Final Week (Prev. Wks Below)
November 12 th was the last day of the 2017 Fall Mack Days Fishing Event on Flathead Lake sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Calmer waters and warmer temperatures the last week of the event were welcomed by the anglers. Many had been feeling the stress of the snow, wind, and cold temperatures of the previous week but they were still going out every day. One hundred and nineteen anglers turned in a total of 14,775 lake trout entries during the eight weeks of lake trout fishing. That number is the fourth largest total of all Fall Mack Days Events. The event was extended to 45 days in
2015 and the 2017 total is the lowest of the past three years. Total number for 2015 was 19,525 and 2016 total was 17,527. Every event is different. Weather is a huge factor and this event had plenty of cold, windy, snowy, and rainy weather hampering the anglers.
Placing first in the Top Ten Angler Category was Mike Benson of Lonepine with a total of 1,141 and a fifteen day average of 63.13, 2 nd Terry Krogstad of Kalispell with 941 and 53.33 average, 3 rd Felix Gauci of Stevensville with 820 and a 48.8, 4 th Larry Karper of Florence with 564 and 33.67, 5 th Richard Kreis of Huson with 523 and 30.33, 6 th Scott Bombard of Missoula-461 and 29.87, 7 th Larry Ashwell of Missoula- 487 and 27.67, 8 th Sam Cusker of Whitefish-405 and 26.47, 9 th John Gauci of Florence-297 and 18.8, and 10 th David McDaniel of Polson with 283 and 18.47. Top ten anglers are placed on their average. Laurie Kreis of Huson placed first in the Ladies Category with 190, 2 nd Bobbi Hereford of Missoula and Julie Woolley of Manteca, CA tied with 107, 4 th Gina Schiff of Whitefish with 96, and Jeanee Mooney of Missoula was 5 th with 57.
Larry Karper and Larry Ashwell both placed in the Top Ten so Top 70 and Over Awards went to Bob Christensen of Missoula with 254, Dan Olsen of Helena second with 74, and Jim Hoover of Whitefish was third with 30. Ali Putzler of Kaispell won the 12 and Under group with 9, Matt Kreis was second with 8, and Makenna Garrett of Missoula 3 rd with 1. Tyler Varga of Kalispell was first in the 13-17 Category with 55, Abby Hodgson of Kalispell second with 5, and Christian Wyatt of Missoula was third with one. Spirit of the Event Award Knives made by Bob Crowder of Thompson Falls went to Felix Gauci and Gina Schiff. Scott Bombard received a Heart of the Event recognition and award.
No one caught the $10,000, three-$5,000, or five-$1,000 tagged lake trout. There were several $100 tagged fish turned in the last week: John Malatare X 2, Larry Ashwell, Mike Benson, Richard Kreis X 3, Tim Mooney X 3, Larry Karper, George Thompson, Bill Swaney, Bob Hereford, Roger Schiff, and Chris Wynat. Turning in $200 tags were: Larry Ashwell, Mike Benson, Paul Soukup, and Roger Schiff. No large fish entry was received. Winning the smallest lake trout awards were Scott Bombard 163mm and Felix Gauci 151mm.
The last day had a category for the largest lake trout under 30 inches. It was won by Bill Swaney with a 8.68 pound lake trout. Second place went to Matthew Kreis with a 8.25 lake trout.
Mack Days are made successful by the anglers who go out day after day and also the anglers who can only fish a few hours-it all makes the events the success it is. They are the force behind it. The events are designed to help slowly reduce non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake and increase the numbers of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout in the lake.
Friends and families enjoyed a fish fry and awards on Sunday afternoon after the event ended. The 2018 Spring Mack Days dates are March 16 th to May 13 th . It will be more lake trout fishing on Flathead Lake Tuesday through Sunday with the same format as in the past. Check out the website at www.mackdays.com for more information on the prizes and awards.
Thank you everyone who helped make the event the success story it is and for helping to make a difference for future generations of Flathead Lake anglers.
