One hundred twenty-one lake trout anglers out of three hundred twenty-nine registered have turned in a total of 12,889 lake trout entries in 2023 Fall Mack Days. Fridays catch was 555, Saturday there were 463 turned in, and on Sunday 364 were turned in, it was one of the rock and roll fishing days with many anglers coming in early. Total for the weekend was 1,382. Monday to Thursday fishing total is at 2,957. There are three weeks left in the event. All you need is one fish to be entered in the lottery drawings that begin at $2,000.
This annual event is sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes there is Up To $200,000 in Cash and Prizes that will be awarded to these lake trout anglers on November 12th the last day of the event. Come out and help in this management effort to reduce the non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake and increase the native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout. Entries will continue to be taken until the last day of the event, there is no entry fee!
The $10,000 tagged lake trout is still in Flathead Lake and hasn’t been enticed to the end of anyone’s line yet! There are also 3-$5,000, 6-$1,000 tagged fish, including one $1,000 tagged fish sponsored by Bretz RV and Marine. As well as over 9,000 additional tagged fish, with values from $100-$500. During past events, three of the $10,000 tagged lake trout in different events caught, it is time for another, and It could be you! Terry Krogstad of Kalispell landed his in the 2021 Fall Event, Matt Guckenberg of Kalispell in spring of 2020, and Felix Gauci of Stevensville in the 2014 Fall Event.
Turning in $100 tagged lake trout the 6th week were: Cole Williams of Kalispell, Larry Karper of Florence, and Mike Benson of Lonepine.
David Myers of Riverton WY regained the 1st place position in the Top Twenty Angler Category on Sunday with his total of 962 lake trout entries. His entries on Friday were 38, Saturday 32, and Sunday 53, including the Monday to Thursday fishing days he has fished all 39 days of the event in 2023 Fall Mack Days with a total fish count of all days at 1,784. Monday to Thursday fishing is not included in the placing of the Top Twenty anglers but the total fish count is used for the bonus amounts at the conclusion of the event. Some anglers choose not to fish during the week and some fish a few days. Felix Gauci of Stevensville is in 2nd with 953-22, 60, & 21-Mon to Sun total 1,142, 3rd place Michael Benson of Lonepine 796-53, 48, & 36-1,082, 4th Bob Stewart of Kalispell 722-31, 24, & 48-1,213, 5th Jerry Benson of Plains with 563- 17, 12, & 25-794, 6th Larry Ashwell of Missoula with 539, 7th Jack Kirkland of Lolo with 488, 8th Larry Karper of Florence with 440, 9th Richard Kreis of Huson 383, 10th Scott Bombard of Missoula with 349, 11th Terry Krogstad of Kalispell-326, 12th Laurie Kreis of Huson 250, 13th Steve Mack of Helena 221, 14th Claude Kaber of Whitefish 205, 15th Sam Sacchi of Thompson Falls 193, 16th Jim Flinchbaugh of Kalispell 177, 17th Debby Sacchi of Thompson Falls 133, 18th Mike Cosby of Thompson Falls 132, 19th Paul Grove of Wyoming, IL 116, and 20th is a tie with Julie Perkins and Bryan Long both of Kalispell with 111. Check out the stats and other information online at www.mackdays.com .
Laurie Kreis of Huson is 1st in the Ladies Category with 221, 2nd Debby Sacchi of Thompson Falls with 133, 3rd Julie Perkins-Kalispell 111, 4th Kim Mack-Helena 67, and 5th Pamela Simonich of Missoula 14.
Paisley and Blaine Helvey of Thompson Falls each have 18 in the 12 & Under Category. Zander Oliver of Missoula is at 5, and Bear Yarrow, Holden Griffin, Ace Whimper of Clinton, Wesley Balavage-Fishtail, Mason Cusker-Bigfork, and Dawson Peterson-Columbia Falls all have 1.
Lucia Savoia of Missoula has a total of 11 in the 13-17 Category.
Felix Gauci leads the 70 and Over with 953, 2nd Michael Benson-796, 3rd Larry Ashwell-539, 4th Jack Kirkland-488, 5th Larry Karper with 440.
Larry Karper turned in a small 149mm (6”) lake trout that is a contender in the Smallest Lake Trout Category. Paul Grove’s 141mm laker is the other contender.
There has been no large lake trout entry. Largest Lake Trout has to be 36” or over and at least 20 pounds. Anglers have had some large lakers on but they are tough to land. Seeing one come up from the depths is exciting and disappointing when it jerks off the line as you bring it in to the boat.
Trolling and casting seem to be the most popular method of fishing at this time. Some anglers are jigging and getting good numbers of the smaller lake trout.
Unexpectedly hooking onto a lure or line in the water is a surprise or a hassle sometimes but you may gain a lure for the tackle box if they are still in good shape. Jim Schreiber of Bigfork brought one up that he recognized as a lure he might have lost months ago. Sure enough he had painted on it with his wife’s nail polish and the polish was still on it. The lure went back into the tackle box along with a couple others he found. Ladies, if you have been missing polish you may want to check out the tackle box.
Weather is expected to turn colder soon. We remind everyone to keep informed of changing weather conditions, have the proper safety equipment on board, wear your PFD’s, keep cell phones dry and charged.
Remember you can enter at any time during the event. Come out and try your luck-maybe one of the high dollar tagged fish will be on the end of your line at the end of the day. Go to www.mackdays.com for information, or contact Cindy Benson at (406) 270-3386, email entries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good luck and tight lines everyone!