2018 Fall Mack Days on Flathead Lake began on September 21st and will continue until November 11th. Anglers can fish Tuesday through Sunday. The 45 day event is the thirty third Mack Days Fishing Event sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. The fishing events are used to reduce the numbers of non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. There are two events per year-spring and fall. Anglers can choose to fish one day or every day. Each lake trout entry by an angler gives them a ticket for the lottery style drawing held on the last day of each event. Twenty seven drawings start at $1,000 and go to $500 for the fall. Check out the website at www.mackdays.com for information on check in times and places, entry forms, fish ID, etc. The Fall Mack Days Events began in fall 2002 with a fifteen day event. There were eighty anglers entered in the event with eight hundred eighty eight lake trout turned in. The 2018 Fall Event after one weekend has surpassed the total of the 2002 event with 1,726 lake trout entries turned in so far by sixty nine anglers out of the three hundred twenty three who are registered. Up to $150,000 in Cash and Prizes will be awarded to anglers on the last day November 11th. There is a $10,000 tagged lake trout-(Walter), three $5,000 tagged lake trout, and five $1,000 tagged lake trout in the lake plus over 6,000 with values from $500-$100. Tagged fish have been released in all areas of the lake. Walter’s residence area is unknown at this time. He is an extremely handsome fish with all fins attached except the adipose fin which is missing. If you are lucky enough to catch this fish please turn him into staff at one of the boat pick up areas or at Blue Bay headquarters. There is a $10,000 reward to anyone who turns in this most wanted lake trout.
Catching a $200 tagged lake trout the first weekend was: Monte McPhearson-Silverdale, WA. Tagged lake fish with values of $100 were brought in by: Pete Urquhart-Great Falls, Monte McPhearson, Jeff Cox-Rollins, Scott Bombard-Missoula, and John Gauci of Florence. Richard and Laurie Kreis from Huson had a good day catching tagged fish on Sunday. Richard turned in a total of three $100 tagged fish and Laurie added one of her own.
Typical Montana fall weather moved in over the weekend. Friday was pretty nice with warm sunny weather and anglers were able to fish the whole day until dark if they choose. Total count for Friday was 680 lake trout. Saturday fall winds came on and anglers were blown off the water in the late morning and early afternoon. Evening weather was calmer and some went back out on the water to increase the day’s total of 452 fish. Sunday was overcast with some rain squalls during the day. The first 100 fish limit of the Fall Event was turned in by David McDaniel of Polson on Sunday afternoon. Sunday’s total came to 594.
Top Ten Anglers are lining up for the eight weeks of competition. The hard working anglers fish from sunup to sundown putting in many hours in all kinds of weather trying to add to their total each day. Mike Benson of Lonepine sits in 1st with 180-Friday (95), Saturday (43), Sunday (42), 2nd Felix Gauci of Stevensville with 173-70,44, & 59, 3rd David McDaniel of Polson-147-0, 47, & 100, 4th Scott Bombard of Missoula with 141-41, 40, & 60, 5th is Samuel Cusker of Whitefish with 82-8, 0, & 74, 6th Larry Karper of Florence with 77, 7th Richard Kreis of Huson with 73, 8th Bob Christensen of Missoula-56, 9th Larry Ashwell of Missoula-55, 10th Terry Krogstad and Julie Perkins of Kalispell-each with 52.
Julie Perkins leads the Ladies Category with 52, 2nd Laurie Kreis-32, 3rd Gina Schiff of Kalispell-26, 4th Kimberly Mack-14, and a 3 way tie for 5th with 2 each-Brittany Mundt, Nicole Garrett, and Jessica McClay.
The ever popular 70 and Over Category leader is Larry Karper with 77, Bob Christensen is 2nd with 56, Larry Ashwell 3rd with 55, 4th John Gauci of Florence-30, and tied for 5th with 11 each are Vern Childers of Bigfork and Jerry Luderman of Whitefish.
Michael Marlatt of Missoula has one entry in the 12 & Under Category.
Smallest fish turned in so far is a 189mm (7.5”) lake trout. It and the second largest 190mm were both turned in by Larry Karper. There are no large fish entries.
Entries will be taken until the last day of the event. There is no entry fee. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have a special yearly Flathead Lake (south half) Combined Use Fishing Permit available to anyone in state or out for $13. All it takes is one fish entry to qualify for the lottery drawings that begin at $1,000 and go to $500 on the last day. For information about the event go to www.mackdays.com or telephone 406-883-2888 ex. 7294 or 7282/406-270-3386.