2019 Spring Mack Days!
By angelamontana

Posted: March 1, 2019

The 2019 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event on Flathead Lake will begin March 15th and will end May 12th. There are two events per year-spring and fall.  The 2019 Spring Event will be the 37th Mack Days Event and is sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Up to $225,000 in Cash and Prizes will be awarded to anglers who enter one or more lake trout entries at the conclusion of the event on May 12th. There is one-$10,000, 3-$5,000, and 5-$1,000 tagged lake trout and over 9,000 with values from $500-$100 that have been released in the lake. Plus there are many more ways to win. Fishing lines will be hitting the water and anglers will be fishing from boats and shore during the event. Fish all of Flathead Lake.

Fisheries managers are committed to restoration of native fishes in Flathead Lake by reducing non-native lake trout. Anglers asked for the opportunity to be a part of the process during the Flathead Lake and River Fisheries Co-Management Plan adopted in 2000 by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks. Fishing Events are one of several tools to reduce lake trout abundance and increase the native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout. Participation by anglers is very important to the success and continuation of the events.

There are several ways anglers can win cash or prizes: Lottery Prizes: for every lake trout entered, anglers will receive a ticket to go into the lottery drawing that begins at $1,000 and goes to $450 (35 drawings)-one ticket is all it takes to win, Tagged Fish: there are over 9,000 tagged lake trout with values from $10,000 to $100, Bonuses:-once anglers reach 11 fish entered, they receive bonus dollars that increase with the number of lake trout caught  (chart on the website), Captains Prizes, Largest Lake Trout, Smallest Lake Trout, Youth Prizes, Ladies, Over 70, Weekend Prizes, and Top Ten Anglers. The Top Ten Angler Category is popular with anglers who love to fish and go out as much as they can, if not every day. Top Ten Anglers are determined by their best 18 day average of Fridays through Sundays. They are limited in tickets after they reach eighteen days. They have to turn in more fish on the nineteenth day than their lowest day of the previous eighteen. The reduction in tickets continues on until the last day. While they may receive reduced tickets the bonus dollars continues to go up as their totals go up just like everyone else. Another popular category is the Bucket Days-3/29, 4/20/ and 5/5-anglers pick four of their heaviest fish under 30 inches and they are placed in a bucket and a weight is taken-heaviest bucket wins $200. Points are given to the top five places with the points totaled on the last day and an overall, second, and third place winners announced.

There is no registration fee to enter. Enter on or before March 13th and enter at least one lake trout to be eligible to win a $200 Early Bird Prize-one drawing. Go to www.mackdays.com to enter-click on the events tab for the entry page, rules, fishing tips, fish ID, etc. Entries will continue to be taken until the last day of the event. Anglers can fish then enter when they come in at the end of the day. Headquarters for the event is at Blue Bay-enter your catch from 10:00 AM until 9:00 PM or dark whichever comes first. There will be fish entries taken at Big Arm, Polson, Somers, and Wayfarers Friday-Sunday-check out times closer to the event on the website. Tuesday-Thursday all fish are turned in at Blue Bay by 6:00. Monday is a no fishing day. All lake trout entered are to be caught on the same day as entry-ice your catch. It is the angler’s responsibility to read and follow the rules of the event, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks license requirements, and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes regulations, and AIS inspections if needed. The tribes have a special yearly Flathead Lake (south half) Combined Use Fishing Permit available to anyone for $19 per year. There is an added AIS fee for all anglers of $2 in state and $14 out of state.                                              Fiiiiiiiiish On-Tight lines everyone!

Additional announcements may be made as we get closer to the start of the event. Check the website or in e-mails. Be sure and check for updates. If you have questions telephone 406-675-2700 ex 7294, 406-883-2888 ex 7284 or 406-270-3386.

(via Cynthia Benson)