Top Fishing Destinations in Missouri River Country
November 30, 2018
Sure, there’s great fishing throughout the whole sprawling state of Montana. But fishing guides and enthusiasts flock to Missouri River Country for good reason - we go big here.
Fort Peck Reservoir
Quite possibly the most diverse fishery in the region, Fort Peck is a fishing mecca. Over 50 species populate the lake, stretching 134 miles and over 220 feet deep. Take advantage of three marinas and 9 boat ramps, or explore its many bays for some shoreline casting.
Walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, lake trout, and Chinook salmon are some Fort Peck favorites, though many come specifically for prehistoric paddlefish and sturgeon.
Record-setting pike, walleye and yellow perch populate Nelson Reservoir a quick 20 minutes from Malta. Take advantage of the reservoir’s campground in the summer, or hold out until winter for epic ice-fishing.
The Missouri River winds its way through Montana for over 700 miles, meaning endless possibilities when it comes to fishing. Though there’s a variety of species throughout the Missouri, the ancient paddlefish are especially sought after. Stop between Fred Robinson Bridge and Fort Peck Reservoir, and come prepared with large treble hooks, heavy weights, a deep-sea rod and an additional state license for these river monsters.
The Yellowstone River is the largest undammed river in the lower 48, and home to some of the healthiest wild-trout fisheries. For enormous paddlefish, stick to the sections near Sidney. Keep an eye out for sturgeon, but release immediately if you hook an endangered pallid sturgeon.
Northern pike populate Medicine Lake, and make for an especially fun fishing destination as winter comes and a layer of ice takes over. You have to work for it, though - Medicine Lake’s wilderness status means no motors of any kind.