The 2022 Fall Mack Days event, sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes is in the books; during this event, 13,901 lake trout were entered. Up to $200,000 in Cash and Prizes was available to win in several categories, drawings were held throughout the completion to encourage anglers, while they helped reduce numbers of non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake.
All Mack Days anglers are part of making an important difference for the native bull trout and westslope cutthroat populations in Flathead Lake. They make these annual events a success, and we would like to express our Thank you each and every one of these incredible anglers!
It was a rough last week for the lake trout anglers. Weather turned cold and snow fell in many areas. Fishing when the temperatures are below freezing makes for some long days. Ice forms on everything in the boat, making it a skating rink by the time they come in at the end of the day. Reels, fingers, and lines freeze. Icicles form on the fishing rods from water dripping off the lines. The cold, wet, breeze that comes off the water was unrelenting. It made for fewer anglers on the water and shorter hours for the ones that did fish. Fridays total came to 233 entries, Saturday 127 entries, and Sunday 98 entries, for a weekend total of 458 lake trout.
There was one $100 tagged lake trout turned in during the ninth week by Jack Kirkland of Missoula. All of the higher valued lake trout will be reassigned lower numbers before the next event and new lake trout will be tagged with valued of $1,000 and more.
Top Ten Anglers are placed by their best 18 day average. Also if an angler is in the Top Ten they give up any other top placings such as Ladies or Over 70.
Placing first for the ninth time in a Fall Event in the Top Ten Category is Mike Benson of Lonepine with a total of 1,150 lake trout entries and 18-day average of 54.72. Second place goes to Larry Ashwell of Missoula with 931 and 44.89 average. Larry fished the first Mack Days Event in 2002 and has been a top contender every since. Third place goes to Felix Gauci of Stevensville with 767 entries and a 42.61 avg., 4th place was Jerry Benson of Plains, with 645 entries and a 33.89 avg., 5th place was Terry Krogstad of Kalispell, with 665 entries and a 30.89 avg., 6th place was Scott Bombard of Missoula, with 528 entries and a 29.33 avg., 7th place was Larry Karper of Florence with 510 entries and a 28.33 avg., 8th place was Julie Perkins of Kalispell with 511 entries and a 26.22 avg., 9th place was Richard Kreis of Huson with 500 entries and a 23.28 avg, and 10th place was David McDaniel of Polson with 440 entries and a 23.28 avg.
Winning Top Lady is Laurie Kreis of Huson with 339 entries, 2nd Kim Mack of Helena with 129 entires, 3rd Janet Myer of Riverton WY with 93 entries, 4th Debby Sacchi of Thompson Falls with 35 entries, and 5th Connie Jones with 14 entries.
Ali Putzler of Kalispell won the 13-17 Age with 6 entries, 2nd Matt Kreis of Huson with 5 entries, 3rd Marcus Lucas of Polson with 3 entries and Shelbie Peterson of Columbia Falls with 3 entries. William Grob of Missoula won the 12 & Under with 20 entries, 2nd Kysen Incashola of St. Ignatius with 7 entries, 3rd Baylie Peterson of Columbia Falls with 2 entries, and 4th Terrace Dieterich of Kalispell turned in 1 entries.
Jack Kirkland of Missoula came in 1st place in the 70 & Over with 376 entries, 2nd place was John Gauci of Florence with 260 entries, 3rd place was Mike Cosby of Thompson Falls with 87 entries, 4th place was Marty Herak of Polson with 75 entries, and 5th place was Glenn Hoffman of Missoula with 62 entires.
Weekend winners were: $200 Bryan Long of Kalispell, $100 winners were; Bryan Long, Jack Kirkland, and David McDaniel of Polson X 2. Winning the largest lake trout category is Carey Hauser of Lakeside with a 21 pound 36.5 inch lake trout, Bretz RV and Marine sponsored the $500 prize for the largest lake trout.
Smallest lake trout award goes to Jim Flinchbaugh of Kalispell with a 145mm 5 ¾” lake trout and Mark McMillin of Missoula with a 155mm lake trout. Awards for smallest lake trout were $250 each. Prizes and awards will be posted on the website www.mackdays.com when completed.
2023 Spring Mack Days dates will begin March 17th and end May 15th.