Canyon Ferry Lake Fishing Report Guide

Canyon Ferry Lake Fishing Report Guide

Hey there, friends! Today we’re exploring the beautiful Canyon Ferry Lake in Montana. This expansive lake is a top spot for fishing enthusiasts and outdoor lovers. Whether you’re an experienced angler or just looking to enjoy a day by the water, Canyon Ferry Lake offers something for everyone. Let’s dive into what makes this lake so special.

Canyon Ferry Lake is located in southwestern Montana, about 20 miles east of Helena. This man-made reservoir was created by the construction of the Canyon Ferry Dam on the Missouri River. It’s known for its stunning scenery, clear waters, and abundant wildlife, making it a perfect destination for fishing and outdoor recreation.

Canyon Ferry Lake Fishing Details

Here are some quick facts and figures about Canyon Ferry Lake to help you get familiar with the place:

  • Water Surface: 33,500 acres
  • Shoreline: 76 miles
  • Average Depth: 50 feet
  • Max Depth: 160 feet
  • Surface Elevation: 3,800 feet
  • Location: Broadwater and Lewis and Clark Counties, Montana
  • Coordinates: 46.5192° N, 111.6586° W
  • Accessibility: Easily accessible via U.S. Highway 287, with multiple access points around the lake
  • Type of Lake: Reservoir
  • Lake Amenities: Boat ramps, picnic areas, restrooms, campgrounds, marinas, and fishing piers

Types of Fish in Canyon Ferry Lake

Canyon Ferry Lake is home to a variety of fish species, making it a prime spot for anglers. Here’s a closer look at the fish you can expect to catch and where you might find them:

  • Rainbow Trout: These are abundant throughout the lake. They prefer cooler, deeper waters during the summer months and can be found near the shorelines in the spring and fall.
  • Yellow Perch: Often found in weedy areas and along the shoreline. They can also be found in schools in shallower parts of the lake.
  • Walleye: Typically found near rocky outcrops and submerged structures. They are more active during the warmer months.
  • Northern Pike: Found around vegetation and submerged logs. They thrive in warmer, shallower areas of the lake.
  • Smallmouth Bass: Usually found near rocky structures and drop-offs. They are more active during the warmer months.
  • Lake Trout: These fish prefer the deeper, colder parts of the lake and are typically found near the bottom.

Best Fishing Baits, Lures, and Tackle

Choosing the right bait, lures, and tackle can make a big difference in your fishing success at Canyon Ferry Lake. Here are some recommendations for each type of fish:

  • Rainbow Trout: Use PowerBait, worms, and small spinners. Fly fishing with nymphs and dry flies can also be very effective.
  • Yellow Perch: Small jigs, worms, and minnows are effective. Fish near weedy areas and in schools.
  • Walleye: Use jigs, crankbaits, and live bait like minnows. Night fishing can be particularly productive.
  • Northern Pike: Use large spoons, spinnerbaits, and live bait like suckers. Look for them around vegetation and structures.
  • Smallmouth Bass: Use jigs, soft plastics, and crankbaits. Topwater lures are effective during the early morning and late evening.
  • Lake Trout: Use spoons, deep-diving plugs, and live bait like herring. Trolling is a popular method for catching these fish.
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Best Fishing Spot Locations

Finding the best fishing spots at Canyon Ferry Lake can enhance your fishing experience. Here are some top locations to consider:

  • Goose Bay: This area is popular for shore fishing and offers easy access to deeper waters. Good for catching trout and walleye.
  • Hellgate Campground: The area around the campground is excellent for bass and pike, with plenty of vegetation and submerged structures.
  • White Earth Bay: This spot is known for its rocky outcrops and is perfect for smallmouth bass and walleye.
  • Yacht Basin: Great for trout and perch, with easy access to both shallow and deeper waters.
  • Dam Area: The deeper waters near the dam are ideal for lake trout and walleye. Trolling in this area can be very productive.

