Montana is the fourth largest U.S. state, covering 94 million acres that include an expansive system of lakes and reservoirs. These hard water fisheries offer up an incredible variety of fish, from record lake trout and walleye to battling rainbow, cutthroat, and brown trout, and the elusive ling.
Use this Montana resource list for researching and planning your next Montana ice fishing adventure!
Download a list of proposed ice fishing tournaments for winter 2017-18 with tournament locations, dates, species, organizers, and contact information here:
The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks provides a primer on ice fishing in Montana and more information on ice fishing regulations, specific lakes, and tournaments.
Interested in northeastern Montana fisheries? Visit Montana's Missouri River Country. Fort Peck Reservoir has been called “America's Best Ice Fishing Lake” for big fish in multiple species. Check out this Jason Mitchell video of trophy ice fishing on Fort Peck.
Southwest Montana includes Canyon Ferry Reservoir, Clark Canyon Reservoir, and Georgetown Lake, which are highly recommended for perch, trout, walleye, and more. Georgetown Lake, near Anaconda, is situated at 6,000 feet and is one of the most scenic lakes in western Montana.
Central Montana offers ice fishing along the beautiful Rocky Mountain Front and on lakes throughout the region, offering a range of locations with record walleye, perch, and pike. Montana’s record 35-inch, 17.75-pound walleye came from Tiber Reservoir. Read more about Central Montana’s Walleye Trail.
Glacier Country lakes offer a variety of fish, including lake trout, bull lake trout, bull trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, lake whitefish, and northern pike. For more information on Flathead, Georgetown, and Seeley Swan lakes, visit Destination Missoula's website. Tom Gruenwald Outdoors showcased the idyllic lakes and ice fishing just outside Kalispell and why fishing for trout is such a unique experience.
Just outside of Bozeman, Hyalite Reservoir spans 206 acres full of Yellowstone cutthroat and brook trout. For professional tournament fishermen, make sure to check out the North American Ice Fishing Circuit Qualifier at Hebgen Lake outside of West Yellowstone.