Photo by K Albus - Nelson Reservoir Sunset June 2015
Channel Catfish and Black Bullhead can be hauled out of here. Until recently the Channel Cats in Nelson Reservoir had been one big mystery and the pro staff could only think about the possibilities of what could be on the bottom of this Reservoir. In 2005, a cat weighing in at over 25 pounds was hauled out of here and the excitement began! In the summer of 2006, a new state record Channel Cat was caught by a local angler and tipped the scales at an unbelievable 29.71 lbs., crushing the old state record by over 2.5 pounds. The catfish is now the sixth current state record fish caught out of Nelson, joining the Big Mouth Buffalo, Carp, Goldeye, Small Mouth Buffalo, and White Sucker. Given Nelson’s reputation of growing very large fish of all species at an alarming rate you can see why this body of water is quickly becoming a bulls-eye for all serious catfish anglers.
The Milk River is what makes this baby kick, if the river was drying up so would go Nelson Reservoir. It is strictly an off stream storage unit for irrigation. Located 10 miles west of Saco, MT and 19 miles north-east of Malta, this beautiful get-away is 4,320 acres of fishing heaven. Over 25 different species swim Nelson Reservoir, and the majority of them approach trophy status. This body of water is often overlooked because famous Fort Peck Reservoir is only an hour drive away. Nelson is known for its tremendous fishing, but also as “the mosquito capital of the world”. If you are planning a summer trip up to Nelson, make sure you pack plenty of bug spray. Sleeping Buffalo, a hot springs resort, is located just a short drive from the shore and offers food, lodging, and other entertainment. High quality boat ramps and a flat terrain surround the lake providing easy access for the boat or shore angler. Information from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.