A lake trout with a tag valued at $10,000 was caught by Felix Gauci on Saturday and was the cause for lots of excitement in the 2014 Fall Mack Days Fishing Event during the fifth weekend of the event. Felix was surprised to find out he had the tagged fish in his cooler as his fish were counted in. He was even more surprised when he found out it was the sought after $10,000 fish everyone had been hoping would be on the end of their fishing lines. Several anglers who were present at the check in witnessed the excitement of the moment. All were stunned, excited and happy for the hard working angler from Stevensville. “It really was out there” was heard and joked about as the anglers congratulated Gauci. Felix is currently in second place in the top ten angler standings.
Mack Days events are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and are used as a tool by CSKT to reduce numbers of non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. Tagged fish are used for prize incentive and several research purposes including growth, movement, and population estimates. There are still (2) $5,000 tagged lake trout and (5) $1,000 lake trout plus over 5,000 with values from $100-$500 in Flathead Lake.
Other $100 tagged fish were turned in by Ray Ochoa-St. Ignatius, Richard Kreis-Huson X2, Phil Meredith plus $200 X2-Kalispell, Clay Anderson, Scott Bombard X2, Bill Swaney, Bob Hereford, Nicole Lugibihl, Tim Mooney –Missoula.
A total of 7,751 lake trout entries have been turned in by the 408 entrants of the Fishing Event. Fridays fish total was 664, Saturday total was the second highest of the event so far with 836, and a rough and windy Sunday total was the lowest of the event with 129. Fish totals in the 2011 event after 15 days were at 10,111, 2012-6,976, and 2013-10,061.
The second of three Bucket of Fish Days was Saturday. Winning $200 with a bucket weight of-26lbs.2ozs.-for his 4 fish was Ted Peterson of Hamilton, 2nd place went to Richard and Laurie Kreis with a bucket weight of 25lbs.14ozs, 3rd-Bob and Bobbi Hereford -23lbs.7ozs., 4th-Tim and Jeanee Mooney-18lbs.3ozs., and 5th was Bill McIntyre of Conrad and Craig Morigeau with bucket weight of 17lbs.13ozs. The last bucket day will be Sunday November 9th.
Mike Benson of Lonepine is leading the top ten anglers with 608 lake trout entries and an average for fifteen days of 40.5, 2nd place is Felix Gauci with 527-13 days-top ten anglers will be placed by their fifteen day averages at the end of the event-3rd-Scott Bombard-410 and 27.3 average, 4th-Richard Kreis-Huson-402-14 days, 5th-David McDaniel-Polson-394-13 days, 6th-Terry Krogstad-Kalispell-391-9 days, 7th-Craig Morigeau-Polson-354-11 days, 8th-Phil Meredith-Kalispell-336-14 days, 9th-Larry Karper-Florence-312-14 days, 10th-Laurie Kreis-Huson-238-12 days.
Leading lady angler Laurie Kreis has 238 lake trout entries and is tenth in the top ten anglers. Second place is held by Jeanee Mooney with 118, 3rd-Julie Vacca-Florence-53, 4th-Bobbi Hereford-Missoula-44, and 5th-Kim McMillie-Ronan-43.
The 70 and Over category has Larry Karper-Florence leading with 312 and 9th place in the top ten anglers, 2nd-Glenn Hoffman-Missoula-110, Jim Hoover-Whitefish-3rd with 77, 4th-Bernd Albrecht-Polson-48, and 5th-Ralph Johnson-Columbia Falls-47.
The 13-17 group is led by Myles Tripp-Stevensville-24, 2nd-Garett Vaughan-Charlo-8, and 3rd-Kobe Cox-Charlo-7. The 12 & Under leader is Tripp Bick of Arlee with 19, 2nd-Aaron Haynes-18, 3rd-Dusty Haynes-Arlee-6, 4th-Ayden Tripp-Stevensville-6, and Elly Tripp is 5th with 3.
Entries will be taken until the last day of the event. There is no entry fee. Go to www.mackdays.com for more information or telephone 406-883-2888 ex. 7294 or 406-270-3386.
We remind all anglers to be safe and always have the proper safety equipment on board.
Tight lines everyone!
(Report by Cynthia Bras-Benson)