Bernie’s Fort Peck Fishing Report

2016 Fishing reports

 WALLEYE SEASON SUMMARYS

  2016 2015 2014
Walleyes > 1 pound 524 1,255 1,148
Walleyes < 1 pound 265 205 131
Total Pounds 1,216 1,991 2,874
Average in Pounds 1.82 1.61 2.50
Hours 664 684 717
Walleye per Hour 1.19 1.84 1.60
10 pound plus 4 4 5

Other year statistics back to 2001 are found on the Bernie’s Catch Statistics Page.

Fort Peck Reservoir in 2016 was good but not as good as 2014.  The number of walleyes under one pound both and walleyes average weight increased while walleyes over a pound, total pounds, hours fished and walleyes per hour decreased.The number of walleyes over 10 pounds was the same as last year.

What does all this mean? There is allot of fish available, their size has decrease because of a strong age class or two have moved into the catchable sizes, and the amount of effert to catch them is decreasing.   As many of you know you had to sort through allot of walleyes for that nice limit!

The number of bigger smallmouth bass was considerable more compared to 2014 for 3 to 4, 4 to 5, and 5 pound and greater.  Thirty-eight smallmouths between 3 and 4 pounds an increase of 11, eight between 4 and 5 pounds an increase of 1 and 3 that were 5 to 6 pounds the same as last year.

The number of northern pike 40” and greater was the same as the previous year which was considerably more than 2014. Eleven northern pike that were between 40” and a 43” were caught in 2016.  These pike were 18 to 22 pounds depending on when they were caught.  There also was a northern pike caught that 43″ and weighted 25 pounds!!

The number of ten pound or better walleye was the same as the previous year but is low compared to the early trolling years. The biggest walleye was the second biggest walleye that has ever been caught in my boat it was 32.5″ and 14 pounds.   Big fish numbers are mostly a cause of how a person fishes. As I’ve said before vertical jigging is the slowest method while bottom bouncer and pitching jigs is intermediate and trolling crankbaits is the fastest method. At times it is best to cover as much area as you can. 

It has been good fishing for the last 5 years and should continue to be good for at least another two or three years.

GOOD LUCK IN YOUR FISHING ! ! !

FISHING SEASON STARTS

Fishing season this year started in Florida last month. I made the trip with A. Dood of Bozeman, MT. We fished with Tom Childress of Lakeland, FL. The fishing started at Lake Okeechobee for largemouth bass then it moved to the channels of the everglades for a couple of days of Oscars and Mayan Cichlids. These fish have come from South American and are slight larger than bluegill and fight allot harder. Then we move to another wilderness experience to fish for Peacock bass in the heart of Miami. The channels were next to four lane highways with sirens, screeching brakes and horns, with homeless people living under the many bridges. The channels go from one pond too another through backyards of residence. A different experience in fishing. We then tried to get out at Fort Myers for Grouper and at Key Largo for Blackfin Tuna but both places where too windy for the several days we tried to get out. The last place we fish was in the Big Bend area at Horseshoe beach. We caught allot of spot seatrout and some redfish and blacktip sharks along with allot of different bait fish species. This area had some shrimp boat the sold part of their catch to a local restaurant, it was great food!!

May 10 & 11, 2017

I fished with Don Childress of Helena, MT we caught 21 fish that included 14 northern pike, 5 smallmouth bass, and 2 walleyes. The big fish was a 4 pound smallmouth bass.

May 12, 2017

Matt Sunderman of Circle, MT and I fished we caught 19 fish. The fish were 9 northern pike, 8 walleye and 2 smallmouth bass. The big fish were a 38″, 16 pound northern pike and a 29.75″, 10.5 pound walleye.

May 15, 2017

I fished with Mike Bricco of Miles City, MT and Brem Phipps of Jordan, MT. they caught 18 fish that were 1 saugar, 1 drum, 2 walleye, 5 northern pike and 9 smallmouth bass. the big fish was a 18.5″, 4 pound smallmouth bass.

May 16, 2017

I fished with Keithe Thotson and his wife Ardell of Glasgow, MT. They had a good day catching 25 fish that included 2 crappie, 5 smallmouth bass, 9 walleye, and 9 northern pike. The big were a 35″, 36″ and 38″ northern pike, a 28″, 8.5 pound walleye and a 18.5″, 4 pound smallmouth bass.

