Bernie’s Fort Peck Fishing Report

2018 Fishing reports


                                                   2017 2016 2015 2014
Walleyes > 1 pound                       564 524 1,255 1,148
Walleyes < 1 pound                       225 265 205 131
Total Pounds                                 1319 1,216 1,991 2,874
Average in Pounds                       2.33 1.82 1.61 2.50
Hours                                              604 664 684 717
Walleye per Hour                          1.31 1.19 1.84 1.60
10 pound plus                                      5 4 4 5

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

Fort Peck Reservoir in 2017 was good but not as good as 2014.  The number of walleyes over one pound, total pounds walleyes average weight and walleyes per hour, increased while walleyes under a pound decreased.The number of walleyes over 10 pounds increased by one over last year. one of these over 10 was a 33.75″. 15.80 pounder that is the biggest walleye that has ever been caught in any of my boats.

What does all this mean? There is allot of fish available, their size has increased because of a strong age class or two have moved into the catchable sizes, and the amount of effort 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 in 2016 and 34 in 2017 a decrease of 4, eight between 4 and 5 pounds in 2016  with 18 in 2017 an increase of 10  and 3 that were 5 to 6 pounds in 2016 while 2017 had 2, 1 less than previous year.

The number of northern pike 40” and greater was up two from the previous year, which was considerably more than 2014.  Thirteen northern pike that were between 40” and a 43” were caught in 2017.  These pike were 18 to 23 pounds depending on when they were caught.  

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 thebiggest walleye that has ever been caught in my boat it was 3.75″ and 15.80 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 water 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.



3/5/2018 through 3/24/2018

Fishing season started early in Venice, Louisiana with Monte Reder and myself meeting Tom Childress there.  We fished two days for redfish and caught allot and several were big.  I also caught a 12 pound blue catfish, a new fish to the life list.

We then move to Florida first we went to Everglade City and Chokolokee to try for snook and tarpon.  We saw some tarpon roll but could not get a hook in front and had a snook hit the bait and run hard then drop the hook.  We caught allot sea trout and some redfish and black drum.  Monte caught a pompano which was excellent eating.

After two days there we headed to the jungle West Palm Beach and Little Havana in Miami to chase peacock bass. We did poorly at West Palm Beach one peacock bass and a knife clown fish.  The knife clown fish was very hard to net they can swim backward. We also saw a 4 foot python resting on PVC pipe used to irrigate the yards.  In the Little Havana area of Miami we caught several peacock bass and some largemouth bass.  After this Monte headed to the in-laws and Tom headed home to rest up. 

I headed south to Key Largo to fish with a friend Bob Quick.  The first day out I caught a bluefish new to the life list, and we quit, the wind blew us off.  The second days was something else.  I had 4 baits cut in half by barracudas, 4 or 5 baits run off with and dropped by the sailfish when the bail was closed and watched 3 sailfish slashing with the bills and grabbing the bait but they all threw the bait after jumping out of the water.  Twice we had doubles taking line out and didn’t get a fish hooked.  With all this it still was a great day. 

After Key Largo I headed north and met Tom and fished Oscars and Mayan Cichlids while fishing for these I also caught a warmouth, redeared sunfish “shellcracker”, and a chain pickerel all new for the life list.  It was a great trip and best of all it was WARM!!