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

Last updated: September 17, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area Headquarters Office
PO Box 7458

Fort Smith, MT 59035


(307) 548-5406

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