2017 Fall Mack Days will end on November 12 th after eight weeks of lake trout fishing on Flathead Lake. Up to $150,000 in Cash and Prizes sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes will be awarded on the last day. Six weeks of the event are complete. A total of 10,994 lake trout have been entered with 8,308 on Friday through Sunday and 2,666 during the Tuesday-Thursday angling. Friday was a good day to fish-warm and calm-681 lake trout entries. Larry Karper turned in the high of 69 with Mike Benson and Richard Kreis each turning in 63. Even better was the Saturday weather and the fishing. A total of 852-highest number of lake trout this event so far. Felix Gauci had a high of 90 with Terry Krogstad turning in 58, and Benson 56. Lady angler Laurie Kreis had a high of 33. Sunday was a different story all together-winds were relentless. There are few places to hide and many anglers did not go out or came off the lake early. A total of 240 entries were turned in on Sunday. Larry Ashwell had high of 37, Krogstad 30, and Benson 28. There are several ways to win in the event. Go to www.mackdays.com for information or telephone 406-270- 3386. Entries continue to be taken until the last day and there is no entry fee. To become eligible for the lottery style drawings you only need to enter one lake trout during the Friday-Sunday fishing. Tuesday through Thursday is only for tagged fish and numbers for the total bonus amounts. The last day of the event is a separate day for prizes. One of the angler’s favorite categories is the Top Ten Angler Category. Many of these anglers and the next twenty who have a chance to reach a fifteen day average and will compete intensely-the fishing lines will be flying-until the last day trying to increase their average. If an anglers total for a day after day fifteen is higher the low number is dropped and the higher number used. Top anglers with fifteen day averages are also limited in the lottery tickets after day fifteen only receiving the number of tickets above their low number for the day. Leading the anglers in total and average at the end of week six is Mike Benson of Lonepine with 983 and 60.27 average-next low number is 30, Terry Krogstad of Kalispell 2 nd with 808 and 50.47-low number is 26, 3 rd Felix Gauci of Stevensville 677 and 44.4-low of 13, 4 th Larry Karper of Florence 403 and 26.87-low of 9, Larry Ashwell of Missoula 5 th with 394-low of 10 and 25.67, Richard Kreis of Huson is 6 th with 381 and 25.4-low of 9, Sam Cusker Whitefish angler is 7 th with 362 and 24.13-low of 3, Scott Bombard of Missoula 8 th with 313-no average yet, John Gauci of Florence 9 th with 215 and 14.3-low of 3, and Bob Christensen of Missoula is at 194-no average. If an angler has a couple of good days with high numbers their average can change quickly.
Again all it takes is one fish to join in the fun and have a chance in the event to be a winner. An angler who is trying to catch a lake trout to enter for a chance in the lottery drawing that begins at $1,000 and goes to $500-27 drawings-also has a chance to catch a tagged lake trout with a value of $10,000, 3- $5,000, or 5-$1,000 plus over 6,000 with values from $100-$500. Week six was the week for catching tagged lake trout several were turned in from different areas of the lake including from shore. Catching tagged fish over the last week were: $100 tags-Terry Krogstad x 2, Marty Herek, Richard Kreis x 3, Randy Hovet x 2, Mike Benson x 7, Felix Gauci, Roger Schiff, Larry Ashwell x 2, Scott Bombard, Bert MacDonald, Tim Mooney, Jeanee Mooney, Christian Hughes, George Thompson, Steve Mack, Sam Cusker, John Gauci, Larry Karper, Bill Swaney, and Tony Incashola-$200 tags Jim Flinchbaugh, Larry Ashwell, and Mike Benson.
The ladies continue competing hard with Laurie Kreis of Huson leading with 156, Gina Schiff of Whitefish has 91, Bobbi Hereford of Missoula-89, Jeanee Mooney of Missoula has 57, and Julie Woolley of Manteca, CA has 53.
The third day of the Bucket of Fish competition is Sunday November 5 th . Anglers will put their four heaviest lake trout in a bucket and a weight taken.
Scott Bombard of Missoula turned in a small lake trout that measured 153mm just over six inches. There are two prizes for smallest lake trout. Felix Gauci of Stevensville is holding onto the other spot with a 161mm six and a half inch laker.