Fishing Tips and Recommendations

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your fishing trip to Canyon Ferry Lake:

  • Timing: Early morning and late evening are the best times to fish, especially during the warmer months.
  • Weather: Check the weather forecast before you go. Overcast days can be particularly good for fishing.
  • Gear: Bring a variety of lures and baits to see what the fish are biting on that day. Lightweight gear is generally sufficient for most fish in Canyon Ferry Lake.
  • Regulations: Always check local fishing regulations and ensure you have the necessary permits. Canyon Ferry Lake is managed by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.
  • Safety: Stay hydrated and wear sun protection. The higher elevation can make the sun feel more intense.

Canyon Ferry Lake Fishing Reviews

Here are five positive reviews from anglers who have enjoyed fishing at Canyon Ferry Lake:

  1. Jim S.: “Canyon Ferry Lake is my go-to spot for walleye fishing. The scenery is stunning, and the fishing is great. Caught several nice walleye!”
  2. Lisa M.: “Had an amazing time fishing near Goose Bay. The rainbow trout were biting, and the surroundings are so peaceful.”
  3. Mark T.: “White Earth Bay is my favorite spot. Great for shore fishing and easy access to deeper waters. Landed a big smallmouth bass!”
  4. Nancy W.: “Loved fishing at Hellgate Campground. It’s perfect for bass fishing. The weedy areas provide excellent cover for fish.”
  5. Tom H.: “The dam area is fantastic for lake trout. Trolling here was very productive. Can’t wait to go back!”

Top-Rated RV Parks, RV Resorts, and Campgrounds

If you’re planning an extended stay, here are five top-rated RV parks and campgrounds near Canyon Ferry Lake:

  1. Hellgate Campground:
    • Features: Tent and RV sites, restrooms, picnic areas
    • Amenities: Hiking trails, fishing access, scenic views
    • Distance to Lake: 0 miles (within the Canyon Ferry area)
  2. Goose Bay Marina & Campground:
    • Features: Tent and RV sites, restrooms, showers, picnic areas
    • Amenities: Marina, boat rentals, fishing supplies
    • Distance to Lake: 0 miles
  3. Kim’s Marina & RV Resort:
    • Features: Full hookups, restrooms, showers, laundry facilities
    • Amenities: Marina, boat rentals, store, restaurant
    • Distance to Lake: 0 miles
  4. White Earth Campground:
    • Features: Tent and RV sites, restrooms, picnic areas
    • Amenities: Hiking trails, fishing access, scenic views
    • Distance to Lake: 0 miles
  5. Yacht Basin Campground:
    • Features: Tent and RV sites, restrooms, showers, picnic areas
    • Amenities: Marina, boat rentals, fishing supplies
    • Distance to Lake: 0 miles

Canyon Ferry Lake Fishing Summary

Canyon Ferry Lake is a fantastic fishing destination with its vast waters and diverse fish population. Whether you’re targeting walleye, trout, or bass, this lake has it all. The beautiful surroundings and well-maintained facilities make it a perfect spot for a day of fishing or a longer stay. Don’t forget to check out the nearby RV parks and campgrounds for a comfortable and convenient base. Happy fishing, and I hope to see you out on the water!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is the best time of year to fish at Canyon Ferry Lake?
    • The best times are spring and fall when the temperatures are milder, and fish are more active.
  2. Do I need a fishing license to fish at Canyon Ferry Lake?
    • Yes, you need a Montana state fishing license.
  3. Are there boat rentals available at Canyon Ferry Lake?
    • Yes, several marinas offer boat rentals, including Goose Bay Marina and Kim’s Marina.
  4. Can I fish from the shore at Canyon Ferry Lake?
    • Absolutely! There are plenty of good shore fishing spots around the lake.
  5. Is camping allowed at Canyon Ferry Lake?
    • Yes, there are several campgrounds within the Canyon Ferry area that offer camping options.
Fishing Lake Report - Canyon Ferry Lake Fishing Guide

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Best Fishing Bait, Lures & Tackle

Here’s some of the best fishing bait, fishing lures and fishing tackle Canyon Ferry Lake Fishing Report Guide: