Great Smallmouth Fishing on the Yellowstone and Much More in the Eastern Montana Fishing Report
By Matt Schauer

Posted: October 3, 2012

Please be advised for low water conditions on many of the area lake and rivers.  Please use caution while on the waters . Call the contact person in the area you are planning on fishing for current daily information. Also use extreme caution on the water at all times. Good Luck Fishing from the Montana Outdoor Radio Crew.

***Bill -Rock Creek Marina 1-406-485-2560

“Fishing is still pretty awesome. I went fishing with my brother and we caught 36 northerns and 1 bass in an afternoon,” Bill says. Northerns are really out there and fishermen are doing really well. Northern pike are liking cranks or casting. They are biting on blue and white colors at 10 to 15 feet. The water temp is 63 degrees now. It is just really hot,” Bill explains.

***Grant-Crooked Creek Marina 1-406-429-2999

Crooked Creek Fort Peck Reservoir

Grant says, “The water level is low, but it is still fishable. Fishing is good. I saw a big 40 inch northern this week that someone caught. The average is between 15 to 16 pounds.”

“They are using the J13 repellas at 15 to 20 feet. Boats have to be really careful between the ramp and a mile past Anderson point,” he says.

At Crooked Creek people are catching pike and walleye. They are using cranks, jigs and crawler harnesses. They are finding them at depths of 15 to 25 feet in the majority of water.

***Clint Thomas- Hell Creek Marina 1-406- 557-2345

Walleye are tough to get right now. They are biting on Fire Tiger lures at 10 feet. The ones we are seeing are 5 to 6 pounds. Northern Pike are biting on the color brown with crankbaits. You can find pike by fishing in the thicker weed beds . You frequently end up catching 4 to 5 pound small mouth with the same technique.

***Gene Moore Lake ridge Motel 1-406-526-3597

Fort Peck Reservoir Dam/Bear Creek/Pines/

Gene says, “it is still good fishing down here.”

“There are a few salmon being caught again at the face of the dam. Northern pike are still biting like crazy. The lake is slow with very few caught right now. On the river the walleye bite is pretty good. You catch usually 3 to 10 pounders using crank bit with husky jerk and rapallas. Don’t go really deep, try only 4 to 5 feet,” Gene reports.

***West Side Sports – Dan 1-406-654-1611

Nelson, Forchette

Dan at West Side Sports tells us, “the fishing is good on Nelson. They are using jigs with minnows or crawlers.. Cranks have started working for northerns.“ Dan says,” A bit longer to catch some days,” he says.

Forchette is the same. The guys are using bottom bouncers on walleyes . Pike are biting on cranks. “ The weather may pick things up,” Dan explains.

***Deadmans and Martinsdale

Fishing is picking up a bit. They are catching some fish. Shore fishing is producing rainbows, but no browns. If the weather cools down, it should pick up. It is super low, so anglers have to have a small boat. Boat fishing is still better than shore. I checked one boat of 2 people and they had 13 fish. On Martinsdale anglers are catching rainbows. The river is producing browns.

Fishing is better late in the evening for browns. It is possible they are starting to spawn.

Deadmans trout fishing is about the same. No anglers were doing much.

*** Tongue River Marina & Scheels

Tongue River Reservoir

Lucky from Scheels says, “Tongue is very low. They have pulled the docks. Check conditions before you go.”

Nate from Scheels says, “on the Tongue the guys have caught a lot of fish. Nothing of great size. The walleye are not real big. They even caught a few northern pike in the 3 to 6 pound range. Fish by trolling using lead core cranks at 25 feet.”

*** Silos Marina Sharon 1-406-266-3100

Canyon Ferry

Sharon says, “there is still some action on Canyon Ferry.”

“People are catching lots of perch. A good 6 to 10 fish per fisherman. They are using bottom bouncers, but not a lot of cranks,” Sharon reports. “Lots of trout are being caught. Walleye fishing continues to be good and the shore is good as well.”

*** Minnow bucket Allen Camarillo 348-2440

“The season is going good. Lots of smallmouth bass are being caught from Huntley dam to the bridge,” Allen said. “I even had one guy who caught small mouth by Columbus using little nightcrawers. They are catching sauger from Huntley to Custer all the way to Hysham,” Allen reports. Only a few walleye are being caught. If the weather cools it should pick up. The river is low and clear with a bit of moss at the bottom, but if you use crankbaits you can avoid the moss.

***Lake Elmo Billings

Nate at Scheels says, “fishing has slowed down. A few bass have been caught.” Plastic worms are working and off shore fishing is still happening.

***Cooney Jenny at Cooney and Nate at Scheels, Billings

“People are catching off shore,” Jenny says . Boat fishing is hit and miss. They are having some luck closer to the dam for walleye and perch. The ramps have been pulled because of low water.

***Don’s Charlie 1-800-879-8194

Lewistown East Fork Reservoir

Dale says, “Spring Creek is fishing good on blue wings and tan caddis.” Crooked Creek is doing extremely well using bottom bouncers and a boat in 12 to 18 feet of water. Ackley Lake is really producing. Using a fly rod they are doing well with a leach and a wooly bugger and bait fisherman are fishing off the bottom close to shore. On the river sauger, catfish and walleye are working on crawlers,” Dale reports.

***Scheels Lucky Bethol

On Crooked Creek, I traveled by boat last week all the way to Forchette. I fished in 15 to 16 feet of water, using cranks and bottom bouncers with rigs.

Petrolia is very low, but shore fishing is best for perch. It is a small reservoir with good fishing.

Yellowstone: Lucky says, “small mouth are on fire. People are catching 3 to 4 pounders. They are using cranks mainly and fishing around boulders. You can see how they are presenting as they are close to the surface looking for oxygen. The big problem is the ramps. Be ready to put off of the gravel bar because of how low the water is. If you go on the Yellowstone be very, very careful there are lots of things to look out for. Pay attention to navigation, it is key, but the fishing is really good. Just be careful.”

On Rosebud, the northern pike are biting. They are not small, about 5 to 7 pounds is the average, without even trying. Above rosebud to Miles City, the sauger and walleye are not there yet. The cold snap will change that. The water is very dangerous prepare to go really slow. There are big boulders to watch out for.

***Scheels Nate McClenning

Cooney and Deadmans are a lot lower. Much tougher to get in to boats have to be careful.

Yellowstone is really good. Catching small mouth a lot. They are using cranks mostly.


The Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the week of 10/2/12 was compiled by Carol Henckel

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