We think we have Montana’s premier fishing Tournament, boasted tourney organizer Gene Fincher, of the Great Montana Mack Attack.
Fincher may get a few other fishing derby organizers around the state to disagree with that statement, but the one thing Fincher does have is a lot of anglers competing in the Mack Attack on Flathead Lake.
And, in truth, he does put on a great derby.
The Mack Attack will be held the Aug. 5-6 and Fincher expects close to 800 anglers to compete this year, up from last year’s 700-plus. Tournament headquarters will again be Del’s Bar in Somers.
The first place prize will be $1,000 for the largest lake trout over 36 inches. The derby also will award five places for 28-inch-and-under with first place paying out $1000, as well. All places will be by weight of the fish.
There will also be three places for 22-inch-and-under based on a lottery drawing with first place paying $500.
Lake superior whitefish anglers can also get into the act as they will paying out three places for the largest whitefish caught and the largest northern pikeminnow will be awarded $200.
“This year, we wanted to add a little more excitement to the tourney so we are tagging 10 lake trout before the tourney and releasing them back into the lake,” added Fincher. “The tagging process will entail putting a computer chip in 10 lake trout 28 inches and under. No one will know if they have a tagged fish until they weigh it in and the fish is scanned.”
What happens if someone brings in a tagged fish? “The first one that’s caught and brought in August 5 and 6th and weighed in will be worth $25,000,” says Fincher, “After that each fish that is tagged will be worth $500.”
All fish that are brought in and not used for the fish fry that takes place Sunday at 3 p.m. will be donated to the Veterans Food Bank and Somers/Lakeside Food Bank.
All participants will eligible to win a Smoker Craft boat with a 7.5 horse Johnson motor and trailer.
“If we have someone bring in a tagged fish, the total prizes and cash to be given away will be over $50,000,” Fincher said.
People can register at Del’s bar (857-3351) or at Snappy’s Sports Senter in Kalispell or at Zimmer’s Bait and Tackle in Pablo. You can also get in touch with Fincher and register at 261-6445.
For anglers looking for a camping spot for their tent, RV or camper, they can use the lot across the street free of charge.
Zimmer reported that, yes indeed, the whitefish bite is on at Flathead Lake. Zimmer recommends fishing in 40 to 55 feet of water off of the boat ramp in Elmo State Park. You also might try the A Frame in Elmo Bay or off the state campground.
Smallmouth bass fishing has picked up on the lower Flathead River and largemouth bass fishing is good below Kerr dam on the Flathead River as well as at Ninepipes. Noxon Reservoir has also been producing some nice bass fishing.
Walleye fishing has slowed on Canyon Ferry Reservoir. Lake Francis located in Valier, which is north of Conrad, has had some good walleye fishing for the past week.
Remember to take a kid fishing.