Big, whopping, unrelenting wind hit Flathead Lake over the eighth week of 2022 Fall Mack Days. These seasoned anglers were resilient and knew where to be on Friday to be able to stay out on the water. Getting in a bay, cove, or behind an island are places they seek out. Sometimes that isn’t even enough and it is time to head in to shore. It becomes impossible to stay over the fish if you are fishing in open water the winds push you everywhere.
A total of 314 lake trout were entered on Friday. Saturday was the worst day for wind and enormous rolling waves. A total of 7 lake trout turned in. Five from a boat-Larry Ashwell drove over to Big Arm and launched from there and caught five. When you can’t get out in a boat you fish from the dock. Wind was howling and it was cold but they just don’t quit. Larry came back when it turned rough at Big Arm and saw angler Terry Krogstad fishing from the dock at Blue Bay. Terry had caught one so Larry thought he would try. First cast he had one. Terry just shook his head-he had been at it for a while and this newbie comes along and lands one first cast. Sunday the winds were calmer in the morning ramping up in the afternoon, a total of 257 lake trout entries were turned in. Weekend total was at 578 and event total so far with one weekend left the total entries are at 13,381.
Fishing from a smaller boat is very difficult and can be unsafe in the rough water. Anglers have to use their knowledge and experience to make the decision if they should be out there. They use common sense and think safety first. They make the events successful and are very much appreciated.
The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes sponsor the Mack Days Fishing Events. They are used as a management tool to reduce the non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. There is Up to $200,000 in Cash and Prizes that will be awarded at the conclusion of the 2022 Fall Event. Check out the categories and stats on the website www.mackdays.com.
Leading at the end of the eighth weekend is Mike Benson of Lonepine with 1,087 entries, a 53.94 eighteen-day average. Friday, he turned in 77, 0 Saturday, and 52 Sunday. Second place Larry Ashwell-Missoula, with 910 entries and a 44.89 average (weekend totals:13,6,32), 3rd Felix Gauci of Stevensville with 767 entries & no 18 day average (56,0,0), 4th Jerry Benson of Plains with 600 entries and 33.06 avg. (0,0,0), 5th Terry Krogstad of Kalispell with 642 entries and 30.89 avg. (22,1,8), 6th Scott Bombard of Missoula with 528 entries and a 29.33 avg. (0,0,0), 7th Larry Karper of Florence with 510 entries and a 28.33 avg. (0,0,0), 8th Julie Perkins of Kalispell with 491 entries and a 26.22 avg. (38,0,8), 9th Richard Kreis of Huson with 463 entries and a 23.28 avg. (23,0,25), and 10th David McDaniel of Polson with 379 entries and a 20.78 avg. (0,0,18).
Julie Perkins of Kalispell continues her 1st place lead in the Ladies with 491 entries, 2nd Laurie Kreis of Huson with 322 entries, 3rd Kim Mack of Helena with 129 entries, 4th Janet Myers of Riverton WY with 93 entries, and 5th Debby Sacchi of Thompson Falls with 35 entries.
The 13-17 leaders are Marcus Lucus of Polson and Shelbie Petersen of Columbia Falls each with 3 entries. William Grob of Missoula still leads the 12 & Under with 20 entries, Kysen Incashola of St. Ignatius has 7, Baylie Petersen of Columbia Falls has 2, and Terrace Deterich of Kalispell has 1.
Mike Benson is first in the 70 & Over with his 1,087 entries, 2nd Larry Ashwell with 910, 3rd Felix Gauci 767, 4th Larry Karper 510, and 5th Jack Kirkland of Lolo with 355.
Bella the star $10,000 lake trout is still swimming the lake. There are also the 3-$5,000, 6-$1,000 and over 9,000 $100-$500 tagged lake trout in the lake. Bretz RV and Marine sponsor one of the $1,000 tagged lake trout along with the largest lake trout award of $500. Turning in $100 tagged lake trout were: Bill Lanch of Missoula, Mike Benson, Richard Kreis, and Larry Ashwell.
Winning the weekend drawing: $200-Mike Benson, $100 Felix Gauci, Jens Gran of Polson, Tony Incashola of St. Ignatius, and David McDaniel.
The last day of Heaviest Bucket was won by John Malatare of Arlee with a 23.75 pound bucket, Mike Benson came in second with 21.5 pounds, 3rd Jens Gran with 20.65 pounds, 4th Richard & Laurie Kreis boat with 18.55 pounds, and 5th Marty & John Noyd boat with 16.95 pounds. Overall winners over the three bucket days are: Jens Gran with 79.6 total pounds and 24 points, 2nd Rick Skates of Polson with 76.75 pounds and 18 points, 3rd Richard and Laurie Kreis with 59.5 pounds and 12 points.
There is one weekend left in the event. Weather report says it will be cooler but hopefully calmer wind. Come out and get some entries in. All it takes is one entry to qualify in the lottery drawing that begins at $100 and goes up to $2,000.
There is no entry fee and entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. For More information, visit www.mackdays.com or call Cindy Benson @ (406) 270-3386.
Tight lines everyone!