Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 4.30.20
By angelamontana

Posted: April 30, 2020
Report COMPILED BY Carol Henckel

Spring 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

Neal reports, “ fishing this week in the bay was decent. The people were catching walleye while trolling. They caught walleye from a boat. Fishermen were catching northern pike and some bass from shore using minnows. They caught some nice walleye in the shallow weeds. They are congregating there as the water is a little warmer there. The water is coming up slowly. The electricity and water are on now. “

Monty explains, ”We are opening May 1st. We will limit the number of people into the Marina for the 6-foot social distancing mandated and hope everyone will use common sense at that time. We are concerned about this problem but want people to be able to relax and fish. We are excited and looking forward to seeing our customers. ( information gathered as of 4-6-2020)

To make reservations for the 2020 summer, please call Monty at 406-465-0241. “

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond reports,” We will be open for camping on May 1st. It will be first come first serve still. We will still not have all our services up like the cleaning station or electricity. It will take a while to get things set up. The 11 sites will be available like they were through the winter.

The water temperature two days ago was 53 degrees and as of this morning (Tuesday) is 56 degrees. We were busy this weekend. We had 40 to 50 vehicles here. We had lots of boats out on the water. Talking to a couple of fishermen we heard they were catching a few bass and some nice walleye. Did not hear of any crappies being caught. We just want to people to follow the directions given by the Governor. The building will be open as of May first ”

Highway 212 does have check points and we want to make sure you know that. We don’t know if that will continue .We ask you to do the right thing at this time.

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

Fletcher explained, “ we had a lot of people at the water this week. Lots of bass fishermen. They did pretty well with the bass bite. People were jigging with a minnow. I was using a bobber and jigging. Some people tried for carp but did not have any success. You can launch a boat from the ramps. The water is clear, and I heard people in boats are catching some northerns. They put the dock in. We are now open 8 to 5 right now. They are lifting the regulations on Friday according to the Governor. ”

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

Clint reports, ” As of May 1st the governor says we will be open. I have not gotten word from Parks whether my campgrounds will be open. I know my rooms will be open. I am trying to get ready to roll. Northern Pike fishing is real good at the heads of the bay. They are going south to Snow Creek and Hell Creek bay. The bank fishing has been good for pike as well. The lake trout fishing is decent. It is normal spring fishing for them. The walleye fishing is good toward Forchette and Timber Creek. They were jigging with minnows for them. So the guys are having success. We just ask that you follow the Governor’s orders on distancing. Come on up and fish.”

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

Eddie reports, “ we were really busy this week. Fishing has been good for walleye, pike and lake trout. Walleye have been good. The pike are being caught mostly by chance while they fish for walleye. They have been pitching with spoons in the back bays. One fellow caught a 15 pounder but most of the pike are in the range of 4 to 10 pounds. The walleye are eater size. One fellow said he caught one eater and the rest were big which turned back. The lake trout are just getting going. I heard of a few small mouth. They have been using minnows and crawlers. We have all of them here for you. We have RV space available.”

We are open. 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

Scott reports “ we are currently open Thursday thru Monday in the tackle store and bar/restaurant. The campground is open as well. If you need anything at all in the tackle store on Tuesday or Wednesday. Please don’t hesitate to call 526- 3442 and we can help you out. We have a great selection of sucker minnows and creek chubs. We also have night crawlers in stock. We will be ordering leaches very soon. Campground is open so give us a call to reserve your spot 526-3442.

Walleye fishing-Fishing has been picking up with some really nice fish caught. Most guys are throwing jigs with minnows and jigs with swimbaits at rocky shorelines. Sounds like some pome post spawn fish are starting to get caught as well.

Northern Pike -Pike fishing has been getting better with the water temps in the back of the bays getting warmer. Jigs and minnows/ swimbaits have been working well along with casting or trolling crankbaits.

Lake trout- Fishing has been hit and miss for lakers with guys jigging and trolling spoons and cranks from 65 to 100 feet of water. “

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson. Shauni, Cynthia, Jake

Jake reports, ”the water temp at Cooney is 46 degrees. It is muddy on the south end. People trout fish this week were trolling with a cowbell and wedding rings or Rapella shad dancer. Those things produced some nice rainbow trout. If you fish from shore,

try a worm on the bottom. The walleye seems to be illusive right now. People catch some one day and not any the next day. They have been trying shad raps trolling. The Paddle tail soft plastic and a Rapella jigging rap in a light colors are producing. I recommend a slower presentation. Please return back the females to keep a healthy population.

Please remember to keep the distance of 6 feet from each other no matter where you are at Cooney. Our overnight camping will open up on Friday. Not all of our docks are in. I am waiting for a part that I ordered in the fall and it still has not arrived so we can repair that dock and then it can go in. I am hoping to get them in by May 15th, 2020.”

