Nelson Reservoir Fishing Lake Report Guide

Nelson Reservoir Fishing Lake Report Guide

Hey there, friends! Today we’re diving into the beautiful Nelson Reservoir in Montana. If you’re looking for an amazing fishing destination with breathtaking scenery, Nelson Reservoir should be at the top of your list. Whether you’re an experienced angler or just looking to enjoy a peaceful day by the water, this lake offers something for everyone. Let’s explore what makes Nelson Reservoir so special.

Nelson Reservoir is located in northeastern Montana, near the town of Malta. This scenic body of water is nestled in the rolling plains of the region, providing a serene and picturesque setting for fishing and outdoor activities. The reservoir is a popular spot for anglers and families looking to enjoy a day on the water.

Nelson Reservoir Fishing Details

Here are some quick facts and figures about Nelson Reservoir to help you get familiar with the place:

  • Water Surface: 4,000 acres
  • Shoreline: 21 miles
  • Average Depth: 10 feet
  • Max Depth: 30 feet
  • Surface Elevation: 2,225 feet
  • Location: Phillips County, Montana
  • Coordinates: 48.3739° N, 107.9286° W
  • Accessibility: Accessible via U.S. Highway 2 and local roads, with multiple access points around the reservoir
  • Type of Lake: Reservoir
  • Lake Amenities: Boat ramps, picnic areas, restrooms, campgrounds, and fishing piers

Types of Fish in Nelson Reservoir

Nelson Reservoir is home to a variety of fish species that make 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:

  • Walleye: These are abundant throughout the reservoir and are often found near rocky structures and drop-offs.
  • Northern Pike: Typically found around vegetation and submerged logs. They thrive in warmer, shallower areas of the reservoir.
  • Yellow Perch: Often found in weedy areas and along the shoreline. They can also be found in schools in shallower parts of the reservoir.
  • Black Crappie: Usually found near structures like submerged trees and rocks. They prefer warmer, shallow waters.
  • Channel Catfish: Typically found near the lake’s bottom in deeper waters, especially around inflow areas.

Best Fishing Baits, Lures, and Tackle

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

  • 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.
  • Yellow Perch: Small jigs, worms, and minnows are effective. Fish near weedy areas and in schools.
  • Black Crappie: Use small jigs, minnows, and soft plastics. They are often found near submerged structures.
  • Channel Catfish: Use stink baits, chicken liver, and nightcrawlers. Fish on the bottom using a heavy sinker.
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Best Fishing Spot Locations

Finding the best fishing spots at Nelson Reservoir can enhance your fishing experience. Here are some top locations to consider:

  • East Shore: This area is popular for shore fishing and offers easy access to deeper waters. Good for catching walleye and perch.
  • West End: Known for its weedy areas, this spot is excellent for northern pike and crappie.
  • South Cove: Great for walleye and yellow perch, with easy access to both shallow and deeper waters.
  • North Shore: The waters around this area are perfect for targeting channel catfish and walleye.
  • Central Basin: A great spot for trolling for larger fish, with deeper waters nearby.

Fishing Tips and Recommendations

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your fishing trip to Nelson Reservoir:

  • 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 Nelson Reservoir.
  • Regulations: Always check local fishing regulations and ensure you have the necessary permits. Nelson Reservoir 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.

Nelson Reservoir Fishing Reviews

Here are five positive reviews from anglers who have enjoyed fishing at Nelson Reservoir:

  1. Jim S.: “Nelson Reservoir is an amazing 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 the east shore. The perch were biting, and the surroundings are so peaceful.”
  3. Mark T.: “The west end is my favorite spot. Great for shore fishing and easy access to weedy areas. Landed a big northern pike!”
  4. Nancy W.: “Loved fishing at the south cove. It’s perfect for walleye and yellow perch. The deeper waters provide excellent fishing opportunities.”
  5. Tom H.: “The waters around the north shore are fantastic for channel catfish. 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 Nelson Reservoir:

  1. Nelson Reservoir Campground:
    • Features: Tent and RV sites, restrooms, picnic areas
    • Amenities: Hiking trails, fishing access, scenic views
    • Distance to Lake: 0 miles (within the reservoir area)
  2. Trafton Park Campground:
    • Features: Tent and RV sites, restrooms, showers, picnic areas
    • Amenities: Scenic views, fishing access, picnic areas
    • Distance to Lake: 10 miles
  3. Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs & Resort:
    • Features: Full hookups, restrooms, showers, laundry facilities
    • Amenities: Hot springs, scenic views, fishing access, picnic areas
    • Distance to Lake: 15 miles
  4. Zortman Campground:
    • Features: Tent and RV sites, restrooms, showers, picnic areas
    • Amenities: Scenic views, hiking trails, fishing access
    • Distance to Lake: 20 miles
  5. Havre RV Park:
    • Features: Full hookups, restrooms, showers, picnic areas
    • Amenities: Marina, boat rentals, fishing supplies, store
    • Distance to Lake: 35 miles

Nelson Reservoir Fishing Summary

Nelson Reservoir is a fantastic fishing destination with its clear waters and diverse fish population. Whether you’re targeting walleye, northern pike, or yellow perch, this reservoir 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 Nelson Reservoir?
    • 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 Nelson Reservoir?
    • Yes, you need a Montana state fishing license.
  3. Are there boat rentals available at Nelson Reservoir?
    • No, Nelson Reservoir is primarily a shore fishing and small boat fishing destination. You’ll need to bring your own boat.
  4. Can I fish from the shore at Nelson Reservoir?
    • Absolutely! There are plenty of good shore fishing spots around the reservoir.
  5. Is camping allowed at Nelson Reservoir?
    • Yes, there are several campgrounds within the Nelson Reservoir area that offer camping options.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you found this guide helpful. Tight lines, everyone, and happy fishing!

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Best Fishing Bait, Lures & Tackle

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