There are only two weeks left in the 2022 Fall Mack Days, and 12,654 lake trout have been turned in for this year’s event. Blustery fall weather came in and the breezy winds were off and on most of the weekend. Some areas on the lake were hit by stronger winds depending on where you were. Going out early when the lake is calmer is much easier than coming in later in the day after the wind has ramped up. Sunday was rough waters especially getting back in, Anglers were pretty sore after a weekend of their boat being tossing around in the waves for hours on end. Some of the anglers are in smaller type boats and they really feel the effects of the wind.
Friday there were 497 lake trout entered, Saturday’s total came to 376, and Sundays total came to 256. These resilient anglers continue to add to their totals as the days go by. These tough anglers make the events successful and are helping to try and restore native fish populations in Flathead Lake.
There is Up to $200,000 in Cash and Prizes sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes that will be awarded at the conclusion of the event. The last day to enter will be November 13th. Lake trout anglers compete in several different categories. There is a large fish category, smallest fish, most fish, ladies, youth, etc. Lottery drawings begin at $2,000 and go down. As angler’s totals go up they begin to accumulate bonus dollars. As the total goes up the bonus amount goes up. Check out the categories and the bonus chart on the website at www.mackdays.com.
“Bella” the $10,000 lake trout is still swimming in the lake waiting for just the right lure. It could be anyone’s. There are also 3-$5,000, 6-$1,000 including one from Bretz RV and Marine of Missoula and over 9,000 with values from $100-$500. Catching $100 tagged lake trout the seventh week were: Scott Bombard-Missoula/Felix Gauci-Stevensville-two fishing buddies putting fish in the same cooler and not knowing they had a tagged lake trout in the cooler, so they are splitting it! Shawn Madsen-Whitefish, Tony Incashola, Jr.-St. Ignatius, Larry Ashwell-Missoula, and Mike Benson-Lonepine also had $100 tagged lake trout.
Mike Benson of Lonepine took over the lead in the event with a total of 958 lake trout entries and an 18-day average of 49.94 (Friday 80, Saturday-72, Sunday-72). Larry Ashwell of Missoula is 2nd with 859 entries and a 44.44 avg. (Friday-29, Saturday-22, Sunday-33), 3rd Felix Gauci of Stevensville with 711 entries and no average. (Friday-59, Saturday-23, Sunday-0), 4th Terry Krogstad of Kalispell with 611 entries and a 30.89 avg. (Friday-22, Saturday-29, Sunday-25), 5th Jerry Benson of Plains with 576 entries and a 32.0 avg. (Friday-34, Saturday-42, Sunday-8), 6th Scott Bombard of Missoula with 528 entries and a 29.33 avg. (Friday-21, Saturday-18,Sunday-8), 7th Larry Karper of Florence with 510 entries and a 28.33 avg. (Friday-12, Saturday-8,Sunday-0), 8th Julie Perkins of Kalispell with 445 entries and a 24.72 avg. (Friday-22, Saturday-25, Sunday-0), 9th Richard Kreis of Huson has 415 entries and a 22.06 avg. (Friday-17, Saturday-11, Sunday-23), 10th David McDaniel of Polson with 361 entries and no average (Friday-28, Saturday-30, Sunday-15).
Julie Perkins of Kalispell is first in the Ladies with 445 lake trout entries, 2nd Laurie Kreis of Huson with 278 entries, 3rd Kim Mack of Helena with 129 entries, 4th Janet Myer of Riverton Wyoming with 93 entries, and 5th Debby Sacchi of Thompson Falls with 35 entries.
William Grob of Missoula is first in the 12 & Under with 20 lake trout entries, 2nd Kysen Incashola of St. Ignatius with 7 entries, Baylie Petersen of Columbia Falls with 2 entries is 3rd, and Terrace Detrich of Kalispell has 1 for 4th place. Marcus Lucas of Polson is tied for first in the 13-17 age category with Shelbie Petersen each with 3 lake trout entries.
Weekend winners were: $200-Jack Kirkland of Lolo, $100-Mike Benson, John Gauci of Florence, and Jerry Benson of Plains X 2.
The Golden Oldies will change at the end of the event since anglers have to choose to stay in the Top Ten or win one of the special categories such as 70 & Over, Ladies, or Youth. Leading is Mike Benson with 958 entries, 2nd Larry Ashwell with 859 entries, 3rd Felix Gauci with 711 entries, 4th Larry Karper with 510 entries, and 5th Jack Kirkland of Missoula with 355.
The last day of the three Bucket Days will be Sunday November 6th.
There is still time to become involved in the event. Get some entries in for the drawings and maybe find a tagged lake trout. Call (406) 270-3386 or go to the website for entry, fish pickup sites, rules, etc.
Just a reminder, that there is no fish fry or awards ceremony the last day of the event.
There is no entry fee and entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. Come out and enjoy some lake trout fishing on Flathead Lake
For More information, visit www.mackdays.com or call Cindy Benson @ (406) 270-3386.
Tight lines everyone!
Photo: Kysen Incashola from St. Ignatius, currently 2nd in the 12 & Under Category with 7 lake trout entries.