• Red cliffs descend into the water of Bighorn Canyon

    Bighorn Canyon

    National Recreation Area MT,WY

Boat Fishing

Fisherman in his boat at the red cliffs area near Horseshoe Bend
Fisherman waits for a bite from his boat in the red cliffs area near Horseshoe Bend
Friends of Bighorn Lake

Boat Fishing
Bighorn Lake is over 70 miles in length and provides thousands of acres of wonderful boat fishing. The lake is between 70 and 450 feet deep in the Montana end. The Wyoming end is 70 feet deep at the state line, 30 feet deep in Horseshoe Bend, gradually becoming shallower going south. South of the causeway at Highway 14A, the river channel expands onto the flats at full lake.

There are several ways to fish this lake:

  1. trolling using crankbaits, bottom bouncers, spinners and planer boards
  2. casting using crankbaits, worms, spinners and plastic jigs
  3. jigging using weighted jigs tipped with a minnow, crawfish, leech, cut bait or artificial/plastic bait

You may want to use an electric trolling motor for jigging to keep your boat on the “hot” fishing spot. The use of a small gas outboard motor is useful for trolling and as backup should your main motor fail.

Fishing and Boating Regulations

Fishing Licenses for Montana and Wyoming

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks

Wyoming Game and Fish Department

Did You Know?

Young bighorn ram, photo by T. Ennis

The bighorn sheep disappeared from the area in the 1800s. In the 1970s, Montana and Wyoming state game agencies translocated sheep into nearby areas. Descendants of these sheep moved into the range along Bighorn Canyon and today the estimated population is 150 to 200. More...