May 18, 2017

I fished with three generations of the Zorners, Rick, Brent, and Isaac all of Great Falls, MT. They got 13 fish that were 2 walleye, 6 northern pike and 5 smallmouth bass. The big fish was a 19″, 4.25 pound smallmouth bass and a giant 33.75″, 15.8 pound walleye that Brent caught. This is the biggest walleye ever caught in any of my boats.

May 19, 2017

Mike Bricco of Miles City fished with me. He caught a crappie, 2 walleyes, 4 northern pike and 5 smallmouth bass.

May 20, 2017

I fished with Dan Montoya of Billings, MT and his brother Charlie of Phoenix, AZ. They caught 19 fish that were 1 perch, 1 crappie, 4 smallmouth bass, 6 northern pike and 7 walleye.

May 21, 2017

Eric and Hilin Eggleston of Great Falls, MT fished with me. They caught 15 fish that were 3 smallmouth bass, 6 walleye and 6 northern pike. The big fish was a 35″, 12 pound northern pike.

May 22, 2017

Mike Bricco and Sterling West both of Miles City fished with me. They caught 19 fish that included 6 walleye, 6 northern pike and 7 smallmouth bass. The big fish was a 38″, 16 pound northern pike.

May 23, 2017

Jim Wilson of Livingston, MT fished with me and caught 21 fish that included the first carp and catfish of the year. He also caught a smallmouth bass, 4 crappie, 4 northern pike and 9 walleye. The big fish were a 39″, 17 pound northern pike and a 27″, 7.6 pound and a 28″, 8.6 pound walleyes.

May 25, 2017

Blew out, high winds.

May 26, 2017

I fished with Mike Bricco and Sterling West both of Miles City. They caught 22 fish that included 2 walleyes, 6 northern pike and 14 smallmouth bass. The big fish were 5 three pound or better and a 4 pound smallmouth bassalso caught was a 38″ northern pike.

May 27, 2017

Bob Wagner of Harrison, MT and his grandson Lane of Whitehall, MT and bob’s friend Jim Nelson of Keeriesburg, CO. They caught 18 fish that included 3 crappies, 4 smallmouth bass, 4 walleyes and 7 northern pike. The big fish was a 17″, 3 pound smallmouth bass.

May 28, 2017

Derrick Rogers of Miles City and Duane D. J. Martin of Billings, MT fished with and caught 15 fish for the day. The fish were 3 smallmouth bass, 6 northern pike, and 6 walleye. The big fish were a 40″, 21 pound northern pike and a 28.25″, 8.84 pound walleye.

May 29, 2017

I fished with Mike Bricco and Sterling West of Miles City, MT and Mike Turner of Billings, MT. They caught 29 fish that included 1 perch, 1 drum, 4 crappie, 4 northern pike and 12 walleye. The big fish was a 37″ northern pike and a 23″ walleye.

May 30 & 31, 2017

Steve Caudill and Don Johnson of Kalispell, MT and Dave Hopkins, AK fished with me. In two days of fishing they caught 63 fish that included 1 perch, 6 smallmouth bass, 10 crappie, 11 northern pike and 35 walleyes. Their big fish was a 18.5″, 4 pound smallmouth bass and a 29.75″, 10.52 pound walleye.

June 1, 2017

I fished with Kelly Wilson, Craig Jensen, Tom Prill and Tony Meyer all of Billings, MT. They caught 24 fish that were a carp, 2 crappies, 6 smallmouth bass, 6 northern pike and 9 walleye. The big fish was two 38″, 17 pound northern pike.

June 3, 2017

Makcum Neil and Vanna Baccadoei from Butte, America fished with me. They caught 35 fish that included 1 carp, 1 perch, 1 crappie, 8 smallmouth bass, 12 northern pike and 12 walleye. The big fish were a 38, 39, 40, and 42″ northern pike, a 27″, 7.6 pound walleye and 3 smallmouth bass 4 pounds or better.

June 4 and 5, 2017

Rick Hartz of Dillon, MT and Nate and Nick May of Joliet, MT fished with me. In two days of fishing they caught 47 fish that were 2 perch, 12 smallmouth bass, 12 northern pike and 20 walleye. The big fish were two 38 and a 39″ northern pike, a 25″, 6 pound and a 26.5″, 7 pound walleye and a 18″, 4 pound smallmouth bass.

