|First carp of 2017!|
Carp season has begun in Central Montana! Well kinda. You've got to know where carp are this time of year. This guy came out of Canyon Ferry in open water. Find the open water and you'll most likely find the carp. I drove a huge loop to the main carp waters of Central and Southwest Montana over the past two days and here's what I found...
Update on the carp conditions in Central and Southwest Montana:
Most of the lake is still frozen solid with 2+ feet of ice. The ling are getting going with their spawn so, catch that while you can. There is a large, open-water area near the mouth of Horse Prairie. I'd bet good money that there'll be carp tailing in there on the warm sunny days from here on until ice-out. It's not right at the mouth of the creek so, it's not all quick-sandy. The mouth of Red Rocks can be scary during low water because the fine sediment is deep. I'd bet there is some open water there too.
Three Forks Ponds:
If the weather stays warm (I don't think it is supposed to), the ice may retreat enough to allow the carp to start feeding in the open, shallow water within the next couple of weeks. As of now, the ponds are still mostly frozen to the shore. I would not walk on the ice!
The Lower Jefferson River:
It still looks like the arctic on the lower Jeff.
The Upper Missouri River below Toston Dam:
The river is big, cold, and off color. No good.
The majority of the lake is still frozen and will be for quite some time. However, there are many tributary streams that enter the lake. Find the mouth of one and most likely, you will find a bit of open water. There are surface and groundwater flow coming in which makes these areas warmer than the rest of the water in the lake. These areas area also shallow and now warm up pretty good on warmer, sunny days. The carp will pour out from under the ice to feed in these bays. Fun, fun, fun!
I got a location tip from an ice fishing guy last week who was witnessing this. I checked it out and it was awesome!