Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 1.30.19
By angelamontana

Posted: January 31, 2019

Winter   is here and that means sudden changes in weather and water or ice conditions.  Outdoor enthusiasts including fishermen need to pay attention to these changes.   Storms 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  For winter call 1-406-230-1283  for Linda 

Marina number is less reliable in winter.  1-406-485-2560

Word has it the  bay of Rock Creek is froze over but due to the very gusty winds  and fluctuating temperatures the ice is shifting so the assumption is depths are not stable. .  The main lake still has some steam coming off of it so there are  places of  open water.

   Monty is  still available to  make reservations for spring by calling 1-406-465-0241  and he can set you up.  He has the book with him. “We have closed the Marina as of October 1st,   2018 for the season.   The   Marina number   will  not bring  results at this time.  “Monty says.

Neil   is recovering well from his heart surgery .   Due to the emergency they will not be up at Rock Creek.   At this point Linda has no idea when they will be back at Rock Creek.  So there are no services there.  Keep improving   Neil . We at the Montana Outdoor Radio Show wish you well.

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg\

Raymond says, “ Fishermen that I talked to have said they were catching mostly perch and on the little side. They are finding the fishing slowing down  “a little” .  The ice is good at Tongue.    The ice   depths  right now are  12 to 14   inches.  Some   people are using huts and ATV’s  on the ice.  Be cautious on  the north end as it does have some thin spots.  Below the dam there is some open water. People are sticking to Sandpoint.

Raymond wants to remind people there are very specific rules on live bait.  There have been people ticketed by the warden for illegal bait this past week.  Check  your  regulations for the information  for this region.”

There are no reservations needed for camp sites it is now first come first take. Everything is shut down like the electricity and water.  The cleaning station has been closed.  There are sites still open at Campers Point #1 to 11 and have electric hookups on year round.   “    .

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

Wade reports, “ I went fishing this weekend and found The ice is  14 plus inches in places.   Going north it is thinner.  In some places it is 6 inches and in others 10 inches.  We did   have    a lot of  people on the ice again  this week.  People   were catching   more walleye but on the smaller size.  The walleye were at 20 to 30 feet from the Marina   bay to Sand Point.   They are also catching perch, pike and some crappies.  We do legal live minnows at the Marina now. “

The Marina   right now  will be open all week from Monday to Thursday from 8 am to noon.  Friday to Sunday we are open 6 am to noon.  I have park passes and can do fishing licenses. We have smelt, fatheads,sucker  smelts but I have no worms.  . ”

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

Clint   reports ,” The northern pike is good right now.  People are also catching eater size walleye early in the morning and late in the evening.  They are also catching a few Lakers.  The bay right now is 4 wheelers only.  Most all of the bay is frozen.  Most all of the bay is   frozen.  With the fluctuating   temperatures of warm and the wind the ice out farther has shifted so we are waiting to see when it will be safe enough.  It can be 2 inches in one place and 6 somewhere else.  I think it just needs a couple of days and it will be stable again.  The main lake is still dangerous in spots.  Ask for information at the marina.   We do see that going south toward the main lake everything is frozen.  You do have to think about the snow that is now on the ice from the storm.  The wind blew but the amount does vary and could make a difference in ice conditions.   Feel free to call and inquire about conditions as we check the ice often.

The Hell Creek ice fishing tournament is February 9th.  8 am to 3 pm.  There are big fish  prizes for walleye, northern pike and perch.  You can enter that day before 8 am.  We have lots of  door prizes.”

Marina is open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm.  ­­­­­­­

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

Millie reports,  “As of today there is a very thin layer of ice almost over to Bear Creek so that is a first.  We have 10 to 4 mph winds so we will have to see what happens but it looks like ice is being made. We have some people from Wisconsin here. They   have been hopping   like popcorn popping from place to place such as in the bays or to  the  dredge cuts and to Flat Lake.  They have been catching northern pike and lake trout.  There is ice at Nelson   in the dredge cuts.  Flat Lake  does  have plenty of ice.  It is walk in. At McGuiere  Creek there is 12 inches of clear ice.  At Duck Creek there is   5 inches. “

We have meal worms, wax worms and maggots.  We also have smelt, herring and large sucker minnows.   Feel free to call for conditions.  Conditions are changing on a regular basis so feel free to call.  I have numerous sources that are reporting to me conditions on a daily basis.  Our hours are   7am-6 pm Monday through Sunday. ”

Fort Peck Marina  Jessica & Scott Collinsworth   1-406-565-6283

Thursday, Friday and Monday 9am to noon/ Saturday and Sunday 8 am to 9pm

**I would like to welcome a new addition to the fishing report.  Jessica and Scott are the new owners of the Fort Peck Marina. After meeting Scott I can say he is so excited about his new venture and his enthusiasm is contagious. He is very anxious to get to know and service his customers in their fishing adventures. Give him a call for a cabin rental, a delicious meal or fishing tackle or news.

Scott reports, “We do have ice finally.  There is 8 inches of ice at Duck Creek, Flat Lake and Bear. Out further it is just  plain thin and guys have to be real careful.  The fishing has been decent.  They are catching more pike, a few lake trout and some eater size walleye.  They are using smelt and live minnows.  Some are jigging with raps for lake trout.   With the cold weather it should get better in the weeks to come.   Rock Creek, McGuire Creek and Nelson Creek  have 12 to 14 inches and they are getting fish.  There the guys getting some nice pike, a few big walleye but mostly eater size and some lake trout.

We do have ice fishing tackle if you need any.  “

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson. Shauni, Cynthia  

Staff reports, “The ice is good at Cooney.  Fishermen at Marshal Cove have caught walleye and trout. I have not heard of any ling caught. Marshall Cove and Fisherman Point has ice of 6 to 8 inches.   Willow Creek   has 6 to 12 inches.   The North shore  has 4 inches of ice.  The middle area has gotten a little thicker.   Red Lodge arm has 8 inches.  There is snow on the ice. ”

The fish cleaning station is still open. The campground is now first come first serve now as the reservation system is done taking them for the season. The boat ramps are out.  The Marshall Cove campground is  open. The drinking water has been shut down for the winter.  Our electric is on year around.  The North shore campground is now closed.

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob reports,” there is ice on Elmo and there are a lot of people fishing. .  Unlike last week they are all over the ice and not in one location.  They have been doing well catching perch and a few small trout.    The ice is more than 8 inches thick.  Fishermen are pretty much using just about everything baits wise, corn, worms, meal bugs and lures.

 The ice fishing “Becoming an Outdoor Woman” is scheduled for February 9th.  Please call for more information and registration details.  “

 Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat  

Pat reports, “There is ice on Deadmans.  We have only seen one fisherman   this week.  He had his shack out there early in the morning and he stayed only 3 hours.  I kind of think he had slow fishing. ”

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

 Terry explains, “On Bair people say the fishing has slowed some.

  I have not heard from anyone else. “

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

 Rick   reports, “   It was again slow fishing at Bair this week.  Bair has 15  inches of   ice.  There have been lots of huts on the ice.  As a group we have decided we need to move to more spots on the ice as our cluster may have exhausted that fish highway.  People are using 4 by 4’s on the ice.

 Sutherland has good ice and people have said ling have been caught.  ”

Sports Center 120 2nd Ave South  Lewistown, MT   535-9308  Colby / John Tognetti

Congratulations to  new daddy, Colby  and Grandpa John  as they welcome  the  new little

 fisherman,  Garson  to the family

Our hours are 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10 am to 4pm on Sunday

 John  reports, “  There was a derby at Achley last week.  People were catching in ice that was 8 inches deep.  .

   Crooked Creek At Crooked  Creek fishing was good.  It really is a mixed bag. One day might be real good and the next slow.  They  were using live minnows and herring.   Some people have caught walleye.   You do have to watch the  pressure ridges they say.

They tell me the East fork  and Casino is  decent   fishing.  The ice is 12 inches and they are catching perch.  .

   On Hanson Dam   people are saying   fishing has not been good for trout.  It has 10 to 12 foot of ice.”

We do have smelt, worms, meal worms, maggots and wax worms.  We have live minnows but they are sold out quickly at times.   “

Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana   James  (Slim) and Abbie Craig, Carri Craig   406-429-2999

 Slim  says,” The ice is good with  20  inches in the bay.   With  the storm fronts  the fishing is a little slower.   Northern pike  fishing  is  slower.