June 6, 7, 8, and 9, 2017

Mike Bricco fished all 4 days, Sterling West 3 days and Ginny Bricco one days. In all those days there were 140 fish caught. the fish were 1 carp, 25 smallmouth bass, 53 northern pike and 61 walleye. the big fish were two 38″ and a 42″ northern pike, a 19.5″, 5 pound smallmouth bass and a 29″, 9.6 pound walleye.

June 11,2017

I fished with Jim Majerus and Glen Korf both of Billings, MT. They caught 16 fish that were 1 smallmouth bass, 4 perch, 5 northern pike and 6 walleyes.

June 12, 2017

Hal Hodges, Mike Hodges and son Hayden all of Colorado Springs, CO fished with me aon a very windy day. They caught 13 fish that were 5 walleyes and 8 northern pike. The big fish was a 25″, 6 pound walleye.

June 13, 2017

John Wison and his son Dave from Desoto, IA fished with me. Their catch was 19 fish that included a sauger, 2 perch, 3 smallmouth bass, 5 northern pike and 8 walleyes, The big fish was a 17.5″, 3 pound smallmouth bass.

June 14, 2017

Lee Janetskii his son-in-law Jason and grandson Ben Bailey all of Great Falls, MT fished with me. Again another very windy day. They were able to catch 18 fish that were 1 drum, 3 smallmouth bass 5 walleye and 9 northern pike. Big fish were a 37 and 38″ northern pike and a 17″, 3 pound smallmouth bass. Fishing has been tough with some very windy days.

June 19 & 20, 2017

I fished with Guy Fairchild, he caught 1 freshwater drum, 1 sauger, 1 smallmouth bass, 2 crappies, 17 walleye and 26 northern pike. The big fish was a 27″, 8pound walleye and a 39″, 19 pound northern pike.

June 21, 2017

Larry and Deb Zalaznik of Walla Walla, WA and Larry’s brother Gerry of Pleasant Prairie, WI fished with me. They caught 10 fish that were 1 smallmouth bass, a freshwater drum, a perch 3 northern pike an 4 walleyes.

June 22, 2017

Mike Bricco of Miles City, MT and my other guide Matt Sunderman fished with me. They had a great day catching 20 fish that were a crappie, 2 smallmouth bass, 8 walleyes and 10 northern pike. Big fish was a 26″, 7 pound walleye and two 37″, 18 pound northern pike.

June 23, 2017

I fished with Ray and Pam Capp of Billings, MT. They caught 10 fish that included 1 crappie, 2 northern pike, 3 walleye and 4 smallmouth bass.

June 24, 2017

Carey Pope and Dave Hatzenbuehler of Billings, MT fished with me, they caught 27 fish. The fish included 1 sauger, 3 crappie, 4 smallmouth bass, 8 walleyes and 11 northern pike. The big fish were three 39″, 19 to 20 pounders and a 20″, 5 pound smallmouth bass.

June 25, 2017

I fished with Jake Klamm and his son John and Mark Wiedeman of of Miles City, MT. They caught 31 fish that were a sauger, 4 smallmouth bass, 12 northern pike and 14 walleye. Big fish was a 37″, 17 pound northern pike.

June 27, 2017

Mike Bricco and his mother Ginney from Miles City fished with me. They had a slow day with 15 fish that included a perch, 6 northern pike and 9 smallmouth bass. Their big fish was a 17.5″, 3.5 pound smallmouth bass.

June 28 & 29, 2017

I fished with Mark Beasland of Mosinee, WI and Terry Patrick of Suamico, WI. In two days they caught 50 fish that were a drum, 2 perch, 2 crappie, 9 smallmouth bass, 15 walleye, and 21 northern pike. Their big fish were a 37″, two 38″ northern pike and a 18.5, 4 pound smallmouth bass.

June 30 and July 1, 2017

Jeff Camplese and Bill Jones of Helena, MT fished with me. In the two days they caught 30 fish that were 3 crappie, 3 smallmouth bass, 9 walleye and 15 northern pike. Their big fish was a 38″ and 39″ northern pike and a 28″, 9 pound walleye.

July 2, 2017

I fished with Lee and Julie Dolphin of Cherokee, IA and Chad Beckman of Billings, MT. They caught 30 fish that were 2 perch, 2 crappie, 3 smallmouth bass, 7 northern pike and 16 walleye. Their big fish was a 40″, 20 pound noethern pike.

