2023 Fall Mack Days: Week 7 Results
By angelamontana

Posted: October 30, 2023

Week seven of the 2023 Fall Mack Days Fishing Event on Flathead Lake ended with a total of 14,255 lake trout entries. Two weeks remain in the nine-week long event sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. There is UP TO $200,000 in Cash and Prizes that will be awarded at the conclusion of the event on November 12th.  The Friday total was 282 lake trout entries, Saturday’s total was 430 entries, and Sunday’s total was 413 entries, for a weekend total of 1,125. The 2022 Event total at this time was 12,654, the 2021 total at this time was 11,615, the 2020 total at this time was 10,618, and 2019 total at this time of the event was 16,300 lake trout entries. 

The lake trout anglers endured cold conditions but, were not deterred in their determination to bring in lake trout entries this past week. Some including leading angler David Myers of Riverton Wyoming even enjoyed it!  He is still on track of his goal to turn in lake trout every day of the event. Sunday, October 29th was the forty-sixth day in a row for him to enter a fish in the 2023 Mack Days event, he fishes Monday to Sunday. 

Many of the anglers fish every day of the Friday to Sunday fishing event, but have day jobs or other responsibilities during the week. We appreciate every angler who comes out and fishes one day or every day. Each fish adds to our goal of slowing the lake trout population and increasing the native populations of bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout. Thank you to all anglers who make the events successful! 

Lake trout spawn in the fall and are coming in closer to the rocky steep shores of the lake. Casting from a boat in the shallower water, jigging in the deeper depths, or trolling are all methods being used by the tenacious, tough, and resilient lake trout anglers at this time. Jigging for the lake trout results in higher numbers of smaller fish-trolling and casting anglers can also turn in some good numbers.  The fish are usually larger and there is a tussle getting them in the boat. Coolers fill up faster so it can take two. 

Visit the pod cast on the Montana Outdoor Radio Show website with fishing tips given by Mack Days Anglers Scott Bombard and Mike Benson that aired on September 23rd. Check it out if you want to get some tips on Mack Days Fishing or go to the Mack Days website for the fishing videos done by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai staff that give tips for trolling, jigging, and also includes shore angler tips. Contact us if you would like a copy of the videos. 

“Ghost”, the $10,000 lake trout is silently gliding through deep, dark, murky depths of Flathead Lake. They say sometimes the best way to catch a fish is to let it catch you!  Hopefully he decides to catch someone before the event ends. There is also 3-$5,000, 6-$1,000 including one sponsored by Bretz RV and Marine of Missoula, plus over 9,000 with values from $100 to $500. Turning in $100 lake trout the seventh week were anglers Julie Perkins of Kalispell and Laurie Kreis of Huson X 2, Joe Minnehan of Kalispell, Larry Ashwell of Missoula, and Michael Benson of Lonepine. 

Dave Myers of Riverton, WY is leading the Top Twenty anglers with 1,134 entries, 57.72 for an 18-day average-56 entries Friday, 62-Saturday, and 54-Sunday. Felix Gauci of Stevensville has a total of 953 entries for 2nd -no 18 day average-no weekend fishing, Michael Benson of Lonepine is 3rd with 929 entries, with 47.61 avg.-53, 29, & 51, 4th is Bob Stewart of Kalispell with 862-44.28 avg.-46, 43, & 51, 5th place is Jerry Benson of Plains with 638-34.78 avg.-20, 33, & 22, 6th place is Larry Ashwell of Missoula with 587-31.33 avg.- 0, 23, & 25, 7th place is Jack Kirkland of Lolo with 558-29.83 avg.-25, 21, & 24, 8th place is Larry Karper of Florence with 515-28.61 avg.-0, 30, & 45, 9th place is Richard Kreis of Huson with 429-22.06 avg.-19, 20, & 7, 10th place is Scott Bombard of Missoula has 383-20.83 avg.-25, 21, & 24, 11th place is Terry Krogstad of Kalispell with 371, 12th place is Laurie Kreis of Huson with 283, 13th place is Claude Kaber of Whitefish with 235, 14th place is Steve Mack of Helena with 221, 15th place is Sam Sacchi of Thompson Falls with 215, 16th place is Julie Perkins of Kalispell with 179, 17th place is Jim Flinchbauch of Kalispell with 177, 18th place is Bryan Long of Kalispell with 164, 19th place is Debby Sacchi of Thompson Falls with 143, and 20th place is Mike Cosby of Thompson Falls with 132.

Laurie Kreis is 1st in the Ladies with 283, 2nd Julie Perkins with 179, 3rd Debby Sacchi with 143, 4th Kim Mack of Helena with 67, and 5th Pamela Simonich of Missoula with 14.  Youth Anglers Paisley Helvey and Blaine Helvey of Thompson Falls are leading with 18 entries each and Lucia Savoia of Missoula has 11 in the 13-17 Category. 

The last day of the Bucket of Fish competition will be Sunday November 5th. It will be fun to watch and see how the buckets weigh out.  $200 winners of the heaviest weight so far on the Friday and Saturday dates are Rick Skates of Big Arm (31.75lbs.) and Richard and Laurie Kreis of Huson (34.65lb). There will be a final third day Sunday-winner receives $200, plus overall winners by points. Skates has 18 pts. and the Kreis boat has 14 points. Heaviest bucket gets 10 pts, 2nd 8 pts, 3rd 6 pts, 4th 4 pts, and 5th 2 pts. Jens Gran of Polson has 8 pts from the first day, if he get the heaviest winner on Sunday he could tie Rick Skates with 18 pts. The tie would be broken by the combined weights of their buckets, unless the Kreis boat has points to add to its total to push their total to 18 or more. Rick Skates has a total weight of 59.75lbs for two buckets and the Kreis buckets total 55.5.  With one bucket Jens Gran has a weight of 24.4lbs. Good luck to all anglers and have fun!

We remind everyone to be aware of changing weather conditions, please make sure to have proper safety equipment and keep your cell phones dry. 

Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event and there is no entry fee, send entries with your name, address, telephone number, and age to cindy.benson@cskt.org.  The entry page on the website does not connect.  Visit our website at www.mackdays.com for more information on categories, fishing tips, results, etc. 

Good luck and tight lines everyone!



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