November 12 th is the last day of the event with all entries in at 3:00 and the anglers, families, and friends enjoying a lake trout fish fry prepared by event and fisheries staff. The awards will begin at 4:00.
2017 Fall Mack Days Week 5
The 2017 Fall Mack Days Fishing Event continues until Sunday November 12 th . Anglers have three more weeks to fish Flathead Lake and try to win a piece of $150,000 in Cash and Prizes sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. The events are used as a tool to slowly reduce the numbers of non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake to increase the numbers of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout. Five weeks of the event are completed. A total of 8,570 lake trout have been turned in by one hundred and eight anglers fishing Tuesday through Sunday.
Three hundred ninety four anglers are registered in the event. Numbers are down some from previous years due to days of wild windy weather hampering the anglers. Milder weather is in the forecast and will be welcomed by all of the anglers.
The second day of the Bucket of Fish competition was held on Saturday with Richard and Laurie Kreis of Huson again turning in the heaviest bucket of four lake trout weighing 30.85lbs for the $200 prize, 2 nd was Bob and Bobbi Hereford of Missoula with 26.85lbs., 3 rd Mike Benson with 24.5, 4 th Roger and Gina Schiff of Whitefish 21.0, and 5 th Larry Ashwell of Missoula 19.7. The third day of the Bucket of Fish competition will be Sunday November 5 th . Richard and Laurie have a combined total weight of sixty five pounds for eight lake trout under 30”. They are working hard and enjoying the competition.
Angler Laurie Kreis leads the Ladies Category with 123 lake trout entries, Bobbi Hereford is 2 nd with 71, Gina Schiff 3 rd with 62, Julie Woolley of Madesto, CA is 4 th with 35, and tied at 5 th is Brandy Hilde from Whitefish and Jeanee Mooney of Missoula with 26 each.
There is a race in the 70 and Over category between Larry Karper of Florence with 293 and Larry Ashwell of Missoula with 292, 3 rd Bob Christensen of Missoula with 141, Dan Olsen of Helena is 4 th with 45, and Jim Hoover of Whitefish 5 th with 30.
The Top Ten Anglers are working hard to get their numbers in. Top ten are placed by their best fifteen days which a few are starting to reach. Mike Benson of Lonepine is leading with 836 lake trout entries and a 55.7 average, Terry Krogstad of Kalispell 2 nd with 675 and 45.0. With fewer than fifteen days and no average are: Felix Gauci-Stevensville- 3 rd 549, Sam Cusker-Whitefish 4 th 313, Larry Karper-293- 5 th , Larry Ashwell-292- 6 th , Richard Kreis-275- 7 th , Scott Bombard of Missoula is 8 th with 233, John Gauci of Florence 9 th with 175, George Thompson-Missoula 150-10 th . There are 24 weekend days with the last day being separate so anglers have 23 days to turn in lake trout for their fifteen day average. The competition was designed so that an angler can miss days and still stay in the top ten if their average is high enough. The $10,000 tagged lake trout is still out there. To catch that lake trout is every anglers dream. There are also three-$5,000, five $1,000 and over 6,000 with values from $500-$100. Turning in tagged lake trout the past week were: Terry Krogstad $100 X 3 and $200, Richard Kreis $100 X 2, Mike Benson $100 X 4, Tony Incashola of St. Ignatius $100, Bill Swaney-Missoula $100 X 2, Sam Cusker $100 and $200, and Tim Mooney of Missoula $100.
Methods used to catch the lake trout are varied. Anglers are jigging, casting, and trolling-changing with the area and the weather. If one method isn’t working they try another.
Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. For information on the event, entry, fish identification, etc. go to www.mackdays.com or telephone 406-270- 3386.
