Fall Mack Days 2018 ended on November 11th with a total of 15,408 lake trout entries. There was Up to $150,000 in Cash and Prizes sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. The event is a tool that is used to help reduce numbers of non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. There were 540 lake trout entries on Friday, 523 on Saturday, and with the deadline for Sunday fish entries at 3:00 the lake trout total was 224. Tuesday through Thursday entries were at 3,793 and the Friday to Sunday entries totaled 11,615. That compares with a total of 17,527 in 2016 and 14,775 for the 2017 entries. Anglers entered in the event totaled 467 with 159 that turned in lake trout entries.
Anglers ended the event fishing in cold snowy weather. Each and every angler contributes to the success of the Mack Days Fishing Events. Many put their boats in at the break of day and do not come in until dark is setting in. They fish in all kinds of weather putting up with whatever weather and water conditions get thrown at them. They are contributing to the future of the fishery Flathead Lake for future generations to come. Ages of the anglers go from the youngsters just beginning to try their luck putting a line in the water and goes up to the several seasoned anglers who are nearing the 90 year young mark.
The Top Ten Anglers were placed by their best 15 day averages. First place went to Mike Benson of Lonepine with a total of 1005 and average of 52.87, 2nd Felix Gauci of Stevensville 780 and 47.47, 3rd Scott Bombard of Missoula 853 and 46.27, 4th David McDaniel of Polson with 689 and 45.07, 5th Sam Cusker of Whitefish with 503 and 33.0, 6th Larry Karper of Florence with 557 and 31.53, 7th and 8th was a tie between Terry Krogstad-523 of Kalispell and Larry Ashwell-520 of Missoula their average was 28.2667, Richard Kreis of Huson came in 9th with 463 and 25.8. Tenth place was decided by Julie Perkins of Kalispell with 373 and 21.13 choosing to take the top Ladies Category. An angler gives up other category winnings if they choose to take a place in the Top 10. Tenth place went to Bob Christensen of Missoula with 294 and 19.6 average.
The top Ladies Category winner was Julie Perkins with 373, 2nd Laurie Kreis from Huson with 153, 3rd Debby Sacchi of Thompson Falls with 99, Gina Schiff of Whitefish came in 4th with 90, and 5th place went to Jeanee Mooney of Missoula with 75.
The 70 and Over Category leader was Larry Karper who choose to stay in the Top Ten and the second place finisher Larry Ashwell also choose Top Ten. Winning 1st was John Gauci of Florence with 317 and 2nd place went to Bernard Olson of Lakeside with 63.
Matt Guckenberg Jr. of Kalispell won 1st in the 13-17 Category with 86, 2nd Matthew Kreis of Huson with 34, and 3rd Madisyn Lugibihl of Missoula with 5, and 4th Justin Line of Missoula. The 12 & Under Category was won by Tripp Bick of Arlee with 8, 2nd Alison Putzler of Huson with 5, and 3rd Kieran Incashola of St. Ignatius with 3.
No large fish entry was received during the event. Winning both Smallest Lake Trout Categories was Felix Gauci with a 4.5 inch and a 5.5 inch lake trout.
Spirit of the Events Awards went to Dave Hoback of Arlee and Bob Christensen. The Spirit of the Event Award is given to an angler who shows good sportsmanship and supports the events by encouraging or helping others. Someone who exemplifies an angler
Overall Bucket Winners were Richard and Laurie Kreis 1st with a total of 26 points and three bucket weights over the three days of 85.8 lbs., 2nd went to Mike Benson with 14 points and 71.65 lbs., 3rd was a tie between Ted Peterson/Paul Gyles of Stevensville and Bob Christensen each with 10 pts.
The Early Bird Drawing was won by Arnold Davis of Polson who entered one fish during the competition.
The Heaviest Fish under 30” on the last day was won by Carey Hauser of Somers with a 8.5 pound lake trout. Paul Soukup of Polson was 2nd with a 7.57 lake trout.
The $10,000, 3-$5,000, and 5-$1,000 tagged lake trout and over 6000 with values from $500-$100 are still out there. New values and new tagged lake trout will be assigned before the 2018 Spring Event begins. Catching $100 tagged lake trout the last week were: Mike Benson X 3, John Malatare of Arlee X 2, Bill Swaney of New Town ND, Jim Flinchbaugh of Kalispell, Tim Mooney X 3 and Dylan Burkhart of Missoula, Richard Kreis X 4 and Matthew Kreis of Huson, Larry Karper, and Jeff Cox of Rollins.
Spring Mack Days 2019 will begin March 15th and end May 12th-nine weekends Friday to Sundays-27 days and eight weeks of Tuesday through Thursday fishing-24 days. Check the website www.mackdays.com for more information, stats, and prize winners.