Ice fishing in Montana

Fishing Montana’s hard water this winter?

Montana ice fishing is a great way to get out of the house. Trust us.

How to start ice fishing

Ice fishing can be simple. Sure, there’s the guy with the sonar, getting all tricky, but that’s not necessary.

And first of all, check the ice. If you don’t have at least four inches of CLEAR ice, go home and watch the football game.

Next, plan a simple rig. Your local fishing shop can help with jigs and lures for ice fishing, or make your own like we do out of our elk pennies. Tip those with corn or maggots, or whatever, and your set. Cut a hole with your auger (or spud bar or axe, if you’re feeling up to it) and drop it in with your short ice fishing pole and a light line.

Perch are near the bottom, so drop it until you hit bottom and pull it up a bit.

Or if you’ve got kokanee salmon, get lucky on a  school cruising by. This requires changing your depth quite a bit, or even better, Montana law lets you have two lines with two hooks per line, giving you the opportunity to try a variety of depths.

Trout? Walleye? Maybe politely ask the guys that look like they know what they’re doing for any advice. Folks are happy to help.

Old Pointer says: If you’re going ice fishing, LEAVE THE DOG AT HOME. It’s OK. We’ll be happily napping on your pillow while you freeze your butt off.

Old Pointer is Montana Whiskey Co.'s old hunting dog. Give him a scratch at our Montana distillery.

What to drink while ice fishing?

Well, you can always drink water, Mountain Dew, or hot cocoa. Nothing wrong with that.

But, lots of folks don’t mind something a little bit stronger on the ice. Sure, there’s beer for some, peppermint schnapps for others, and good grief, some people even resort to cinnamon or peanut butter flavored whiskey. Nonsense! Ha ha ha!

Check our “Simplest Drink Ever” drink card. We “invented” this, and it’s real easy to mix one of these up on the ice. Obviously, when you’re drinking good, barrel-aged whiskey, this is a great way to do it.

Simple Drink Recipe-Montana Whiskey Co.

Have fun ice fishing, Montana. Use your head, check the ice thickness, and drink responsibly.