After five weekends of lake trout fishing nine lake trout are all that separate the top two angler totals in the 2016 Fall Mack Days Fishing Event on Flathead Lake. The event is sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and is used as a management tool to reduce numbers of non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. There is Up to $150,000 in Cash and Prizes the anglers are competing for during the eight weeks of the event. All it takes is one fish to be entered in the lottery drawings for cash and merchandise. Entries are taken until the last day of the event.
A total of 9,951 lake trout have been entered during 2016 Fall Mack Days. Total entries for Friday were 698, Saturday 625, and Sunday 503 lake trout. Anglers fish Friday-Sunday for the competitive part of the event for prizes and cash drawing tickets, tagged fish, and bonuses. Tuesday through Thursday anglers fish to increase their bonus amounts and tagged fish. Once an angler turns in 11 fish they begin to accumulate bonus dollars that increase as their totals increase. Go to www.mackdays.com for information or telephone 406-270-3386. Boats are trolling in depths from 70-90 feet around the steep rocky areas, jigging is working well for others, and casting is increasing as the fish come in closer to spawn at this time of the year. Shore angling has produced some lake trout entries also.
The $10,000 tagged lake trout is still out there waiting for some lucky angler. There are also three $5,000, and five $1,000 tagged lake trout in the lake. Over 7,000 other lake trout have tags that are worth $100-$500. Bringing in $100 tagged lake trout this past week were Richard Kreis X 2, Jeff Wornath, Mike Benson X 2, Tim Mooney of Missoula X 3, Terry Krogstad X 2, Greg Karlson, and Gina Schiff.
Leading the top ten anglers after five weekends is Mike Benson of Lonepine with 803 turning in 182 over the weekend, 2nd Terry Krogstad of Kalispell with 794-weekend total 204, 3rd– Felix Gauci of Stevensville with 586-weekend total 97, 4th Larry Karper of Florence with 395 moved up two places and has a weekend total of 157, Sam Cusker of Whitefish comes in 5th with 380-weekend total 57, Scott Bombard of Missoula is 6th with 362-weekend 73, Larry Ashwell of Missoula 7th 298-weekend 76, 8th place is Richard Kreis of Huson with 296-weekend 98, 9th place Bob Stewart of Missoula 282 and weekend 77, and in 10th two Hot Springs anglers are tied Danny Smith and Greg Karlson each have 211 with 28 and 29 for the weekend Top ten anglers are placed by their best fifteen day average at the conclusion of Mack Days. Three weekends remain and totals can change rapidly. Benson, Kreis, Smith, and Karlson each have fifteen days in. They will have to catch more than their lowest day to receive tickets that are over their lowest number and to increase their average. Krogstad has three more days to get to the fifteen day average-his daily average is the highest of all the anglers for the event but that may change also. Bombard and Gauci have fourteen days in and Cusker and Karper are at thirteen days. Stewart is at eleven days.
Laurie Kreis of Huson sits in fifteenth place over all but is in first place in the Ladies Category with 130. Brandy Hilde of Whitefish is twentieth over-all and is in 2nd in the ladies category with 107, 3rd and 4th and 5th Gina Schiff of Whitefish and Jeanee Mooney of Missoula.
Larry Karper of Florence is in first in the 70 & Over category with 395 lake trout entries. Glenn Hoffman of Missoula is 2nd with 128, Bob Christensen of Missoula is 3rd with 93, Leonard Lewis is 4th with 92, and Jerry Luderman of Kalispell is 5th with 20.
The second day of the Bucket of Fish Competition was on Saturday with the team of Richard and Laurie Kreis turning in a full bucket of four fish that weighed in at 30.3 lbs. The heaviest bucket of four lake trout wins $200. The next Bucket Day will be Sunday November 6th. Second place was Monte and Donna McPherson of Silverdale, Wa. with a bucket at 19.85 lbs., 3rd Scott Bombard of Missoula with a 18.95 lb. bucket, 4th Tim and Jeanee Mooney of Missoula with a weight of 18.25, and 5th Mike Benson with a weight of 17.3. Points are given for the top five buckets and tallied after the third bucket day for additional overall prizes.
Tyler Varga has 50 in the 13-19 age category and Danner Shima is 2nd with 12. The 12 & Under category has one entry-Dalton Kluesner of Frenchtown with one fish.
Mack Days ends on November 13th with a fish fry and awards for friends and families at the Blue Bay Campground beginning at 3:00.
(via Cynthia Bras)