2018 Spring Mack Days on Flathead Lake!
By angelamontana

Posted: March 1, 2018

Sponsored by the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes 
And sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks
Up to $225,000 in Cash and Prizes
(1)-$10,000 & (3) $5,000 & (5) $1000 + over (6,000) $500-$100 Tagged Lake Trout
March 16th -May 13th

Enter on or before March 14th and turn in at least one fish to qualify for the $200 Early Drawing Prize

FridaySaturday, & Sunday-competitive Mack Days-lottery, prizes, tagged fish, and bonuses

Pick your best 18 days out of 26 possible, FridaySunday, for top ten angler prizes-last day is separate

TuesdayWednesdayThursday-24 bonus days, Yeti tickets, 6-$50 drawings, and tagged fish only

Mack Days Fishing Events will continue to require that anglers have AIS Inspections prior to participating in the event.  Proof of inspection will be required when you enter your fish or they will not be counted. Although Montana law does not require inspections for all boaters, we will continue the requirement for consistency and to be sure that Flathead Lake is protected.  We are especially concerned about anglers from out of the Flathead Basin.  The standard AIS Inspection Stations will not be open at the start of the event so our staff will conduct the inspections. We will try to be as accommodating as possible. Inspections can be arranged at our offices at 408 6th Ave East in Polson during work hours starting February 26th -please telephone 406-883-2888 ex. 7294 or 406-270-3384 to arrange a time.  Inspections will be done at Blue Bay beginning March 13th.  There will be inspections at the Somers boat ramp March 3rd from 9:00 till 4:00.  Once Mack Days begins, we will do all inspections at Blue Bay-please arrange times 406-270-3386.

For inspections to go fast and smoothly-be sure your boat is clean, drained, and dry. No mud, dried plants, etc. in live wells, on lines, etc. Thank you for your cooperation.

Fish all of Flathead Lake-Check in stations-subject to change
Blue Bay (event headquarters):  9:00 A.M.-9 P.M. or Dark if earlier

Somers State Boat Access: 3-4:30 P.M.–Wayfarers 5:00-5:30 P.M.– Fri-Sun only-except May 13th
Big Arm State Park Boat Ramp:  5:00-5:30 Fri-Sun only- except May 13th

Salish Point Boat Ramp (behind KwaTaqNuk Resort): 6:00-6:30 p.m. Fri-Sun only- except May 13th

May 13th –all fish are to be turned in at Blue Bay by 3:00

All it takes is one ticket to win in the lottery drawing-Fridays-Sundays only

Top ten angler prizes $800-$300-Fri-Sun-last day-May 13th is a separate day-with separate prizes

Captains $250-(4 prizes), Smallest lake trout $250-(2 prizes), Largest lake trout $500-Fri-Sun

Top lady anglers $300, $200, $100. $100, $100-by total fish entered-Fri-Sun

Youth- (17-13) 1st-$200, 2nd-$150, 3rd-$75, 4-5th-$50 (12 & under) 1st-$100, 2nd-$75, 3rd-$50-Fri-Sun

Weekend Prizes- $100 x 5-Fri-Sun-drawn and announced weekly-no limit

Golden Angler Award (70 & older)-$200 & $100-Fri-Sun determined by total fish entered

Bucket Days-3 days of single/team-heaviest 4-fish-3/30-Friday4/21-Saturday, & 5/6-Sunday

YETI cooler-1 ticket for every ten entries Fri-Sun

Last Day (May 13th) Only:  $300, $200, $100 & Heaviest Mack under 30”-$200 & $100


The higher your total – the higher your bonus-every day counts: Tues-Sun (51days)

Check out the chart below-some new cateogory changes

FridaySaturday, & Sunday will be competitive Mack Days for lottery, prizes, tagged fish and bonuses, as has been the case in the past. Your best 18 days during the FridaySunday period count for the lottery, top angler, and other prizes.

Anglers receive lottery tickets only for their best 18/26 days Fri-Sun.  Anglers fishing more than 18 days will only receive additional tickets if their harvest number exceeds one of their previous 18 days, which it would replace to increase the total. Top ten angler prizes will be determined by the best 18 day average Fri-Sun.  All fish count for the bonus tally.  The last day (day 51) ends at 3:00 and counts for the bonus but not the lottery. There are separate prizes for the last day.All lake trout submitted for entry are to be caught the same day as submitted.

