Rain, rain, rain-lots of rain fell from the dark cloudy skies Friday and Saturday during the sixth weekend of 2022 Fall Mack Days-. Some rain fell straight from the sky and some was hitting anglers horizontally with the lake winds making for some cold, wet, rough fishing. Sunday the rain disappeared and cooler temps set in. The Fall Fishing Event lasts until November 13th. Anglers may enter at any time until the last day of the event. There is Up to $200,000 in Cash and Prizes available in the lottery drawings that begin at $2,000, tagged fish, bonuses, and other categories. Mack Days are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. The events are used as a management tool in the effort to help native bull trout and westslope cutthroat in Flathead Lake. A total of 11,253 lake trout entries have been turned in. Friday-144, Saturday-215, and Sunday 273. The Friday to Sunday total is at 9,161 and Monday to Thursday 2,092. The 2021 Fall Event total at this time was 10,607-8,835 Friday to Sunday and 1,772 Monday to Thursday.
The $10,000 lady lake trout “Bella” is still out in the lake along with 3-$5,000 and 6-$1,000 tagged lake trout. There are also over 9,000 with values from $100 to $500. Bretz RV and Marine of Missoula is sponsoring one of the $1,000 tags along with the $500 prize for largest lake trout over 36” and 20 pounds. The leader in that category is Carey Hauser of Kalispell with a 36.5” lake trout that weighed in at 21 pounds. The two smallest lake trout leaders are Mark McMillin with a 155mm (6.2”) fish and Larry Ashwell with a 157mm small laker.
Richard Kreis of Huson turned in two tagged lake trout-$100 and $200 winners. Larry Ashwell of Missoula turned in a $100 tag, and Joshua Wisniewski of Missoula had a $100 winner.
Larry Ashwell of Missoula continues his lead in the Top Ten Angler category with a total of 778 lake trout entries. Fishing in the cold rain and winds along with all of the other steadfast anglers out on the water he turned in 33-Friday, 43-Saturday, and 24 Sunday. Second place is Mike Benson of Lonepine with 33 Friday, 30 Saturday, and 42 on Sunday. Felix Gauci of Stevensville had no entries but still is in third with 630, 4th place Terry Krogstad of Kalispell 535 total-24,26, and 35, 5th Jerry Benson of Plains 495 total-18,31, and 28, 6th Larry Karper of Florence 492-21 on Sunday, 7th Scott Bombard of Missoula 481 with 24 on Sunday, 8th Julie Perkins of Kalispell 398 adding 11 on Saturday, 9th Richard Kreis of Huson with 364-25,25, and 25, 10th Sam Cusker-Bigfork-no entries but 355 for his total. Top Ten anglers will be placed by their best 18-day average. Sunday was the eighteenth day for some.
Lady angler Julie Perkins leads the ladies with 398, 2nd Laurie Kreis of Huson with 233, 3rd Kim Mack of Helena-129, Janet Myers of Riverton WY is 4th with 91, and in 5th Debbi Sacci of Thompson Falls with 34.
70 & Over leader is Larry Ashwell-778, 2nd Mike Benson-734, 3rd Felix Gauci-630, 4th Larry Karper-492, and 5th Jack Kirkland of Missoula with 321. Anglers in the Top Ten can choose to win in a specific category like the 70 & Over or stay in the Top Ten so there may be changes in the winners at the end of the event.
Weekend drawing winners of $200-Mike Benson-$100 winners were Jerry Benson, Richard Kreis, Scott Bombard, and Julie Perkins.
Lottery drawings beginning at $2,000 will be at the conclusion of the event. Every angler qualifies with each lake trout entry. The more lake trout entries the better your chances at winning.
Three weekends are left in the event. Time to come out and get your fishing lines in the water. Help to restore native bulltrout and westslope cutthroat populations in Flathead Lake. Go to www.mackdays.com for all of the information and entry form or telephone 406-270-3386.
Bonus dollars start with your eleventh lake trout entry and go up as your total goes up. The chart for the bonus amounts is on the website’s rules page.
Be safe out on the water-take proper safety precautions-use your PFD’s (vest, jackets, etc.) don’t be without them-be aware of the weather at all times.
Tight lines everyone!