Montana Ice Fishing Tournaments

Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the Week of 1.16.17
By angelamontana

Posted: January 19, 2017

The changes of winter   with snowy weather means fishermen   should stay aware. The weather and ice have   changed drastically.  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 and precipitation will change quickly. 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-Bill 1-406-485-2560

Bill says   “The ice is   24 to 30 inches at Rock Creek.  The fishermen that came this week caught northern pike, lake trout and some salmon.  They caught a ton of fish using minnows.  I drove the road to town today and it is good and open.  I had no problems. The marina is closed.  We will   still have cabins for rent.  So some services will be available if one of us   is around.”


Tongue River Reservoir /Spencer

Spencer says   “I can say fishing was good this weekend.  I was out on the ice with family and friends this past weekend.   We caught lots of crappies. We did not keep them all.  Two fellows caught 2 nice pike.  They caught   them on wax worms and meal worms which surprised us.  We fished at Neck Bay and caught 1 or 2 fish.  After lunch   and later in the day we went to Crappie point around 5:30 pm.  We caught about 20 crappies.  Then all of a sudden at 6:30 pm it turned on.  It went from 7 pm to 1 hour and it really turned on.   One crappie   caught was 14 ½ inches and the rest were between 9 to 10 inches.  We were using glow worms, wax   worms and maggots.  We used a few minnows   but just did not have many to use.  The ice is anywhere from 12 to 15 inches.  At Neck Bay   there is a fair amount of slush pockets.  With the warmer weather I think you will see more   of them.”  The fish cleaning station is now closed.  We now have only camper points 1 to 8 to the   north and 9 to 11 open.  The camp sites are now first come first serve. The water is down but fishing is still possible. ”


Tongue River Marina  1-406-757-2225 Wade Stephanie /Warden Jordan Staley

Wade says,” People   are catching a lot of perch,   quite a few crappies and a 30 inch northern pike was caught.  Perch aren’t   all big but there are a lot of keepers.  I   did   get a good report no matter where they went on the ice. Ice is 12 inches at places.   I   now have a good source for fathead minnows and during the week the machine will be full.   I will be open weekends. Our hours will be 6 am to noon Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There will be live minnows in the machine all week.”



Clint Thomas- Hell Creek Marina 1-406- 557-2345  Marina Matheson-Park   Hell Creek-Fort Peck Reservoir east to

Cody   reports,   “Fishing has been good for   northerns this week.   They are finding   them at 14 to 20 feet. At Peterson Point someone got one 5 pound not very big walleye.   Not hearing   many walleyes being caught. The ice is pretty good. In front of the marina, ice is one foot to 14 inches.  To Lucky Point   it is 8 to 9 inches and the 2nd half of the bay is 4 to 6 inches.   I am telling people 4 wheelers side by siders and no 4 wheelers pulling a trailer.   We are open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm now. “  ­­­­­­­

The park manager for Hell Creek State Park is Marina Matheson.


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

Carrie says,   “Fishing is starting to pick up.  Lots of 5 to 8   inchers being caught.  Most of the northern pike that are being caught are not huge.  They are finding them at depths of 16 to 22 feet.  They are using mostly minnows.  Only a few are spearing.”


Cooney Reservoir -Glennis, Mark Teynor is the new   game warden at Cooney.

Glennis says,” there are definitely trout being caught.  I went fishing this week and heard of many types of baits used.  When we fished we used power bait, jigs and spoons in the Red Lodge Campground.  The people next to us, a father and son fished with a hook and worm and caught their limit.  I talked to an old guy and his friend and they were having good luck with corn.  I also have heard of a few ling at the face of the dam.     Cooney   ice is 14 inches in places.  People are still saying everything they are catching is trout.  Still not hearing that any walleye are being caught.  The north shore still has pretty thin ice.  It is not recommended for truck driving on it.   The weather has been real nice and we have had less wind so that will change the ice some. “


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob says, “People have been out.  They have been fishing the hell out there.  It has been good fishing.  Lots of ice houses out there.”


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Tony’s wife, Pat   says, “   We have had only a couple of people out fishing this week.  They are farther out on the ice.  They were   about 10 to 20 feet out.  A couple of people got caught in drifts.  They chose a way to the ice without looking at conditions.  People have to really pay attention to where they go.”


Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22

I have heard that Martinsdale has really, really solid ice from someone at FWP.  Many huts have been on the ice.  Lots of people   are catching lots of rainbow trout.   Terry   says, “No one has been talking of fishing to me around here.”


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Dale says, “There is lots of ice out there to fish.  Lots of places to go.

The hot spot to fish is Crooked Creek, Forchette and Devils Creek.  There is good ice.  Use minnows vertical jigging.  All of them have 8 to 16 inches of ice.  I did hear that Forchette   and Duck Creek   toward the big lake is a bit dicey with ice.

The local waters, like the East Fork, are doing well fishing.  They are catching perch with maggots. “


Crooked Creek-Grant

I have been told there is   good ice at Crooked Creek.   People are catching   some nice fish.  Someone who went there was surprised by the number of people there.

Please Call for information. The number is 1-406-429-2999.


Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

“The trout fishing has been good.  Ice is now   18 to 20   inches   thick.  Guys are catching trout pretty much anywhere going shallow.   Perch are also being   caught.  Only   a few walleye people say are being caught.  They are   at 25 to 45 feet. Not much wind this week.  There is a pressure ridge with the weather we are having so you need to stop to hear where it is and how to avoid it.   We do have plenty of bait here.   The Lions Club perch tournament is January 28 an 29th.  Call Silos to register. “   Sharon   says.   The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.


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

Don   says, “   I am hearing Nelson has been slow for tip ups.  There is   20   inches of ice.  It has been pretty good   for decent size perch.   Cold weather   has slowed   for walleye fishing.

I hear Forchette has been real slow down there this week.  They ha 9 inches of ice one week ago.”

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


Billings-Scheels Dan , McCahen.

McCahen says he has heard,” At Fort Peck at Crooked Creek people is doing really well.  They are catching lots of fish.  They are using worms and smelt   with tip ups.

Also   hearing people are finding fishing slower   at   Tongue this week they say. They say they are catching more perch than   crappies.

At Yellowtail on the Wyoming border lots of sauger are being caught guys are saying.”


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says,” There is lots of ice.  The rivers are solid ice.

Fishing is good on Canyon Ferry.  The report I am hearing on trout is that it varies by fishermen.  Some are doing real well and others are doing poorly.  Only a few walleye caught they say.  They are finding fewer perch but the ones they are catching are bigger, fatter.

At Halter they are catching a lot of perch.  ”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977

Chris says,   “Everything is real clogged up.  All the ice goes out on to the shore.  Footing is not good.  I would   not recommend fishing right now.  You   can’t even get up to the ice anywhere.

You can book trips now for later, just call the shop.  Our hours now are 9 to 1 Monday to Saturday and 9 to 1 pm on Sunday. ”


Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau says,” The warmer weather will definitely change the fishing so people will get out there. I have not heard or got out there myself. In the meantime stock up on your flies.”

Steven Caldwell   guide   * Unable to contact. No new report this week.


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Rich says, “The river is now at 2800 cfs.  The water temperature right now is less now 42 degrees.  Nipping is good right now.  Try going   deep with a gray ray tan, scuds or small beats pattern.

For dries   we are seeing hatches   early or late in the day.   Some   blue wing olives and some midges are coming off.

For streamers there is some action.  Try a thin mint or a dark hippy.

With warm weather this will change things to the better.  Access to wadding is good.  At 3 mile there has been early morning dry fly action.   “Our normal hours are we are closed Sunday and Monday. We   are open   9 am to 2 pm now Tuesday to Saturday.


Riverside Anglers in West Yellowstone : Alice Owsley, fishing guide and outfitter 406-640-1698


Alice tells us,” Fishing has changed from   last week as the temps are now in the plus double digits. Sunny days have opened up a little water on the Madison. Still a nymphing game with small midges and stonefly nymphs. Streamers are producing in the deeper holding water. Remember that water levels were dropped out of Hebgen over a week ago, so deeper pockets for streamers are a little harder to find.”


Yellowstone National Park

Alice explains, “Fishing in the park is now closed for the season.”