Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 2.26.2020
By angelamontana

Posted: February 27, 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.

(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, “ we had many days with below zero temperatures this week . We were full this weekend. We got 4 inches of snow. We did have some drifting with the wind. One man just arrived, and he said the road was not bad. There was a lot of lake trout caught. There was a group of seven guys, and they all got their limits. They said they threw a lot of fish back. The pike was pretty slow fishing. The guys did catch a few walleye. There is 12 to 15 inches of ice in our bay. It is super hard ice. People were using smelt for bait. One fellow caught a whole bunch of catfish at Duck Creek. ”

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, ” Our numbers seemed to be down this week and people said the fishing was slow. Several people said the crappie bite seems to be good from 6 to 9 pm. They thought they caught more northern pike. We had a couple of days that were below zero. They are always picking up perch. We have 12 to 16 inches of ice. “

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 explained, “ we will be open this weekend. There were fish caught pike, they caught pike, crappie and of course perch. We have 12 to 19 inches of ice. There is 2 to 3 inches of snow on the ice. They were jigging with minnows”

The Marina is open on Saturday and Sunday from 6:00 am to noon.

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

Clint reports, ”People are catching northern pike, but the bite is slower. They are using smelt or minnows. The lake trout seem to also be a slower bite. The ice is really good. I don’t know how it will be later as the weather report says 10 days of warmer weather so we will have to keep an eye on the ice. I would suggest that that when you make plans call to get the ice conditions. “

Hell Creek Marina is open 7 days a week. ­­­­­­­

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

Haley reports, “ fishing is good. There is 14 inches of ice. We have 2 inches of snow on the ice. People are catching some walleye at depths of 10 to 20 feet depths. They are catching eater size fish mostly using minnows. The pike bite is about the same. . For lakers they have been jigging at depths of 40 to 70 feet depths. We had some wind. They are running ATV’s, side by side and snow mobiles. “

The 48-hour Fort Peck ice fishing Tournament is on March 6th, 7th and 8th. It is full at this time.

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 “ ice conditions.-Ice is in really good shape and snow covered with some drifts. Ice depths are 14 to 18 inches at the dam area but shallow main lake points. Pressure ridges are still a concern. We had two bikes go through the over the weekend near shore on some of these spots,

Walleyes fishing-fishing cooled down a little over the week. It seems to be picking up today. Main lake points in 8 to 18 feet of water have been producing, Minnows on tip-ups and jigging spoons with minnow heads have still been producing some good eaters and a few good fish.

Pike fishing- Fishing has stayed fairly consistent for the guys fishing on first and secondary points with live minnows or smelt under tip-ups.

Lake Trout-Fishing for lakers remains hot one day and the struggle bus the next. We have seen some great fish go topside this week. Jigging buck tail jigs in white and chartreuse along with clam leech flutter spoons and Johnson thinfish spoons have been the most consistent. Best depth seems to be in the 60 -foot range with some fish coming out of 95.

Good luck to all the fishermen and please be safe. Give us a call 406-526-3442 or stop by the marina for up to date fishing reports or to help with all your bait and tackle needs See everyone on the water.“

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson. Shauni, Cynthia, Jake

There is 10 inches of ice depending on where you are on the ice. There is snow on the ice and the wind has really been blowing making drifting happen. The park roads have been plowed. Word has it fishing has been slow. I have heard of some ling being caught at night. Please make sure your vehicle is being driven on the road.

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 reports, “there is only part of the ice on Elmo and it is really thin. I would not ice go fishing at Elmo right now. There is open water on the lake. We did have some people who fished from the pier into the open water there. It is open 40 to 50 yards out. ”

Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat

Pat reports,” we have only seen one fisherman here this week. He had an ice house out there. There is some open water out there and it is starting to break up. With the warm weather that they say is coming the ice may change quickly. ”

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

Terry reports, “ a couple of guys went to Bair. They caught 12 fish. They had 6 nice ones and threw the rest back. Someone told me they caught one on Broadwater pond. It has been cold at night, so the ice is holding.“­­­­­

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

Judy reports,” Rick fished Bair on the weekend and was pleased because he got his limit. Another couple got their limit as well. The ice is looking good. . the fishing was slow. Some people went out and they got 3 fish in 4 hours. The snow is off the ice. I heard one fellow caught one fish on Sutherland this week. I was told Martinsdale has some open water. ”

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

John reports , “ I did not here much conversation on fishing this week.

