|EASTERN MONTANA FISHING REPORT FOR THE WEEK OF 3/9/2020
COMPILED BY Carol Henckel
Winter is still here. The unusual weather and sudden changes in weather temperatures, ice conditions, wind and water mean everyone needs to be vigilant when being outside. 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.
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 ice has really deteriorated .We had people leave early because the ice was no longer safe enough to be on. Ice fishing at this point is done. It is not good at all now. We got word one person went through the ice at Little Bug, so it has deteriorated since last week. The weather continues to change quickly. Be careful.”
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, ” If you even wanted to get on the ice you will have to bring a plank to get from the shore to go on the ice. Someone said there is 12 to 14 inches of ice out farther, but it is changing daily. It was in the 50’s on Saturday and 65 degrees on Sunday. The water level is raising from the dam. You can see muddy water on the ice. The ice is rotten in places. “
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, “ the edges broke, and the ice turned soft. There is not any ice fishing.so we have closed the marina until the water opens up. Can’t tell you when we will be open as the weather can change. ”
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, ”About the only way to ice fish is to walk on. There is a decent northern pike bite. People are using smelt or minnows. The lake is coming up and the ice is starting to honeycomb. I think we are down to the last few days for ice fishing because of the warmer weather and wind. I would suggest that that when you make plans call to get the ice conditions. I do not think we will be ice fishing In a few days.“
Hell Creek Marina is open 7 days a week.
Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt, Haley 1-406-526-3597
Eddie reports, “ The ice is now unsafe. It is not safe to get on now. The weather helped to change the ice and make it questionable. We did have a couple of mishaps and 4 guys go into water and we were able to get them out this weekend. There is some open water and very rotten ice on the points and humps. I am telling people it is not safe. The weather is supposed to get colder later in the week, but I do not think it will change things really.
The 48-hour Fort Peck ice fishing Tournament was on March 6th, 7th and 8th. It was full and it was a good tournament. The top 3 winners for pike were Casey Watson 16.75 pounds, Brian Bowman 15.85 pounds and Ashlee Sheehan with 13.55 pounds. For the top three Lake trout winners was Tommy Gonzales with 11.20l pounds, Dillon Sander 11.20 pounds and Nic Amestoy with 11 pounds. For Walleye the winners were caught by Rebecca Will at 10.01 pounds, Casey Watson 6.25 pounds and Don Wilkins 5.95 pounds.”
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.-Conditions have deteriorated extremely fast over the weekend. We went from good ice to very sketchy ice in a very short time. I personally know of at least 10 machines that went through the ice in a couple of days. Even with some of the colder temps we are seeing at night. To me ice season is over for the year, but if you are going, I would suggest walk on only, do not go by yourself and have ice pick ropes and throwables with you for those emergencies. We stress to everyone it is only a fish, no need to put yourself at risk over a fish. Live to fish another day.
The hardest thing to report is we lost a fellow ice fisherman from Wyoming on Sunday. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family along with the individuals that helped recover and find his body. May the ice stay strong and you drill many holes in heaven my friend.
Stay safe everyone and I hope to have some open water updates coming at you soon.
Stop in the bait store or give us a call 406-526-3442 for the most up to date reports and to let us help point you in the right direction for a great trip. We have all the tackle and live bait to make your trip a successful one. “
Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson. Shauni, Cynthia, Jake
According to the phone message due to warm weather the ice is no longer safe.
Please make sure your vehicle is being driven on the road and you have your dog on a leash. .
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
On Elmo the ice is gone. With the wind no one has been using it. Some people have been fishing from the pier.
Remember you need a new fishing license now as of March 1st. ”
Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat
Pat reports,” Deadmans is now all most completely open. We have not seen anyone out there. ”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner bar Lavina 406-636-2261
Terry reports, “none of the guys who normally go to Bair went this week. The warm weather made the ice questionable.“
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy reports,” Rick went out to fish Bair and there was water on the ice. One person tried to walk on and broke through. The guys went on and pulled their ice houses off. As far as Sutherlan it tends to have ice longer than Bair, but I have not heard anything. We heard 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
Colby reports , “ not much fishing here right now. The local ponds are not okay for ice fishing now.
Hanson – Last I heard you could still go out but that was earlier in the week. With the warm weather I doubt you can now.
Spring Creek- You can fish Spring Creek. No problem with the shoreline right now but the water got muddy
PM- The ice is off now but the water is pretty muddy.“
Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana James (Slim) and Abbie Craig, Carri Craig 406-429-2999
The marina is open. We are closed for the month of March until the ice is gone and it is safe to shore fish.
Slim reports, “The ice has turned rotten so it really is not safe. Shore fishing is not advised right now. Wherever you go please be careful.
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 bad, and people should go on it. . No matter where you are be careful. We are in between season right now. What I am telling people is Keep one foot on land and the other out of the sea right now. ”
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 permanently . The inventory will be sold off later.”
Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt
Jayce reports he has heard, “ the pond behind Scheels is wide open and has no ice.
Big Horn- Fishing has been steady. Guys are finding success using gray rays.
Riverfront Park- I saw yesterday that Riverfront park is open.
Not much happening anywhere as the ice is gone or almost gone.“
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “ I heard the ice fishing on Canyon Ferry is done. I talked to one guy who went out Saturday and he said there was 4 inches of lousy ice. He said it was hard to get on. He said it was 6o degrees and there was a lot of wind. It looked like open water in the area of Hole in the Wall.
The rivers are definitely open.
Gates of the mountains looks open. I also was told Hauser looked open. ”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken, Jasmine
On the Stillwater and the Yellowstone the rivers are open . The wind has been a factor. 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, “I heard from someone that fishing on the Big Horn was okay. People are nymphing mostly. Try pink scuds and sow bugs. He said the darker fly the better. ”
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375 Rick/Stephanie
Stephanie explains,” Hale tells me fishing has been good this week. The CFS is 3200 and people are definitely catching. They are mostly nymphing. Use midges if it calm and early, like when the sun comes up. seems to be the way to go right now. Try a big orange scud, in size 14, 16. There is murky water below Soap Creek. “
We are in winter hours and are open 8 am to 12 every day.