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Fishing Nelson Reservoir

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By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for smallmouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie, walleye, bluegill, yellow perch and northern pike at Nelson Reservoir in Montana.

Nelson Reservoir, MT

Ice fishing for perch, walleye and northern pike can be very productive at Nelson Reservoir, a 4,100-acre lake in the north-central part of the state, 8 miles west of Saco. In season there is great boating and fishing for bass, catfish, crappie, walleye, perch and pike.

the fishing options, and area amenities. Our goal is to provide info to first time visitors, as well as beginner and novice anglers. We gathered details from personal experience, numerous trusted websites, and videos of fishing activity on the lake. These websites include the Montana Fish, Wildlife And Parks Department, marinas at the lake, campgrounds, boat rental agencies and others. By consolidating this information to one page it allows visitors to see the entire picture, all in one place.

Lake Video

Nelson Reservoir, located in northeastern Montana, is a popular fishing destination known for its abundance of fish species and tranquil surroundings. This reservoir covers over 3,000 acres and offers anglers a variety of fishing opportunities.

One of the popular fish species found in Nelson Reservoir is the northern pike. Known for their aggressive strikes and powerful fights, northern pike are highly sought after by anglers. This reservoir boasts a healthy population of northern pike, providing ample opportunities for anglers to catch these predatory fish. Anglers often use techniques such as casting with large spoons or swimbaits, trolling with crankbaits, or fly fishing with streamer patterns to entice these toothy predators.

Walleye is another popular fish species in Nelson Reservoir. These prized game fish offer a thrilling angling experience and can be targeted using techniques such as jigging with live bait or artificial lures, trolling with crankbaits, or casting near submerged structures. Nelson Reservoir is known to produce good numbers of walleye, attracting anglers looking for both quantity and quality catches.

Nelson Reservoir also supports populations of other fish species such as smallmouth bass, yellow perch, and catfish. Smallmouth bass provide an exciting fight and can be caught using techniques such as casting with jigs, crankbaits, or topwater lures. Yellow perch, known for their delicious taste, can be targeted using small jigs or baited hooks. Catfish, including channel catfish and bullheads, offer anglers a chance to catch these bottom-dwelling fish using a variety of baits and techniques.

Anglers visiting Nelson Reservoir should be aware of fishing regulations and obtain the appropriate licenses. It's important to follow catch limits, size restrictions, and specific rules regarding certain fish species to ensure the sustainability of the fish populations and the preservation of the reservoir's ecosystem.

With its diverse fish species, excellent fishing opportunities, and scenic surroundings, Nelson Reservoir offers anglers a rewarding fishing experience in Montana. Whether it's targeting northern pike, pursuing walleye, or casting for other popular fish species, Nelson Reservoir provides an exciting and enjoyable angling adventure amidst the beauty of Montana's landscapes.

Visitors can explore 30 miles of shoreline while cruising the blue waters of this fertile fishery. The lake has limited amenities, so come prepared. There is a boat launch ramp and campground, but no marina or rental boats. There are plenty of areas accessible for fishing from the bank.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Montana

Primary fish species residing in Nelson Reservoir

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Smallmouth bass Channel catfish Black crappie Walleye Bluegill Yellow Perch Northern Pike

Nelson Reservoir Amenities

Marina: NO
Boat Rental: NO
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: NO
Lodging: YES
Convenience Store: NEARBY
Bait & Tackle: NEARBY
Restaurant: NEARBY

Today's Weather & Forecast

Boating is a popular activity on Nelson Reservoir, and anglers can launch their boats from the public boat ramps available. The reservoir allows for motorized boats, providing anglers with the opportunity to explore different areas of the reservoir and access prime fishing spots. Whether it's trolling for walleye, casting for northern pike, or searching for other fish species, boating enhances the overall fishing experience on Nelson Reservoir.

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Nelson Reservoir Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, east side, off State Route 243, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Click here for a Montana Fishing License.

Camping facilities can be found near Nelson Reservoir, offering anglers the opportunity to extend their fishing trips and fully enjoy the peaceful ambiance of the area. Campgrounds provide amenities such as picnic areas, fire pits, and restrooms, making it convenient for anglers and their families to relax and unwind after a day on the water.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Nelson Reservoir Campground - 406 759-5077

Nelson Reservoir MT Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Nelson Reservoir
Nelson Reservoir Campground
US Highway 2
Saco, MT 59261
406 759-5077


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