Week five of 2020 Fall Mack Days is in the books with a total of 9,469 lake trout entries. One hundred twenty-two anglers out of four hundred eleven entrants have caught at least one or more lake trout. It was a wild and windy fifth weekend. Wind advisory warnings were out for Saturday and those winds continued on until Sunday mid-day. Big Arm Bay was the hot spot for fishing with 31 lake trout entries. Two more were turned in at Blue Bay for a Sunday total of 33. Saturdays total came to 308 and Friday was 398.
There is Up to $200,000 in Cash and Prizes available to participating anglers at the end of Mack Days which is November 15th. Five more weeks of lake trout fishing we are only half way done so there is plenty of time to come out and get involved. Get some lake trout entries in for the lottery drawings. Friday through Sunday entries go in for the drawing that begins at $1,000. Thirty-two numbers will be chosen randomly-anyone can win. Merchandise prizes are now cash prizes that begin at $500. There will be thirty-five cash prizes drawn. Friday through Sunday also counts for the Top Twenty Angler prizes, Ladies winners, Youth winners, 70 and Over, Largest and Smallest lake trout, Siberian Cooler, and other prizes, Monday through Thursday counts go for ten $50 drawings and two $100 drawings plus a Siberian cooler ticket drawing. Bonus dollars go up as your total goes up once you reach eleven entries.
Saturday was the second day of the Bucket Competition. Anglers put their four largest lake trout in a bucket and a weight is taken. Winning on Saturday-$200 was Richard and Laurie Kreis with a 25.65 lb bucket of lake trout. Paul Soukup of Polson was second with 21.55, Rick Skates of Big Arm was third with 20.6, Kenny Garrett of Missoula came in fourth with 19.7, and Monte McPherson of Silverdale, WA was fifth with 14.55. Third and final day of buckets is Sunday November 8th.
Five weekend winners of $100 were randomly picked from a file where every number is entered. A computer application for random numbers is used to generate the winning numbers. Tickets are not given out because of the COVID precautions. Fifth weekend numbers went from 6674 to 7413. Anglers can check their number entries on the website at www.mackdays.com. Winners were: Jack Kirkland, Kenny Garrett, and Scott Bombard X 2 Missoula anglers and Ken Rickert of Thompson Falls.
Mike Benson of Lonepine leads the anglers with 583 entries, 2nd Sam Cusker of Bigfork-437, 3rd-Scott Bombard of Missoula-420, 4th Larry Ashwell-Missoula 405, 5th John Gauci-Florence 384, 6th Kolton Turner-Kalispell 359, 7th Terry Krogstad-Kalispell 357, 8th Steve Benson-Spokane Valley, Wa 323, 9th Bob Turner-Kalispell 279, and 10th Julie Perkins-Kalispell 278. Top anglers are placed by their best 18 day out of the possible 30 for Friday to Sunday fishing. Once they reach eighteen the lowest day will be dropped and a new higher day used for the average. If anglers place in the top ten they do not qualify to win the 70 and Over, Ladies, or Youth Categories. Julie Perkins is 1st in the ladies division with 278, 2nd Laurie Kreis of Huson-195, 3rd Kim McMillie-Polson 52, 4th Gina Schiff-Whitefish 50, and Debby Sacchi of Thompson Falls is 5th with 39. Youth categories remain the same as the previous week.
“LITTLE FIN” THE $10,000 TAGGED LAKE TROUT IS STILL OUT THERE! Just because he is called Little Fin doesn’t mean he is little. He could be a larger lake trout with the little adipose fin on the back by the tail removed. The size information of the fish is confidential. He could be anywhere in Flathead Lake. There are also 3-$5,000, 5-$1,000 and over 9,000 lake trout with values from $500-$100. Ken Rickert of Thompson Falls turned in a $500 tagged lake trout during week five. Julie Perkins, Paul Soukup, and Al Riginato of Corvallis each turned in $200 tagged lake trout. Monte McPherson and Kenny Garrett turned in $100 tags.
Mack Day events are used as a tool to reduce non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake and increase the native bull trout and westslope cutthroat which used to be the dominate fish of the lake. Increasing the populations of the native fish is important to the history of the lake, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and the State of Montana.
We appreciate how careful everyone is being with COVID restrictions. We remind everyone to please practice social distancing when turning in fish. Stand back and take your turn. Wear a mask and keep 6’ distance between you and the other anglers. We also remind you to always be weather observant on Flathead Lake. Check weather stations before going out. Be prepared and have a plan, and keep cell phones in a dry area or bag.
For more information about Mack Days go to www.mackdays.com or call (406) 270-3386. Good luck fishing and tight lines everyone!