Up to $200,000 in Cash and Prizes is available to anglers participating in the 2020 Fall Mack Days Fishing Event on Flathead Lake. Three hundred seventy five anglers are entered in the event. There are several ways to win-including tagged lake trout. One has a value of $10,000-Little Fin, 3-$5,000, and 5-$1,000 plus over 9,000 with values from $500-$100. Come out and join in the fishing fun.
There is still lots of time to get your lines in the water. Catching just one lake trout will get you entered for several drawings. The thirty two lottery drawings start at $1,000 and go to $400. Cash drawings are done instead of merchandise prizes since there is no fish fry and awards on the last day. Thirty two cash drawings will go to some lucky anglers. Five weekend drawings of $100 each are done Sunday evening after the last fish are in.
2020 Fall Mack Days are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and are used as a management tool to reduce numbers of non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. Anglers asked for and are given the chance to be part of the management plan by participating in the events.
It was a slow and rough week of fishing during the third week of 2020 Fall Mack Days. The skies cleared of smoke and the winds started blowing. Rough waters and wind were the enemy of the anglers all week. Thursday was one of the few days of zero fish ever in the events. Winds were blowing from the crack of dawn until late evening. Rain came and went off and on during the week. Monday there were 45 lake trout entered, Tuesday 36, Wednesday 99, and Thursday 0. Total for Monday thru Thursday was 180.
The three week total for the weekdays is 1,385. Friday was better fishing with rain mixing it up during the day-328 lake trout entered. Saturday the winds were blowing most of the day on the eastside of the lake. Some said it was the roughest day on the water for so few fish that landed in the boats in a long time. Anglers that were used to having full coolers were lucky to have enough to cover the bottom of the cooler. Trollers were able to get out of the winds around the islands and turned in some nice lake trout. Saturdays total was at a hard caught 163 lake trout. Sunday there were sunny skies and calmer winds-513 fish entered. Lady angler Laurie Kreis had some bad luck saw her fishing pole go overboard even with the calmer weather. She catches a lot of tagged fish so maybe next week she can make up for the lost pole. Jim Flinchbaugh lost a whole setup of line and lures. Fifteen minutes later he hooked up to something and reeled in his line that was lost. With the COVID issue there is a shortage of supplies in some areas. He was happy to get back the line and lures. Total fish caught during the event on Friday to Sunday is 5,276. That plus the Monday-Thursday total is at 6,661.
Leading the anglers in total through the 3rd week is Mike Benson of Lonepine with 490, 2nd Kolton Turner of Kalispell-344, 3rd-Scott Bombard of Missoula-294, 4th Sam Cusker-Bigfork with 282, 5th Larry Ashwell of Missoula with 277, Bob Turner of Kalispell has 273 for 6th, Terry Krogstad of Kalispell has 255 for 7th, 8th Steve Benson of Spokane Valley, WA with 233, 9th John Gauci of Florence with 202, and 10th Julie Perkins of Kalispell with 188.
Julie Perkins leads the Ladies with 188, 2nd is Laurie Kreis of Huson with 117, 3rd and 4th Kim McMillie of Polson and Gina Schiff of Whitefish with 40, and 5th Debby Sacchi of Thompson Falls with 28.
70 & Over leader is Larry Ashwell with 277, 2nd John Gauci with 202, 3rd Larry Karper of Florence with 146, 4th Jack Kirkland of Missoula-91, and 5th Marty Herak of Polson with 72.
Jeffrey Devlin of Polson is the leader in the 13-17 Category with 14, Makenna Garrett of Polson has 8, and Wyatt Thompson of Bigfork is at 2. Tripp Bick of Arlee leads the 12 & Under group with 10, Gage Spring of Alberton has 4, and Kaden Blowers of Missoula and Brodie Smith of Kalispell each have 1.
There were $100 tagged lake trout turned in by: Jeff Freeman of Polson, Bill Sorg of Kila, Mike Crosby of Thompson Falls, Roger Schiff of Whitefish, Larry Karper, Julie Perkins, and John Gauci.
Winning the five $100 weekend electronic random drawing were: Jim Flinchbaugh, Mike Benson, John Gauci, Julie Perkins, and Steve Mack from Helena.
Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. Go to www.mackdays.com and click on the events tab. There you can find the rules, fish identification, fishing tips, etc. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Cindy Benson at (406) 270-3386 or 883-2888, extension 7294.