The tournament pits 150 two-angler teams in what has become one of the premier fishing tournaments in the state. Canyon Ferry’s penchant for producing trophy-sized walleyes made it a destination by the mid-2000s. Although smaller size classes have dominated the fishery in recent years, a few of those 30-inch or bigger fish still patrol the depths, and have been on the bite.
“The fishing has been unreal, so many big trophy fish released recently it’s been unbelievable,” said tournament director Matt Zeadow.
The first-year director fishes Canyon Ferry often, recounting a string of reports the last three weeks of 30 to 33-inch walleyes being caught. With temperatures warming and weather beginning to stabilize, Zeadow says it’s a good recipe for tournament time.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is reporting some quality walleye angling as well in its weekly fishing report.
“Walleye is starting to pick up and anglers are catching walleye on the south end and mid-reservoir tolling worm harnesses or cranks in 25 feet of water or less,” according to the report.
Registration was already starting to fill up a week before the festival. Montana anglers have fared well in recent years at the tournament, which brings anglers from across the region with the hope of taking the $10,000 first prize.