TuesdayWednesdayThursday– turn in your lake trout entries before 6:00plus(optional) turn in live lake trout to a tagging boat during the day and receive tickets for a  special lottery drawing for (2) $500 prizes and there will be 6-$50 ticket drawings, Yeti cooler tickets-1/10 entries, also the tagged fish prizes count- 24 days-Tues-Thursday. Tagging boats will be out as much as possible but not every day-depending on staffing issues and weather. Tues-Thurs totals will be added to your Fri-Sun totals for a final bonus tally at the end of the event.

Remember all it takes is one fish to be entered in the lottery drawings that begin at $1,000 and go to $450-(35) cash lottery drawings plus many merchandise prizes. Every lake trout under 30”counts

1-$10,000, 2-$5,000, & 5-$1,000 Tagged Lake Trout and Over 6,000 $100-$500 tagged lake troutcheck the adipose fin on the fish-if it is clipped it could possibly be a tagged fish. Mark your clipped fish with yarn, rubber bands, electrical tie-around the tail or around the gill plate, etc.-make it large enough to be visible to staff counting in your catch-if your tagged fish is not marked staff may miss it.  The high-dollar tagged fish are tagged immediately prior to each event. Previous high dollar fish are revalued from $100-$500. Some tagged fish are between 30 and 36”, and they can be legally harvested on the south end of the lake. These slot-length fish cannot be kept on the north half of the lake, so it is not legal to turn them in for tagged-fish dollars.

The large fish category ends at dark or 9:00 whichever comes firstFriday-Sundays only-if you catch a large lake trout over 36” and 24#’s telephone 406-270-3386 if you wish to release the fish after it is weighed-if we are unable to meet you- you will have to bring the fish in to Blue Bay.  Keep a large cooler filled with water-adding to it as needed or use a live well to transport a large fish. Please have a scale on board and know the fish is 24lbs. or over. There is no large fish (36” and over 24#’s) contest on the last day-a large fish may be turned in from any area of the lake. No lottery tickets are given for any fish over 30 inches. This category ends on Saturday May 12th.

Weekend Drawings-5-$100 drawings-will be held each week with witnesses present and names announced and put on the board-no limits. Tickets can then be put into the drawing tumbler to save time on the last day. There may also be a few merchandise drawings-anglers do not need to be present for these drawings.

Bonus Amounts for anglers who catch 11 or more lake trout:

2018 Spring Bonus Categories-NEW Amounts    
# of  
Lake Trout $ # $ # $ # $ # $
0-10 $0 501-550 $1,075 1101-1150 $4,350 1701-1750 $7,825 2301-2350 $11,900
11-30 fish $35 551-600 $1,230 1151-1200 $4,700 1751-1800 $8,135 2351-2400 $12,300
31-60 $75 601-650 $1,400 1201-1250 $4,960 1801-1850 $8,455 2401-2450 $12,675
61-100 $135 651-700 $1,575 1251-1300 $5,225 1851-1900 $8,775 2451-2500 $13,050
101-150 $210 701-750 $1,800 1301-1350 $5,500 1901-1950 $9,100 2501-2550 $13,440
151-200 $290 751-800 $2,040 1351-1400 $5,775 1951-2000 $9,440 2551-2600 $13,830
201-250 $380 801-850 $2,270 1401-1450 $6,050 2001-2050 $9,775  
251-300 $465 851-900 $2,625 1451-1500 $6,330 2051-2100 $10,100  
301-350 $570 901-950 $3,000 1501-1550 $6,620 2101-2150 $10,475  
351-400 $675 951-1000 $3,400 1551-1600 $6,920 2151-2200 $10,825  
401-450 $785 1001-1050 $3,750 1601-1650 $7,210 2201-2250 $11,175  
451-500 $925 1051-1100 $4,035 1651-1700 $7,515 2251-2300 $11,550  

Again there will be a Heaviest Bucket of Fish competition included for 3 days of the event.  Friday-3/30Saturday-4/21, & Sunday-5/6-prizes will be given for the 4 heaviest fish under 30 inches.  The four fish entries are to be tagged or identified with some kind of marking-electrical ties, string, rubber bands- before coming through the door at Blue Bay.  Fish will be put in a bucket and one weight per boat or shore angler team.  No changes will be made to entries-this has to be the rule because of time limits-points given based on weight.  Top weight for each of the three days will win $200.  Overall prizes based on total points-a tie broken by weight- at the end of the three days $300, $200, & $100 will be awarded at the end of the event.