Just Add Ice for Winter Fishing Fun

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Missouri River Country's ice fishing kicks off with the 5th Annual Clinton Phipps Memorial Ice Fishing Tournament.

As the temperature drops don’t let winter weather force you indoors. Take advantage of the plentiful opportunities to get on the ice and participate in ice fishing tournaments for walleye, northern pike, perch, crappie and many more species on the numerous reservoirs in Montana’s Missouri River Country. The 5th Annual Clinton Phipps Memorial Ice Fishing Tournament kicks off the year on January 7 from 11 am to 4 pm at Hell Creek near Jordan. Compete to catch the largest walleye, sauger, catfish, northern pike and perch. This tournament is a great way to get introduced to ice fishing or flex your skills in a great environment. Seasoned fishermen and beginners alike can continue to enjoy the blue ribbon fishing Montana is known for by dropping a line through the ice and landing a big one.

Montana’s Missouri River Country not only has the largest body of water in Montana, the Fort Peck Reservoir, but has more than 50 different species of fish. The cold water also produces some of the tastiest fish, so you can enjoy your catch long after you leave the ice. No need to load up on gear, ice fishing's simplicity makes it the perfect activity to entice you into the crisp, clean winter air. Along with the 5th Annual Clinton Phipps Memorial Tournament, if you have never been ice fishing, Montana’s Missouri River Country has several annual ice fishing tournaments that are sure to get you hooked on the sport. Tournaments are a great time to meet and learn from experienced fishermen as well as get lost in the festivities surrounding the tournament. Fishermen compete to land the most fish or the largest.

On January 28 head over to Nelson Reservoir for Murphy’s 6th Annual Memorial Ice Fishing Tournament. Fish for walleye, northern and perch from 7 am to 6 pm.

February 5 head to the Hell Creek Marina to participate in the Hell Creek Ice Fishing Tournament. The marina is open for meals and has bait, tackle and experienced staff to assist with any needs. Look to land walleye, northern pike, burbot and lake trout from 8 am to 3 pm.

The 15th Annual Ice Fishing Derby takes place at Dredge Cuts Trout Pond on February 18th from 12 pm to 3 pm. Compete for the largest walleye, lake trout, northern pike, burbot, bass, yellow perch, carp and suckers. First place wins $2000. For more information on these tournaments and to sign up, please see Region 6 at http://fwp.mt.gov/news/newsReleases/fishing/nr_0485.html.

The ice covered reservoir at the 5th Annual Clinton Phipps Memorial Ice Fishing Tournament provides the perfect destination to get out and make the most of winter when you’re searching for premier ice fishing opportunities. Whether you’re an experienced fisherman looking to fill your time until open water fishing or someone looking for some winter recreation, you will find it on the numerous reservoirs in Montana’s Missouri River Country.

For more information on Montana’s Missouri River Country and a complete listing of activities and communities, please visit missouririver.visitmt.com.

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Sarah Ziska
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