They  are catching  crappies  and eater size perch in the bay.  Cowboy point on the north side has 12 to 13 inches.    People are traveling out to Squaw Creek.  Only a few walleye are being caught.  There are 3 pressure ridges.   One  is in the bay.  The other two  are from Cowboy Point to Anderson and the other one is in the river channel and 3 miles long.  So be sure to talk to me to know where to be careful.     The river channel  has 8 inches    of ice. Anderson point has 13 inches.  They are catching some walleye, crappie, perch and some ling. The crappies and perch are at 10 feet.  The walleye are being found at 5 to 14 feet and the pike are at 8 to 19 feet depths.  They are using 4 wheelers in the bay.

If you come we advise you bring chains.  People are using minnows and smelt. We do suggest you bring minnows if you have them as we don’t have many if any.   I do have some bait but not a lot so I suggest people try to bring some.”.

Slim is at the marina full time now.  He is open 7am to 7 pm  Wednesday to Monday.  He will be closed on Tuesday.  If you have questions call Slim at 406-366-6313 and leave a message.

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon   says,”  We have ice, 8 to 10  inches to the middle of the lake.  The main has less ice.  Due to the non-consistent  ice conditions further out it is not yet safe.  There are some big pressure ridges so check with us for current details. Use  caution with4 wheelers.   They are catching some trout.  The perch seem to be at 25 to 30 feet.   The trout are biting along the edges.   Feel free to call if you want to know how conditions are.”

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

The Flamingo has closed for the season.

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

Jim   reports,” Nelson’s fishing has been decent fishing this week.  Nelson still   has good ice,  11 to 16  inches of ice.  With the changing warm to cold  weather when I was there on Sunday there was a false layer of ice on top and when you went out  it  broke and then there was  water.  Underneath the water was  11 inches of ice.   On Saturday lots of fish were caught.   We caught a few   walleye and they seemed to bite in   early  morning and late in the day at depths of 15 inches to 4 feet.  People are using 4 wheelers, side by sides or walking   on.  I do have minnows for sale.

Forchette has 7 inches in the bay.   I don’t know how it is since the warmer weather.  It is going to get colder again.”

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

 Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt 

Jayce   reports, “Yellowstone has too many chunks of ice to fish in it right now.

I heard Cooney was slow fishing.    People   caught   fish just before dark and  a few ling right at dark or when dark. It was a slow bite .

Crooked Creek   is a bit of slower fishing right now.  They  were catching walleye and pike.

Hell Creek has ice.  Word has it they are catching pike.

I have heard fishing was slower at Bair. They have a good 18 inches of ice

Martinsdale they say is half half open   and half ice.

On Nelson they are catching quite a few  pike and small walleye. ”

Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says,” The rivers  are full of ice.

The Jefferson is frozen  over with ice.

 The Madison has a lot of chunks of ice in it.

The Missouri has huge chunks flowing down it.

Canyon Ferry has ice and some people are  catching  perch,  “

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

 The shop is closed right now except by appointment.

People who headed out are  trying from shore but with the snow it is hard to even get there.  It is tough fishing. Watch out for  the ice on the edge of the water. Small streamers may work.”


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

Beau hears,” The Big Horn has been decent fishing.  The water clarity is good.   Orange scuds are working.   Sow bugs in pink are also working to catch fish.   Try dark streamers  with a bit of red.  ”

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375   

“ Fishing is weather dependent.   If it is sunny try midges and baetes patterns.  Nymphing  seems to be slow but orange is working.  If you use streamers use dark colors like a thin mint or a black leech pattern.   The water has definitely cleared and is lower.   All the ramps are open.  We do have 10 to 12 inches of snow .  Wade  access is good,” Rick  says.

Our hours   are   8 am to 12 every day.

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

Fishes Madison River and Yellowstone National Park waters

Madison River

“The Upper Gallatin  river has definitely iced up more . On the Madison in the middle of the valley  has iced up also.  It is mostly   nymph fishing.   Use small midges, like size 18 to 20’s in dark colors   are best. Smallish, bright color streamers work well too on the cloudy days ”, Alice says .

 Yellowstone Park

All fishing in Yellowstone is closed until 2019.