July 3 & 4, 2017

Monte and Linda Reder of Miles City, MT fished with me. They caught 46 fish in a day and half of fishing that included 2 perch 8 smallmouth bass 14 northern pike and 32 walleye. Their big fish were a 40″, 20 pound northern pike, two 18.5″, 4 pound smallmouth bass and a 25″, 6 pound walleye.

July 6, 2017

I fished with Mick and Renee Conroy of Sheridan, WY they caught 15 in the morning. The fish were 2 smallmouth bass, 4 walleye and 9 northern pike. The big fish was a 36″ northern pike.

July 7, 2017

Trevor Haddix of Chapman, KS fished with me. He caught 14 fish in a short morning trip. The first cast of the day yielded a 28″, 9 pound walleye with a 27″ following 5 minutes later. Trevor caught a carp, 1 smallmouth bass, 6 walleye, and 6 northern pike. The big fish were a 27″ and 28″ 8 and 9 pound respectuively and a 36″ northern pike.

July 9, 2017

Bob and Pat Cprbin fished with me and caught 32 fish. The fish were 1 drum, 2 perch, 2 crappie, 2 smallmouth bass 12 northern pike and 13 walleye. The big fish were a 36″, 14 pound northern pike and a 28″, 9 pound walleye.

July 10, 2017

I fished with John and Jimmy Ensign and Jim Omdahl and Cody Lee and they caught 34 fish that were 3 perch, 2 smallmouth bass 9 northern pike and 20 walleye. The big fish was a 27″, 8 pound walleye.

July 11, 2017

Dean and Dean Waltee Jr of Butte and Sheridan, MT fished with me. They caught 21 fish that were 2 smallmouth bass, 6 walleyes. and 13 northern pike. The big fish was a 36″, 14 pound northern pike and a 25″, 6 pound walleye.

July 12, 2017

I fished with John Dwyer of Rapid City, SD, Gary Shepherd of Spearfish, SD and Kip Dean of Fort Smith, MT. They caught 27 fish that were 2 perch, 3 smallmouth bass, 9 walleye and 13 northern pike. Kip caught his second “Fort Peck Slam” which is a northern pike a smallmouth bass and a walleye caught with a fly rod.  He caught his first last year and repeated again this year. Kip’s big fish was a 31″ northern pike on a fly rod. Other big fish were a 36″ northern pike and a 27″, 8 pound walleye.

July 13, 2017

I fished with Kurt Christopherson and Kevin Sept of Miles City, MT. This was a free trip with Miles City chapter of Walleye Unlimited. The guys caught 21 fish that were 1 crappie, 2 perch, 3 smallmouth bass 7 northern pike and 8 walleye. The big fish were a 37″ northern pike and a 29.5″, 10.22 pound walleye. Look at the fishing reports and pictures since July 3, they all have a walleye from 6 to 10 pounds and some days 2 of these big walleyes!!!

July 22, 2017

Ryan Studer and Jacob Baxter of Goodland and St Francis, KS respectively fished with me. It was just a fair days, they caught 19 fish that included a perch, 2 smallmouth bass, 3 walleye and 12 northern pike. Their big fish were a 24″, 5.5 pound walleye and a 33″, 11 pound northern pike.

July 26 & 27, 2017

I fished with Vic Riggs and Monte Reder both of Miles City. In a day and a half they caught 37 fish that were 1 catfish, 2 perch, 2 crappie, 6 smallmouth bass, 11 walleye and 15 northern pike. Their big fish was a 36″ northern pike and a 24″ walleye.

July 28, 2017

Denver Hensleigh of Miles City and his kids Kolton and Kaden fished with me. They caught 18 fish that were 1 catfish, 2 smallmouth bass, 2 walleye, 3 perch and 10 northern pike. Their big fish was a 30″ northern pike and a 24″ walleye.

July 30, 2017

I fished with Bonnie Grahek and Kathy West of Nipome, CA and Bonnie’s granddaughters Riley and Paige Thompson of Grover Beach and Arroyo Grande, CA respectively. They caught 15 fish on a very hot day. The fish were 1 smallmouth bass, 2 crappie, 3 perch, 4 northern pike and 5 walleye. Their big fish was a 30″, 8 pound northern pike

8/10/2017

Shelley and Ross Ryan, Micheal Murnion and Jadie Twitchell all of Jordan, MT fished with me.  They caught 11 fish that were 2 walleyes, 3 smallmouth bass and 6 northern pike.  Their big fish were a 17″, 3 pound smallmouth bass and a 32″, 10 pound northern pike.