2017 Fall Mack Days WEEK 4
The Fall Mack Days Fishing Event on Flathead Day is moving into the fifth week-end of the eight week-long event sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to reduce the numbers of non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake and increase the numbers of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout populations. Anglers can choose to fish one day or every day of the event. Entries are taken up until the last day. Up to $150,000 in Cash and Prizes will be awarded November 12th the last day of the event. To qualify for the drawings an angler needs to catch one
lake trout for a ticket that will be put into the drawing barrel. Prizes start at $1,000 and go down to $500. A special drawing for the Tuesday-Thursday anglers will be held with six $50 prizes being drawn plus the lake trout total gets added on the weekend totals for the bonus amounts of the anglers. Tagged fish prizes are awarded on any day of the event. Fish entries are taken Tuesday-Sunday. There is still a $10,000 tagged lake trout swimming out there with three $5,000 tagged fish, five $1,000 and over 6,000 with values from $500-$100. Thirty eight tagged lake trout have been turned in so far with the highest value being $200.
Fishing on Flathead Lake in the fall takes some gritty, hard-working, tough anglers-men and ladies. Winds can be ferocious at times and it was again over the fourth weekend. Friday and Saturday many were wishing they had more layers of clothing on and Sunday which was warm and calm the anglers were taking layers off and enjoying the calm water and warm temperature. You couldn’t ask for a nicer fishing day but many had trouble getting the fish to bite-it was just too nice. Friday’s total was 367, Saturday 388, with Sunday a much nicer weather day the total was 529 for a weekend total of 1,284. Total fish count so far in the event is at 7,415 which compares with a fourth weekend 7,368 in 2016 Fall Mack Days (17,527 final) and 9,233 in 2015 Fall (19,546 final). Mike Benson of Lonepine held onto the lead in the Top Ten Category with a lake trout total of 725-30-Friday, 54-Saturday, and 44 Sunday. Terry Krogstad of Kalispell moved closer by 54 fish with a total of 615-61, 74, and 47, Felix Gauci of Stevensville is 3rd with 516-37,32, and 41, 4th Larry Karper of Florence 284, 5th Sam Cusker of Whitefish-257, 6th Larry Ashwell of Missoula-251, 7th Richard Kreis of Huson-224, 8th Scott Bombard of Missoula-218, 9th George Thompson of Missoula-146, and tied for 10th with 141 are David McDaniel of Polson and Bob Christensen of Missoula.
The 70 and Over-Golden Oldies-competition has heated up this year with Larry Karper of Florence leading the group with 284 lake trout and Larry Ashwell at 251, 3rd-Bob Christensen with 141, 4th Dan Olsen of Helena with 45, and 5th Jim Hoover of Whitefish with 30.
Laurie Kreis of Huson continues her lead in the Ladies Category with 114, Bobbie Hereford of Missoula moved into 2nd with 60, Gina Schiff of Whitefish is 3rd with 45, Julie Woolley of Madesto, CA is 4th with 35, and Brandy Hilde of Whitefish is 5th with 26.
Mikanna Garrett of Missoula entered into the 12 & Under Category with one lake trout entry. Tyler Varga continues to hold 1st in the 13-17 age group with 55 and Abby Hodgson of Kalispell is second with 5. Turning in $100 tagged lake trout the past week were: Terry Krogstad x 3, Felix Gauci, Mike Benson x 2, Richard Kreis x 2, Morgan Amdahl of Kalispell, Bill Swaney of Missoula x 2, Randy Hovet of Charlo, Roger Schiff of Whitefish, Paul Soukup of Ronan, Laurie Kreis, and Mike Crosby of Thompson Falls. Scott Bombard won first in the 4th Weekend Drawing and David McDaniel was second.
The second day of the popular Bucket of Fish Competition is coming up on Saturday October 21st. Richard and Laurie Kreis won the 1st day with a bucket totaling 34.15 lbs. Four of the largest fish of the day (30” or smaller) in a boat or from a single angler are put into a bucket and a weight taken. The Kreis bucket divided by four meant that the lake trout were probably around eight pounds each. That was a full bucket of fish. Might need a larger bucket if the weather cooperates and anglers can get to their favorite large fish spots.
There is no large lake trout entered so far. The largest lake trout has to be over 36” and over 24 pounds to qualify. Been reports of a few caught but not landed. Tough to see one in the water coming in close to the boat and then losing it before getting it into the boat.
