On Friday, March 16th, the 2012 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event kicks off on Flathead Lake. Over a 34 day period of lake trout fishing, anglers have a chance to win cash and prizes up to $150,000. One tagged lake trout will be worth $10,000, five- $5,000, and ten at $1,000. The top tagged lake trout are tagged the week before the event begins.
There are also over 3,500 other tagged lake trout with values from $500-$100. Bonus amounts are also given to anglers who turn in 20 or more lake trout during the event. As their fish total goes up the bonus dollars increase. Mack Days are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks and are used as a management tool to slowly reduce the number of non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake.
Spring Mack Days are held on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for 10 weekends with a new change of 10 straight fishing days from May 11th-May 20th at the end of the event. Prizes will be awarded to the top ten anglers ($700-$200) based on their best 18 day average. The first place angler receives a Mack Days Top Angler Jacket and the other nine receive Mack Days Top 10 Angler Sweatshirts. Fifty lottery prizes ($30,000) will be given away and will begin at $1,000 and go to $200-all it takes is one ticket to win. Top ten anglers are placed by their best 18 day average in the spring event.
Anglers receive a ticket for each lake trout under 30” entered in the event up to the limit of 100 per day. The limit was reached in the 2011 Fall Event twice by top angler Wes Shockley of Plains. Second place angler Mike Benson of Lonepine caught 95 and third place angler Scott Bombard of Missoula caught 85. Steve Biere-Butte caught 95 lake trout in the 2011 Spring Event and fishing buddy Chuck Forgey turned in 84 the same day from the same boat.
The Fall Event top five avg. – Wes Shockley-63.4, Mike Benson-57.4, Scott Bombard-54, Max Martz-41.7-Hamilton, and Craig Morigeau-34.4-Polson.
The Spring Event top five avg. – Chuck Forgey-52.8-Arlee, Mike Benson-40.7, Scott Bombard-39.8, Wes Shockley-36.8, and Jerry Benson-33.8-Plains.
Other ways to win are Captains Prizes-captains get their name in a drawing each day for each angler on board who catches lake trout-four $250 prizes, Ladies Top Anglers-based on their total at the end of the event $300-$100, Weekend Prizes-$200 & $100 drawings from each weekends catch, Golden Angler-$200 & $100- drawing for anglers 70 & over, Smallest Fish-two $250 prizes, Largest Fish-$500-has to be over 36” and 24 lbs., Youth Prizes-$200-$50, and the Last Day Prizes-$500-$100, plus a last day Heaviest Fish-under 30”-$200 & $100. Several merchandise prizes are also given away in the lottery drawing.
Entries are taken until the last day of the event. Anglers may go to the website www.mackdays.com to enter or to local tackle shops for entry forms. They can also enter at the pick up sites-Polson, Big Arm, Somers, Wayfarers, and Blue Bay. Times, rules, fish ID, etc can be found and are listed on the website or telephone 406-883-2888 ex. 7294.