8/11/2017

I fished with Neil Martin and Dan Killoy of Miles City, MT and Harold Wentland of Glasgow, MT.  They caught 18 fish that were 4 walleyes, 6 smallmouth bass and 8 northern pike.  The big fish were a 36″, 15 pound northern pike and a 18 & 19″, 4 & 4.5 pound.

8/12/2017

Jake, John and Emily Klamm and Mark Wiedeman all of Miles City, MT fished with me.  They caught 22 fish that were 2 crappie, 2 walleye, 3 smallmouth bass and 12 northern pike.  The big fish were a 17″, 3 pound smallmouth bass and a 36″, 15 pound northern pike.

8/19/2017

Marina Matheson and Kyohei Yoshioka of Jordan, MT fished with me, they caught 19 fish that were 1 smallmouth bass, 2 perch, 2 crappie 2 walleye, and 12 northern pike.  The big fish were a 22″, 4 pound walleye and a 36″, 15 pound northern pike.

8/22 & 21/2017

Jim Sioils and Dave Stenson both of Dillon, MT fished with me.  In two days fishing they caught 17 fish that were 1 perch, 2 walleye, 5 smallmouth bass, 19 northern pike.   The big fish were a 17″,3 pound smallmouth bass and a 37 & 41″, 16 and 21 pound northern pike.

8/26 & 27/2017

I fished with Brandan Espinosa of St. Charles, MO and Barry Meyers, Jonathan Carlson and Tim Erickson all of Billings, MT. In two days of fishing they caught 35 fish that were 1 carp, 2 perch 3 walleyes, 8 smallmouth bass and 21 northern pike.  Their big fish was a 38″, 18 pound northern pike.

8/28/2017

John and Blake Klamm and Nickolas Brandt all of Miles City fished with me.  They caught 14 fish that were 2 walleyes 4 smallmouth bass and 8 northern pike.  Their big fish were a 38″,18 pound northern pike and a 19″, 4.5 pound smallmouth bass.

9/18 & 19/2017

I fished with my cousin Bruce Kellogg and his son-in-law Nick Kresser both of Ionia, IA.  In a day and a half they caught 35 fish that were a walleye, 2 perch, 4 smallmouth bass and 28 northern pike.  the big fish were two 39″, 19 pound northern pike.

9/20/2017

Dan Walker of Billings, MT and Mark Keller of Helena, MT fished with me.  It was a poor day allot of missed fish and bumps.  they did catch 12 fish that were 4 smallmouth bass and 8 northern pike.  The big fish was a 35″, 15 pound northern pike. 

9/22/2017

Mark Schreiner and Gene and Adelia Terland of Park City and Columbus, MT, respectively fished with me.  They caught 16 fish that were 3 smallmouth bass and 13 northern pike. The big fish were a 17.5″, 3.5 pound smallmouth bass and a 33″, 11 pound northern pike.

9/23/2017

I fished with Erin O’Connor and Scott and Vanessa Zeitner they caught 13 fish that were 1 walleye, 2 smallmouth bass and 10 northern pike.  Their big fish were a 17″, 3 pound smallmouth bass and a 34″, 12 pound northern pike.

9/ 24, 25, & 26/2017

Mark Beasland of Mosinee, WI and Glenn Fewless of Waterford, WI fished with me.  In three days of fishing they caught 44 fish that included 3  walleyes, 8 smallmouth bass and 33 northern pike.  Their big fish were a 20″, 3 pound walleye, a 17″, 3 pound smallmouth bass and a 39″, 19 pound and a 40″, 20 pound northern pike.  These two big northern were released.

9/27/2017

I fished with Mike Bricco and Sterling West of Miles City, MT.  They caught 12 fish that were 4 smallmouth bass, 8 northern pike.  The big fish was a 35″, 13 pound northern pike.

10/28/2017

I fished for lake trout while Monte and Linda Reder took a walk for elk. I caught a 8 and 15 pound lake trout.  Monte and Linda fished for less than a hour and Linda caught a 8 pound and Monte caught a 10 pound lake trout.

11/2/2017

Matt and I fished with Bill Barber, Don and Ralph Patrick and Rick Kiekow and they caught their 12 lake trout in 6 hours.  The fish were 6 to 12 pounds.