The smallest lake trout entries so far are Felix Gaucis entry of 176mm (7”) and Dan Seman of Missoula with a 193mm (7.5”) entry. There is still plenty of time to get your fishing pole out and and try your luck fishing during the 2017 Fall Fishing Event. There are a lot of ways to win. Go to www.mackdays.com for information on the event, fish ID, rules, entry page, etc. Click on the events tab for information. Telephone 406-270-3386 for information.
The third weekend of 2017 Fall Mack Days was a rock and roll weekend for the lake trout anglers on Flathead Lake. The boats were high in the air in some cases on Friday-Sunday with wind gusts blowing off and on all weekend. Winds brought on huge waves on Saturday keeping many boats out of the water. Seasoned anglers know what they themselves can handle and what their boat can handle. A few of the larger boats ventured out during slight lulls in the high wave action Saturday riding out hail, snow, rain, wind, and rough water. Total catch for Friday was 436-Saturday-98-and Sunday totaled 488 lake trout entries.
The weekend total is at 4,578 with Tuesday-Thursday total at 1,032 bringing the number to 5,610 lake trout entered in the event so far. There are three hundred seventy four anglers registered in the event.
Up to $150,000 in Cash and Prizes sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes will be awarded at the conclusion of the event which is used as a management tool to reduce non-native lake trout on Flathead Lake. Native bull trout (Threatened Species) and cutthroat trout are species of “Special Concern” under the Endangered Species Act. Preserving the native fish is important to Montana and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes for future generations. There are several ways to win prizes in the Event. Go to www.mackdays.com for more information.
The $10,000 tagged fish, three-$5,000, and five-$1,000 along with over 6,000 with values from $500-$100 are out there in the lake. Terry Krogstad had good fortune in the tagged fish category over the weekend. On Friday he turned in two $100 tagged fish, during the rough and wavy Saturday he was lucky enough to turn in a $200 tagged fish, and Sunday his luck held out with two more $100 tagged lake trout-nice reward at the end of a long hard weekend of fishing. The tagged lake trout are released all over the lake. There is no special area for them. It is pure luck and good fishing skills to catch and bring them in. Other $100 tags were turned in by Tim Mooney of Missoula, Laurie Kreis of Huson X 2, and Randy Hovet of Charlo had a $200 tagged fish. Fishing from shore Hovet had two entries with one of them being tagged.
Mike Benson of Lonepine is in the lead with nine days of weekend fishing out of the eight weekend long event over. Friday-Sunday Benson turned in 66, 44, and 80 entries bringing his total to 597, 2nd place Terry Krogstad-Kalispell-28, 17, & 39 for 433, Felix Gauci of Stevensville is 3rd with 17 and 45 for 406, 4th Sam Cusker of Whitefish 226, 5th Larry Karper of Florence with 218, 6th Larry Ashwell of Missoula with 207, 7th Scott Bombard-Missoula-173, 8th Richard Kreis-Huson-159, 9th Bob Christensen-Missoula-106, and 10th Bob Hereford-Missoula-106.
The ladies were out over the rough stormy weekend getting their lines in the water with Laurie Kreis of Huson in the lead with 101, Bobbi Hereford of Missoula has 50, Julie Woolley of Madesto, CA 3rd with 35, 4th Gina Schiff-Whitefish has 29, and 5th Brandy Hilde of Whitefish with 17.
Larry Karper took back the lead in the popular 70 and Over Category turning in 37 entries on Friday and 26 on Sunday for 218. Larry Ashwell is second turning in 10 Friday and 20 on Sunday for 207, 3rd Bob Christensen with 106, 4th Dan Olsen of Helena with 32, and 5th Jim Hoover of Whitefish with 21.
The first of the three days of the Bucket of Fish Competition on Friday (lake trout under 30”) was won with a full and over-flowing bucket of four lake trout totaling 34.15 lbs turned in by Richard and Laurie Kreis-$200 10pts, 2nd place was Terry Krogstad with 19.9 lbs-8 pts, 3rd Monte McPhearson of Silverdale WA with 19.85-6 pts, 4th Ken Lowe-Polson and Randy Hovet of Charlo with a 18.2 bucket-4 pts and Marty Herek of Polson was 5th with 18.2 lbs. The next bucket day is Saturday October 21 and the third day is Sunday November 5th the heaviest bucket each day wins $200. Highest total points at the end of the three days win $250, second place $150, and third place $100.