The water has been turned off now. The electricity is also off except at Marshall Cove and Red Lodge campgrounds. The docks are pulled. Remember, your dogs are welcome but don’t forget your leash. Please make sure your vehicle is being driven on the road.

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob says,” Elmo has lots of people fishing. Lots of families have been coming to fish to get a break from home schooling. Last week the guys did put some trout in Elmo.

We hope you will remember to keep distancing guidelines whether you are at Elmo or any of the fish access sites. . Wherever you are at Elmo you cannot be in larger groups than ten. On Friday you can fish from the pier and picnic areas because the restrictions will be lifted.

The Fishing Access Sites are open and overnight camping is allowed on Friday. Just remember some places will have limited facilities because of distance rules and cleaning regulations,

The Paddlefishing above the dam from Fort Peck dam to Fort Benton where tags have been drawn will open on May 1st as the regulations say. At this point there are no changes in that area.

In this craziness please remember you need a new fishing license as of March 1st and you can do it online. ”

Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat

Pat reports,” Deadmans has had boats come in this week. The went out on the water but the wind chased them off the water in just a couple of hours pretty much all week. We ask that you are respectful of the rules the Governor has laid out. We did not see any shore fishermen. ”

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

At this time the bar is still closed. Unable to get a fishing report.

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

Judy reports, “ we will be open May 4th. We did hear of someone taking a boat out on Bair and dogging the ice earlier this week. It was a short trip. The ice is off, and the water is not clear at both Bair and Sutherlan. I did see guys were fishing from shore on Sutherlan but I don’ know how they did. ”

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 , “ We have no more ice anywhere now. The river’s water temperature is 53 degrees. The cats should start to be good. It will be hard to catch walleye because the water clarity is changing.

East Fork, Petrolia and Hanson have run off, so they are muddy right now.

Achley- Achley had lots of wind this week. That made fly fishing hard. Some guys were fishing toward shore and catching rainbow trout. They were using spinners.

Crooked Creek- People that went to Crooked Creek said the fishing was slow. It was good one day and the bite was gone the next day.

Missouri- The Missouri is dirty right now. So people are starting to catch some cats.

With the new changes on Friday we will get more reports on the fishing. “

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

The marina continues to be NOT open. I will open May 11th. I have been remodeling the inside and I am getting a new deck so that means I need that time to get things done. I ask if you come down to fish you follow the Governor’s orders. “

The marina will be closed so The Marina will have no services until May 11th like bait, fuel or pop. You will not be able to rent cabins. I will let you know when things change, and I open.”

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon reports,” The BOR opened the campground on Monday with rules. The camp host will have a paper telling you what rules that you need to adhere to. They will adhere to the social distancing mandated by the state. The road is open, and the parking lot is finished. The walleye fishing is not bad at all. It is pretty good at Pond 1. The trout fishing is good towards the south end. They are not catching perch, though. The dock is open, but the water is low right now. Be careful. Stop in at the shop and I can give you some information on how to avoid problems.”

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

The Flamingo is closed.

Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt

Jayce reports he has heard, “ people are getting excited to get out fishing.

Rock Creek- I fished Rock Creek by Roberts. The water was clear. Caught a few.

Cooney-People have said they caught a few walleyes this week. They are just starting the spawn. I saw a nice face perch someone caught.

Yellowstone- People have been fishing the lower Yellowstone. It is getting dirty but not brown. They have caught some cats close to Billings and caught some catfish. The guys were using a jig.

Stillwater- Near Boyd and Joliet on the Stillwater fishing was slow. We only caught a few.

Yellowstone- At Hysham the runoff has started, and the water is getting mossy.

Anything past the Big Horn is muddy right now, I hear.

Crooked Creek- I talked to some guys who fished Crooked Creek and were catching northern pike. They said they caught a few more from shore.

Hell Creek- I heard a few were going to Hell Creek but only caught a few northerns that day.

Whatever you do protect our fishing by following the guidelines. “

Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540

Rich says, “ my shop will continue to be closed because of the virus until further notice despite the Governor’s phase 1 order.

The road and parking lot is open at Canyon Ferry. I talked to someone who put in at Goose Bay and did not catch anything. The water is low on the south end.

The rivers here are down and muddy.”

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

Chris says, “We opened the shop Monday. We are open guiding now. Remember the non-resident rule of quarantining for 14 days. The Stillwater and Yellowstone are off color. I would try both nymphing and streamers. As the water warms up, we should see some action. I would go up above Absarokee to walk and wade right now.

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

Beau says, “You still cannot fish on the Big Horn. We will have to wait to see what happens on Friday. You can fish the Stillwater but go high as it is it is starting to change in color. Some have said it was slow. I will head to the Missouri next week.”

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

Rick explains,” We continue to be shut down. We have some directives to fulfill before we can. We are shut down by the county until May 4th. We don’t know if the county or the reservation will lift their restrictions. Please stay safe. Right now it is a wait and see what happens next. “

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