The second week of the 2022 Fall Mack Days Fishing Event sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks ended with a total of 4,162 lake trout entries. There is up to $200,000 in Cash and Prizes, which will be awarded at the conclusion of the event on November 13th. Friday’s total fish entries came to 615, Saturday’s entries were 662, and Sunday entries were 531. The previous Monday through Thursday total was 582 lake trout. There are several ways to win, check out the rules on the website-www.mackdays.com. Fish one day or everyday-enter one fish or hundreds. The more fish you enter the more chances you have in the lottery drawings.
Flathead Lake is beautiful all year long but especially in the fall when the leaves are changing, winds are calm, and the sky is blue. It was a good fishing weekend for most. Lake trout spawn in the fall and it is getting to be that time of year and they are close to spawning. That means that they can be found in shallower waters as well as out in the deeper areas. Water temps are still higher than normal the anglers say but should be cooling down as the nights get chilly.
Anglers are trolling, jigging, and casting so come out and catch some lake trout, if what you used to use isn’t working try something new, ask at tackle shops to find out what is being used out there. Fishing tip of the week-change out your bait often.
All it takes is one fish to be entered in the drawings plus you may become the winner of a $10,000 tagged lake trout! Bella is the name chosen by random drawing for the $10,000 lake trout. Gunner Whitaker of Hungry Horse submitted her name. Gunner who is a previous Mack Days angler in the 12 & Under category.
Anglers need to enter at least one lake trout in the event before it is over to win the $100 prize. There are also three $5,000 tagged fish, five $1,000 tagged fish, plus an additional $1,000 tagged fish sponsored by Bretz RV and Marine in Missoula Mt. The higher dollar tagged lake trout are pit tagged close to the start of the event. There are also over 9,000 tagged fish with values from $100-$500.
Lonepine angler Mike Benson turned in a $500 tagged lake trout along with having a 100 fish day on Friday. Also turning $100 tagged fish were Shawn Madsen of Whitefish, Sam Cusker of Bigfork, and Susan Reynolds of Stevensville. Peter Dayton of Missoula who fishes from a kayak brought in a large $100 tagged lake trout. It has to be difficult to successfully land a large lake trout like that, he said that he had to follow the fish for some time. Peter has a system and it works for him, he plans on making caviar from the eggs from his catch.
Larry Ashwell of Missoula is leading the anglers with 367 fish entries, 2nd place is Mike Benson of Lonepine, with 299 entries, 3rd and 4th is a tie between Felix Gauci of Stevensville and Sam Cusker of Bigfork both with 242 fish entries, 5th place is Terry Krogstad of Kalispell with 212 entries, 6th and 7th is another tie between Larry Karper of Florence and Scott Bombard of Missoula, both anglers with 205 fish entries, 8th place is John Gauci of Florence with 164 fish entries, 9th place is Julie Perkins of Kalispell with 163 fish entries, and 10th place is Richard Kreis of Huson with 140 fish entries.
Julie Perkins of Kalispell is 1st in the Ladies with 163 fish entries, 2nd place is Laurie Kreis of Huson with 109 fish entries, 3rd place is Kim Mack of Helena with 57 fish entries, 4th place is Debby Sacchi of Thompson Falls with 18 fish entries, Janet Myers from Riverton Wyoming is in 5th with 7 lake trout entries.
The Youth anglers 12 & under leader is Will Grob of Missoula with 8 fish entries. The 13-17 leader is Marcus Lucas of Polson with 3 fish entries.
Leonard Lewis of Missoula is our oldest Golden Oldie Angler who is 93 years young and was out on the water out-fishing his two sons over the weekend. Leonard turned in 4 lake trout entries, everyone agrees he is a true gentleman angler and he really enjoys fishing! Larry Ashwell is 1st in this category with 367, 2nd Mike Benson-299, 3rd Felix Gauci-242, 4th Larry Karper-205, 5th John Gauci-164. If anglers are in the Top Ten they do not win both categories. They have to choose which category to win. So there may be different winners at the conclusion of the event.
Weekend winners were: Larry Ashwell-$200, Larry Karper-$100, Richard Kreis-$100, Jimmy Jones of Kalispell-$100, and Monte McPherson of Silverdale WA-$100. Smallest lake trout entries at this time are Larry Ashwell with at 164mm (6.5”) lake trout and Mark McMillin of Missoula with a 155mm (6.25”) lake trout.
Carey Hauser of Lakeside still has the largest lake trout entry with a 21 pound 36.5 inch lake trout.
Friday September 30th is the first of the three Bucket of Lake Trout Days. Anglers put their four largest-30 inches or under-lake trout in a bucket and a weight is taken. Heaviest bucket is the winner of a $200 cash prize. Bucket Days are 9/30, 10/15-Saturday, and 11/6-Sunday. Bonus dollars add up as your total goes up. The higher your total the higher the bonus amount. Go to the website www.mackdays.com to see the bonus chart on the rules page.
We remind anglers to know their fish ID. Bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout are protected in Flathead Lake. If there are no black spots on the dorsal fin of a fish it could be a bull trout. If there is any question of the ID of the fish put it back. Check out the fish tips on the Mack Days website or the Montana FWP website.
Entries will be taken until the last day of the event. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have a special Flathead Lake fishing license for the south half of Flathead Lake available for anyone in state or out of state.
For more information please go to the website at www.mackdays.com or call us at (406) 675-2700 ex 7294 or (406) 270-3386. The website has rules, fishing tips with videos, along with fish ID, map, weather information, and safety information. We look forward to a successful fishing contest with many happy anglers!
Tight lines everyone!
(photo via mackdays.com)