Jim Flinchbaugh of Kalispell and Bob Christensen of Missoula were winners of the weekend drawing.
Tyler Varga is the leader in the 13-17 Category with 55 entries and Abby Hodgson of Kalispell is second with 5.
There is still no entry in the Largest Lake Trout Category. The largest lake trout has to be 36” or over and weigh at least 24 lbs. to qualify. Mack Days continues until November 12th and entries are taken at any time. There is no entry fee. Catch one lake trout to get a ticket in the lottery style drawing. Fish one, two, or everyday-the choice is yours. Come out and join the fun on Flathead Lake. Questions and comments-406-270-3386-or check out the website at www.mackdays.com under the events tab for rules, entry, etc.
The 2017 Fall Mack Days Fishing Event on Flathead Lake began September 22nd and concludes on November 12th. Lake trout anglers have just completed the second weekend of the eight week-long event. Up to $15,000 in Cash and Prizes sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes will be awarded at the conclusion of the event. Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. The events are used as a management tool to reduce the non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. All it takes is one fish to be entered in the event and get your name in the lottery drawings. Three hundred sixty three anglers have entered the event with ninety anglers turning in a total of 4,045 lake trout. The 2016 entries over the first two weekends came to 3,914 and 2015 entries were at 4,527. Weather plays a huge role in the events with wind having worst effect on the anglers. Sunday anglers endured wind, rain, hail, thunder, and lightning in some areas. These anglers (boat and shore) are a hardy group of people. Gaining experience over the years and the events they know how to dress for the weather, where to go when weather isn’t cooperating, and when to get off the water. Jigging for lake trout on the lake requires lines that go straight up and down with no angle to the drop of the jig for the most success. Winds make boats move and spin around making it very difficult to anchor and stay over the top of the fish. Trolling in the bumpy water makes for a rough ride with some boats seeking out calmer waters in bay area’s or in the back of islands. Friday was the nicest weather day with the fish total at 701, wind and rain brought the total on Saturday to 317, and Sunday with a little better weather but still breezy the lake trout total came to 505. The weekend total was 1,523. Tuesday-Thursday lake trout total was 489. There is a lake trout with a $10,000 tag still out there in the lake along with three-$5,000, five-$1,000, and over 6000 with values from $500-$100. Monte McPhearson of Silverdale,WA was very lucky Tuesday-Sunday turning in two $100 tags and one $200 tagged lake trout. Other $100 tagged lake trout were turned in by Felix Gauci, Jim Flinchbaugh of Kalispell, Geroge Thompson-Missoula, Terry Krogstad X 2, and Richard Kreis of Huson.
Mike Benson of Lonepine is leading the anglers with 407 (Friday-62,Sat.-77, Sun.-83), Terry Krogstad of Kalispell 2nd with 349 (58,48,39), Felix Gauci of Stevensville 3rd-344 (61,25,77), Sam Cusker of Whitefish 4th-208 (36,5,40), 5th Larry Ashwell of Missoula with 177, 6th Larry Karper of Florence-155, 7th Richard Kreis of Huson with 124, 8th Scott Bombard of Missoula with 111, 9th John Gauci of Florence with 94, and 10th George Thompson of Missoula with 91.
Lady angler Laurie Kreis of Huson has 76 lake trout entries to lead the Ladies, 2nd Julie Woolley of Manteca, CA with 35, 3rd Bobbi Hereford of Missoula-34, 4th Gina Schiff of Whitefish with 24, and 5th Julie Vacca of Florence with 14.
Tyler Varga of Kalispell continues to lead the 13-17 Category with 48 entries and Abby Hodgson of Kalispell has turned in 5.
Larry Ashwell of Missoula is 1st in the 70 and Over Category with 177 lake trout, Larry Karper of Florence is 2nd with 155, 3rd Bob Christensen of Missoula with 66, 4th Dan Olsen of Helena with 32, and 5th Jim Hoover of Whitefish with 21.
