Fishing is one of the most popular past times in America, and the state of Montana is no stranger to some excellent fishing. Montana can be any fisherman’s dream destination, whether it is during the spring, summer, fall, or winter.
Many of the lakes and reservoirs around the state of Montana offer plenty of opportunities for the avid ice fishermen, and many of them will freeze over relatively early to give you plenty of time on the ice. They are home to a variety of species, and you will be amazed at how many fish you can catch.
While there is no shortage of ice fishing locations, it can sometimes be a little hard to know exactly where to go. Luckily we have compiled a list of the top five locations for the best ice fishing to be had in the state of Montana!
Top Locations for Ice Fishing in Montana
1. Georgetown Lake
Located near the town of Anaconda, Georgetown Lake is a beautiful, scenic lake that is considered one of the prettiest lakes in the state. While a popular destination year-round, it is also one of the best ice fishing lakes around.
This large 3,000-acre lake is relatively shallow, so it tends to freeze over much more quickly than other lakes around the state. Most anglers here will be targeting salmon, followed by rainbow trout and northern pike.
For anglers wanting to experience some of the best scenery that the state of Montana has to offer, or for those that want to extend their amount of time out on the ice, Georgetown Lake is the perfect destination.
2. Harrison Lake
A relatively small lake, Harrison Lake is still one of the most popular ice fishing destinations in Montana. At around 40 acres, this tiny lake is well off the beaten path and the perfect place for anglers looking for some seclusion.
Harrison Lake is found on the Blackfoot River and is home to some popular sport fish species such as rainbow, brown, and brook trout. This manmade reservoir is home to some very big rainbow trout, and many anglers can expect to catch fish from 14 to 20 inches.
Although this lake is very small, anglers pull big fish out of here because of the low amounts of pressure and accessibility issues it can sometimes have in the winter. Be sure to come prepared for snow and bad road conditions, and you might just be rewarded with some trophy trout!
3. Browns Lake
Located 8 miles south of Ovando, Browns Lake is the perfect place for anglers who are self-proclaimed weekend warriors. With easy access and plenty of fish, this lake is ideal for a quick fishing trip out on the ice.
Anglers heading to Browns Lake can expect to find and catch multiple different trout species, but the lake’s claim to fame is the large rainbow trout that call this place home. Many rainbows are caught weighing from 1 to 3 pounds, and even larger being reported.
There are few places in Montana that offer the ability for a quick ice fishing trip with promises of big fish, and Browns Lake is one of them. This is one lake that you will not want to miss if you are ever traveling to Montana.
4. Helena Valley Reservoir
Helena Valley Reservoir is formed by the Helena Valley Dam and offers some great ice fishing for the nearby areas. Found near its namesake of Helena, Montana, this small reservoir is the perfect place to find some good ice fishing in central Montana.
While Helena Valley Reservoir was purposely formed in order to provide water for the nearby city and for irrigation, it serves as one of the best bodies of water to catch many different species of fish, such as salmon, trout, and pike.
With over 500 acres of water and around 6 and a half miles of shoreline, there are still plenty of places to find on the ice to avoid the large crowds and enjoy some excellent ice fishing. This is one great place for a quick trip out and that won’t disappoint you.
5. Flathead Lake
The last place on our list is certainly not the least, as Flathead Lake is one of the largest freshwater lakes west of the Mississippi River. Because this lake is so large, it very rarely ever freezes completely over. Luckily, plenty of the numerous bays and inlets do freeze and provide safe ice to fish on.
Flathead Lake is home to plenty of different fish species to appeal to a large array of anglers, including lake trout, pike, yellow perch, bass, trout, and salmon. All of these fish species can be caught out on the ice, and you never know what you might find.
For anglers looking for a great place to catch multiple different species and have plenty of space to themselves, Flathead Lake is the perfect option. It is easily one of the most beautiful and sought after lakes in all of Montana.
How Much is a Fishing License in Montana
Montana is a great state for fishermen, and their fishing license fees reflect that. They offer a couple of different options for both residents and non-residents including:
- A license for one full season will cost residents $31 and non-residents $111.
- A two-day license costs $5 for residents and $25 for non-residents.
- Non-residents can also purchase a 10-day license for $56.
For more information on Montana fishing license fees and structures, you can visit the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Park’s website at http://fwp.mt.gov/fish/license/availableLicenses.html.
Where to Buy a Fishing License in Montana
Montana gives anglers plenty of options for buying a fishing license, including numerous stores, gas stations, and bait shops around the state. You can also buy a license directly online at the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Park’s website. For a detailed list of every business that is a licensed vendor in the state of Montana, you can visit http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/licenses/licenseProviders.html.
Montana is easily one of the most beautiful states to fish, and during the winter it couldn’t be even truer. Anglers seeking some time to themself and big fish will find no shortage of secluded lakes to venture out on the ice. If you have ever thought of visiting Montana, there is no better time than during the ice fishing season!