These Beautiful fall days are flying by fast, if you love fishing, Flathead Lake is the place to be! The 2022 Fall Mack Days Fishing Event on Flathead Lake just passed the five-week mark. Beautiful fall weather has prevailed for most of the days. Skies have been blue, the sun has been shining, there have been a few breezy days, but it has not unbearable.
There are four weeks left in the nine-week long fishing event. It is not too late to come out and get involved in the 2022 Fall Mack Days event. The Mack Days Fishing Events on Flathead Lake are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes with Up to $200,000 in Cash and Prizes. These events are used as a management tool to reduce non-native lake trout in the lake. The Mack Day Events began in the fall of 2002. There are two events per year spring and fall.
The Spring Events bring in more anglers and normally bring in more lake trout, however, many of them are smaller lake trout. The Fall Events bring in less anglers and less lake trout, however, the fish are usually larger. The total of lake trout entered is at 10,374. Friday’s total 476, Saturday’s total was 531, and Sunday’s total was 442 for a weekend total of 1,449. Monday to Thursday total was 1,845 and Friday to Sunday’s total was 8,529. The 2021 Fall total at this time last year was 9,685 with 2,352 Monday to Thursday and 7,333 Friday to Sunday.
“Bella” is still in the lake! The $10,000 lake trout has not been brought in yet. There are also 3-$5,000, and 5-$1,000 plus over 9,000 with values from $100-$500. Bretz RV and Marine has also added a $1,000 tagged lake trout.
Anglers accumulate bonus dollar amounts to help offset the costs of helping us out with this event as their totals go up once they enter their eleventh lake trout, 11-30 fish $45, 31-50 $88,…..301-325 $813 and on up. Most of the anglers are in the water at the break of dawn and don’t come in till dusk is setting over the lake. Many, many hours of lake trout fishing for several of the anglers. You can also be a winner by fishing a few hours, just one day, or a few days. Every lake trout counts for an entry in the lottery drawing that begins at $2,000 and goes down to $100.
The lake trout are in their spawning mode right now. Anglers are jigging, trolling, and casting. Some may do two different methods or maybe all three trying to find what is working for them on that day. Many anglers use the bright florescent glow colored jigs or lures. Size depends on the method they are using to catch the fish and the depth they are fishing. The anglers use different flavors and colors of scents on their cut bait no whole fish is allowed for bait. Most do use cut bait on their lures. You cannot use whitefish or lake trout parts for cut bait. Peamouth, northern pike minnow, etc. are used for cut bait. Putting scent on the bait attracts the fish and hides the human/oil/gas scents that may be on the bait from the angler’s hands. No soap or bleach smell in containers of bait.
Weekend drawing winners: $200-Carl Murphy of Missoula and $100 winners-Kim Mack-Helena, Felix Gauci-Stevensville, Terry Krogstad-Kalispell, Joe Minnehan-Kalispell. Mike Cosby of Thompson Falls was the only angler to turn in a $100 tagged lake trout.
Leading the anglers in the Top Ten is Larry Ashwell of Missoula with 678 lake trout entries in the first fifteen days of the weekend fishing. Second place angler is Felix Gauci of Stevensville with 630, 3rd place Mike Benson of Lonepine with 629, 4th place is Larry Karper of Florence with 471, 5th place is Scott Bombard of Missoula with 457, 6th place is Terry Krogstad of Kalispell with 450, 7th place is Jerry Benson of Plains with 418, 8th place is Julie Perkins of Kalispell with 387, 9th place is Sam Cusker of Bigfork with 355, and 10th place is Jack Kirkland of Lolo with 321. Top Ten anglers are placed by their best 18 day average and many of them will be at 18 days at the end of the sixth weekend.
Leading the Ladies Category is Julie Perkins with 387, 2nd is Laurie Kreis of Huson with 233, 3rd is Kim Mack, 4th Janet Myers Riverton WY, 5th Debby Sacchi of Thompson Falls with 34 lake trout entries.
The Golden Oldies group is lead by Larry Ashwell’s 678, 2nd Felix Gauci with 630, 3rd Mike Benson with 629, 4th Larry Karper with 471, and 5th Jack Kirkland with 321.
Shelbie Petersen of Columbia Falls and Marcus Lucas of Polson are tied in the 13-17 group. William Grob of Bonner has 20 in the 12 & Under group, 2nd Baylie Petersen of Columbia Falls-2, and Terrace Dieterich of Kalispell has 1.
November 13th is the last day of the event. Now is a good time to get involved and come out and fish for lake trout in Flathead Lake. Shore fishing should start picking up with the lake trout coming into the shallower areas.
We remind everyone to think safety first, have the proper Personnel Flotation Devices-life vests, etc. and keep an eye on the weather. Changes in the weather are reported to be on the way. For More information, visit www.mackdays.com or call Cindy Benson @ (406) 270-3386.
Tight lines everyone!
(photo via mackdays.com)