East Fork- On East Fork they were catching perch.

Nelson Creek – I would say head to Nelson Creek on the dry arm as it is fishing well for the fly fisherman.

Hanson and Carter- People are catching trout. They have caught trout using power bait and night crawlers.

Spring Creek- Spin fishing at Spring Creek has been okay. There has been some run off.

Crooked Creek- I have been told Crooked Creek has been slow. “

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, “ the weather has been warm and that has changed the ice. People are on the ice, but the ice is looking a little different. I would say the ice is walk on only now. There are people on the ice right now. You can see the bay ice changing a little. I think the warm weather predicted will make a big difference in ice conditions.

I will be closing for the month of March. The marina will be closed so there will be no services like bait or fuel. I plan on working on the cabins. You can come to fish from shore if you wish if the ice leaves. You will not be able to rent cabins for March. Call me at the number if you want to rent cabins in April you can call me now. ”

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon reports,” The ice is not too bad. We have 10 inches of ice. You can fish from Silos going south to Pond 4. There is some snow on the ice in places. Going south they are mostly catching trout. Do not go to Hole in the Wall as there are some pressure ridges out there. I suggest you stop to find out any new information. No matter where you are be careful.”

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

The Flamingo is closed.

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

Dan reports, “ My shop is closed. The inventory will be sold off later.”

*I want to thank Jim for his willingness to give me a fishing report every week and wish him success in whatever he decides to do next. *

Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt

Jayce reports he has heard, “ people going to Bair Reservoir have said it was consistent fishing. The people I talked to catch a lot of nice size rainbow trout through the ice.

Big Horn- I talked to some guys who fished the Big Horn. They fished the Afterbay and caught 5 fish on a size 16 to 18 gray Ray. It was definitely windy. They were saying the fishing is a little better.

Stillwater-I had someone go to the Stillwater and found streamers worked. He caught five fish, four browns and one rainbow. He was using streamers. He said nymphing was slow.

Nelson-I heard Nelson fishing was pretty good. The fishing for perch is good. They got some nice eater size walleye and one perch.

Cooney-I have heard it was slow fishing. Someone caught some nice perch.

Crooked Creek-I heard a little. The ones that went said the bite is good. I did hear they were catching lake trout at the dam.

Yellowstone- I talked to a fellow who took his boat in on the Yellowstone at Miles City looking for sauger. There is a lot of shelf ice. I did not hear how he did.

Rock Creek- I know someone who went fishing at Rock Creek in the Joliet area. They got some white fish.

Fort Peck Dam- I heard the lake trout fishing has been consistent. They have said they caught a few walleye and pike. “

Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540

Rich says, “ Someone said they caught some nice trout at Canyon Ferry. It has been very cold some days . They say Canyon Ferry has 12 inches of ice. People are telling me that the ice is thinning.

The rivers are clearing now.

I did talk to someone who headed to Tiber and caught fish said there was 18 inches of ice. ”

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

On the Stillwater and the Yellowstone are changing with the temperature . Try nymphing with a bead head. Some have seen midges 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, “ my guide guy said fishing on the Big Horn was pretty good. He said the nymphing was slow. Streamers were working pretty decent. The mornings were not as good. Midges were working okay. He said the darker fly the better. It was decent fishing with a nymph in a scud pattern in black and red”

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

Stephanie explains,” fishing has been decent this week. We have seen more people going down the river. The CFS is 3200 and people are definitely catching. Nymphing seems to be the way to go right now. Some midges are being seen in the afternoon. Use a juju when you see baetes. A smoke jumper or a sipper midge are working as well. Guys are catching nice rainbows and some browns . Try a big orange scud, in size 14, 16. You can use a thin mint, a JJ, a dirty hippy, a Diety, a big horn special or the favorite wooly bugger. “

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