire Creek have between 8 to 12 inches of ice with decent reports of a lot of northerns and some good walleyes being caught,  I’m hoping with the cold temps we have coming at us this week we will start seeing some ice buildup our way.

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    “

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

Cooney  has ice  and the entire lake is frozen.  There is  7  plus inches   I have been told at Marshall Cove.   They have been catching some fish, but it is slow I have been told.

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

Staff explains, there is open water 20 feet out from the pier.  The ice is really thin over by the boat ramp, so the ice is not safe to be on at this time.  It is just gotten too thin with the warm weather.“

 Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat

Pat reports,” we saw four separate  fishermen out earlier in the week ice fishing .  They were only 10 feet out, that was all.   Right now on the far side the north part of the lake is still open water. With this warmer weather we don’t know how safe it is now.  ”

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

Terry reports, “  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 but right now I would wait.  No one has gone out that I know.   “

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

Judy reports,” People have been pretty quiet about ice fishing this week.  The guys were out earlier in the week and it was not as good fishing.  There is 10 to 12 inches of ice at Bair. I also heard Sutherland was slow fishing.  There were four guys and one day they got one sucker and five fish and the next day they got 2 fish.  The fishermen are catching trout  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

Scott  reports , “  there is good ice at  Hanson .  There is  6 inches  of thick ice. The bite is decent, and they are catching rainbow trout on nightcrawlers and power bait.

On East Fork the fishermen are saying it is slow fishing.  They  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 -No report  right now.

Carters Pond has good ice. Not much news about if they are catching though.

I have heard Crooked Creek  I heard it was just fine fishing.  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.

Gary  reports, “  we have gotten 2 inches of snow  already today and it is still snowing.  The hill is slippery so be careful  driving.  The guys caught a couple of walleye in the 2-pound range.  One was a 30 incher.  The bay has 10 to 12 inches of ice.  They have been catching eater size walleye in the river channel.  Some are catching  walleye 3 miles out  towards Squaw Creek now Nancy Russell Creek.   There is 12 inches of ice in the bay.  At Anderson Point there is 6 to 8 inches of ice.  It is a murky cloudy ice on the river, but the Musselshell side is clear.   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.  ”

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon reports, “we did   have 4 inches of ice but now it is pretty thin.  It needs to be colder and they say that is coming.  In the meantime it is not safe to be on the ice at all.  If you want to know what is happening stop in or call for information.  The ice is  just not safe.  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,  “Nelson is decent fishing.  The northern pike bite is good but the walleye bite is slow. The perch bite is on.  It continues to  have good  ice.   Some people have  had  shacks on it.  Four wheelers  are being used.  .  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  know guys are going there but they are not saying how the fishing was.  ”

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

Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt

Cooney I was 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 it has been slow fishing. .

The Yellowstone River going south has produced some  ling .  Watch out for the ice chunks.  They were using minnows.

At Tongue the guys are catching  crappie and some little perch .

No ice on  Canyon Ferry right now.

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 is open.   It has been really  warm here.

The south end of  Canyon Ferry there was 5 inches of ice but now it is  real thin.   Saturday,  there were  huge gusts of wind Townsend had 49 degrees so the ice would be really thin.

I have heard there is some 9 inches of nice ice at Crooked Creek for fishing.   I also heard fishing was slow.   ”

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 pretty good.  The water is now clear.  If you find the fish stay there don’t leave there.   Use a streamer as it is working.  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

The water is clear and the CFS is 3200.  Fish the drop offs.  Try a gray Ray or a Soft Tackle Gray Ray.  Orange Scuds in size 14 to 20 are also working.  The water is 46 degrees. If you use streamers try thin mints, dirty hippies or Pine squirrel.    Small black wooly buggers  also would use.  You can find a baetes hatch some days when it is warm especially when there is no wind.  The spawn is over. 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