Black Bass - Largemouth bass abundance on Montrose continues to be low. Expect a few large fish, but plan on putting in your time to catch them. Montrose Lake is often turbid and conditions can make for difficult fishing. In muddy water, spinnerbaits with large blades colored in white or chartreuse are good choices. Montrose is a power plant cooling lake and usually warms earlier than other lakes in the spring and remains warmer in the winter. Good fishing can be found near the outlet in February and March. Bass concentrate near patches of water willow and fallen trees along the shoreline. The rip rap along the dam and near the cold water intake are good spots to catch bass. Montrose Lake has silted in considerably over the years. Boaters should use caution above the boat ramp and in backs of coves. On a good note, Deepwater Creek upstream of the Montrose MDC office is a little known gem that can produce some excellent bass fishing. Deepwater Creek can be accessed from a gravel ramp just east of the Conservation Area office.
Crappie fishing is average to poor. Fishing for channel catfish is very good for both numbers and size. Flathead catfish fishing on Montrose can be some of the best in the state. Montrose still holds the pole and line state record fish that weighed 77 pounds 8 ounces. When fishing for flathead, use heavy tackle and bring a big landing net. Bank access is good near the boat ramp on the south shore and the parking lots along the north and west shores. During spring and fall, gizzard shad congregate near the warm water outlet, concentrating channel catfish. Flathead anglers should concentrate along bends in old creek channels and areas where creek channels come in close contact with points. Trotlines baited with live bait work the best for flathead catfish. Use live bluegill, green sunfish, goldfish, or crayfish. Anglers are reminded that outboard motors larger than 10 horsepower are allowed, but are required to be operated at no wake speed. Montrose Lake is closed to fishing from October 15th through the end of duck season.