Blustery fall weather is here! Many hardy anglers are still hitting the water on Flathead Lake bringing in good numbers of lake trout entries in 2021 Fall Mack Days. The fishing event is sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. There is Up to $200,000 in Cash and Prizes that will be awarded at the conclusion of the event.
Three $5,000 tagged lake trout, five $1,000 tagged lake trout plus over 9,000 with values from $500 to $100 and there is another $1,000 tagged lake trout sponsored by Bretz RV and Marine of Missoula for credit at their dealership that are out there. Reeling in tagged lake trout the sixth week were: $100-John Gauci of Florence X 2, Mike Benson of Lonepine X 3, Larry Ashwell of Missoula and Julie Perkins of Kalispell. Julie also turned in a $200 tagged lake trout.
Anglers are using all methods of fishing at this time. Trolling, jigging, and casting work for some but not for others. Try them all until you find what works for you. Once an angler enters 11 lake trout they begin to accumulate bonus dollars. Go to www.mackdays.com to check out the chart. There are drop down boxes for rules, entry, fish ID, etc. Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. The events are used as a tool to reduce the non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake to increase the populations of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout. Preserving the native fish is important to future generations. They are part of our history and culture.
Felix Gauci of Stevensville is first in the Top Angler Category with 826, 2nd Mike Benson with 656, 3rd Larry Karper of Florence 608, 4th Scott Bombard of Missoula-478, 5th Jack Kirkland of Missoula-455, 6th Terry Krogstad of Kalispell-431, 7th Julie Perkins of Kalispell-429, 8th Sam Cusker of Bigfork-399, 9th Richard Kreis of Huson-396, and 10th Larry Ashwell of Missoula-387. Next week many of the anglers will begin their 18-day averages. Anglers will be placed by their best 18-day average at the conclusion of the event.
The Lady Anglers are awesome! Julie Perkins is 1st with 429, 2nd Laurie Kreis of Huson-298, 3rd Kim Mack of Helena-95, 4th Gina Schiff of Whitefish with 59, and 5th Debby Sacchi of Thompson Falls with 48.
Larry Karper is 1st in the fabulous 70 and Over Category with 608, 2nd Jack Kirkland of Missoula-455, 3rd Larry Ashwell of Missoula-387, 4th John Gauci with 373, and 5th Paul Grove of Wyoming IL with 101.
Blake Williams of Big Arm is first in the 13-17 Category with 9, Ashlin Peters of Polson has 2, and Kaden Blowers of Missoula has 1. 12 & Under leader is Brynn Blowers of Missoula with 3 and second is Wyatt Best of Bigfork with 1.
Weekend winners were-and this drawing was witnessed by staff-$200 Larry Karper, $100 Mike Benson X 3, and $100 Bill Lanch of Missoula. Other winners: Mack Days Sweatshirt winner-Felix Gauci, Siberian Hat Winner-Mike Benson, and Siberian Cup-Bill Lanch.
Total fish count is at 10,607 with Monday to Thursday total-1,772 and Friday to Sunday count at 8,835. The weekend was slower with Friday-414, Saturday-344, and Sunday-344.
John Gauci turned in a small lake trout at 157mm (6.5”) taking the lead over Larry Ashwells 158mm small lake trout. Both will qualify for small lake trout prizes of $250 if their lake trout remain the smallest.
The largest lake trout is still Big Arm angler Rick Skates fish at 23.6 pounds and 40.5 inches. Largest lake trout prize is $500 sponsored by Bretz RV and Marine of Missoula.
Fall Mack Days continues until November 14th. Three more weeks remain. Come out and get some entries in for the drawings that begin at $2,000 and go to $50.
Tight lines everyone!