One hundred three lake trout anglers out of four hundred sixteen entered have turned in a total of 6,289 lake trout entries and one live “cat” fish in the 2019 Fall Mack Days Fishing Event sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. The “cat” fish was photographed but not brought in to be entered. Bob and Bobbi Hereford of Missoula saw something struggling in the water quite a ways from shore on Sunday. Further investigating the strange sight they realized it was a bobcat who seemed disoriented and very tired. They netted the small cat and took it in to shore. Son Brett released the cat very carefully while the rest of the family watched from a distance. Last seen by a different boat of anglers it was walking along shore out by the Narrows and moving like it knew where it was going. An experience the Hereford family won’t soon forget.
There is UP to $150,000 in CASH and PRIZES that will be awarded at the conclusion of the event on November 10th. Anglers turn in lake trout entries and receive one ticket for each fish to be entered in the drawing. There are five weeks left so you have lots of time enter your catch in the event. Tickets are put into a lottery drawing that begins at $1,000 and goes to $400. All it takes is one fish to be entered. The event is used as a tool to reduce the numbers of the non-native lake trout and increase the populations of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout in Flathead Lake. There are several prize categories-not including “cat” fish-70 & Over (Golden Oldies), Ladies, Youth 12 & Under, Youth 13-17, Top Ten Anglers, etc. Check out the different ways to win at the website mackdays.com or telephone 406-270-3386.
The $10,000 tagged lady lake trout Marie Laveau has not been caught. There are 3-$5000, 5-$$1,000 and over 9000 tagged lake trout with values from $500 to $100. There were several $100 tagged fish caught during the third week. Paul Gyles-Stevensvile, Bill Violette, Jeanee Mooney, Egil Estvold, Marty Noyd, Jackie Wood, and Bob Christensen of Missoula, Sam Sacchi-Thompson Falls, Paul Soukup-Polson, Julie Perkins-Kalispell, and Doug McGill-Big Arm each had $100 tags.
The winds of Flathead Lake were moving across the lake most of the weekend making fishing difficult. Angler’s struggled to keep on their fishing spots with many having to move to calmer sheltered waters or just come in off the rocking lake. Friday was the calmest day of the weekend with a total of 966 entries. Saturday was breezy with 545 lake trout entered and Sunday’s total was 695. The total of 6,289 compares with 5,344 for the three weeks in 2018. Felix Gauci of Stevensville and Larry Karper of Florence both turned in perfect 100 limits on Friday. Felix had two previous 100’s during the weekday fishing. Weekday fishing (Tuesday-Thursday) counts for tagged fish, 8-$50 drawings, and bonus totals at the end of the event.
Mike Benson of Lonepine is leading the anglers with a total of 549-turning in 85-Friday, 45-Saturday, and 58-Sunday. Felix Gauci 2nd with 405-100, 48, and 36, 3rd Scott Bombard of Missoula-392-63, 46, and 61, 4th Sam Cusker of Bigfork with 316-73, 36, and 47, 5th Larry Karper 302-100, 16, and 42, 6th Larry Ashwell of Missoula 293-78, 29, and 31, 7th Terry Karper of Kalispell 281-18, 40, and 40, Julie Perkins of Kalispell is 8th with 250-18, 25, and 36, Jack Kirkland is 9th with 213-31, 16, and 24, Bob Stewart is in 10th with 169-36, 5, and 0 on Sunday.
Lady angler Julie Perkins has 250, Laurie Kreis of Huson is 2nd with 45, Gina Schiff of Whitefish is 3rd with 29, Kim McMillie of Polson is in 4th with 26, and Lisa Cloo of Clinton has 9 and is in 5th.
Darien Moua of Missoula is leading in the 12 & Under group with 5 and HD of Arlee has 3. Matt Guckenberg Jr. of Kalispell has 8 in the 13-17 category.
Larry Karper leads the 70 & Over with 302, Larry Ashwell is 2nd with 293, 3rd John Gauci of Florence has 143 entries, 4th Mike Cosby of Thompson Falls with 51, and 5th Bob Christensen of Missoula with 37.
Weekend drawings (5-$100) were won by Randy Collins-Kalispell, Brad Ivanoff-Arlee, Jack Kirkland-Missoula, Mike Benson, and Terry Krogstad.
Larry Ashwell turned in a 179mm lake trout (7”) for the smallest lake trout entry so far. The other spot is held by Bob Stewart with a 184mm lake trout. No large lake trout entry has been entered. Mark McMillin had one that was close at 18.25 lbs. and 36.5 inches. The large lake trout entry has to be over 36 inches and 20 pounds.
Fall Mack Days continues until November 10th. Come out and enjoy Flathead Lake fishing. Check out the website or telephone for more information. We encourage all anglers to check weather stations before going out. Be prepared for all kinds of weather. Know the ID differences between lake trout and bull trout. There is information on the website or contact us for that information. Fish one day or several-get one or some tickets in the lottery drawing or catch a tagged lake trout-why can’t it be you that catches Marie Laveau? Fish on everyone!