The category for the smallest lake trout entry changed with Dan Seman of Missoula turning in a 193mm (7 5/8”) small lake trout to move Sam Cusker-198mm-out of the second place slot. There are two prizes given for the smallest lakers. The other spot is held by Felix Gauci with a 176mm (7”) lake trout.
There have been no large lake trout entries. The largest lake trout has to be alive, over 36”, and weigh 24#’s to qualify for that category. Fish pick-ups Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are provided by staff at the Somers boat ramp 4-4:30, Wayfarers 5:00, Big Arm 4-4:30, and Salish Point 5:00. Go to the website at www.mackdays.com for more information or telephone 406-270-3386. Click on the events tab for entry page and rules.
Up to $150,000 in Cash and Prizes are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in the 2017 Fall Fishing Event on Flathead Lake which is used as a management tool to slowly reduce the numbers of non-native lake trout and increase the numbers of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout which were the dominant fish of the lake for thousands of years. The 2017 Fall Event is the beginning of the sixteenth year of using the events for that purpose. There are three hundred fifteen anglers registered in the event so far with seventy three anglers turning in a total of 2,033 lake trout the first weekend. That compares with the 2016 first weekend total of 2,099 and 2015 with 2,395 lake trout entries. All it takes is one fish to be entered and win in the lottery style drawing at the conclusion of the event. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have available a special Flathead Lake Combined Use and Fishing Permit for the south half of the lake for anyone for $13 per year.
Fall came in with a fury the first day of the 2017 Fall Mack Days. Strong swirling winds made for rough water on Flathead Lake most of the day on Friday September 22nd. The anglers were anxious to hit the water and many rode it out the choppy waves. The afternoon wind calmed down making the fishing much easier for the anglers the rest of the day. A total of 514 lake trout entries were turned in with Terry Krogstad of Kalispell top angler of the day with eighty lake trout entries. Felix Gauci of Stevensville came in with forty four entries for second highest of the day, and Sam Cusker of Whitefish had a fifty six total. Saturdays total came to 832 entries with Mike Benson of Lonepine turning the high number for the day with eighty five lake trout entries, Felix was second highest with seventy seven and Terry came in with fifty six. Saturday and Sunday were much calmer, warmer, sunny fishing days. Sundays total was 687 bringing the weekend total to 2,033 with Benson turning in seventy, Krogstad had sixty eight, and Gauci with sixty.
There is a $10,000 tagged lake trout, three $5,000, and five $1,000 plus over 6000 with values from $500-$100. You cannot see the tags but you can see if the adipose fin is clipped. If it is it could possibly be a tagged lake trout that will be scanned for a tag when entered. There were three $100 tags turned in the first weekend by John Gauci and Mike Benson turned in one on Saturday and another on Sunday.
Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. There are several ways to win. Go to www.mackdays.com for information. Click the events tab for entry, rules, fish ID, etc. or telephone 406-2770-3386. We encourage anglers to know how to identify bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout. The native fish cannot be harvested from Flathead Lake. For information go to the website or pickup fish ID information at the CSKT Natural Resources Office, Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, or at Blue Bay headquarters.
Leading the anglers in totals is: Terry Krogstad with 204, 2nd Mike Benson-185, 3rd Felix Gauci-181, 4th Sam Cusker-127, 5th Larry Ashwell of Missoula-126, 6th Larry Karper of Florence-96, 7th John Gauci of Florence with 71, 8th Dan Seman of Missoula-61, 9th George Thompson of Missoula-57, and 10th Morgan Amdahl of Kalispell with 53.
The Ladies Category leader is Laurie Kreis of Huson with 44, Bobbi Hereford of Missoula is second with 23, 3rd Julie Wooley of Manteca, Ca. with 15, 4th and 5th Gina Schiff of Whitefish and Julie Vacca of Missoula-14.
Larry Ashwell a new comer to the 70 and Over category is leading with 126 lake trout entries, Larry Karper has 96, Bob Christensen of Missoula-26, Dan Olsen of Helena-25, and Dennis Grapp of Florence has 12.
Tyler Varga of Kalispell turned in 48 entries to lead the 13-17 age category over Abby Hodgson of Kalispell who has 5 entries. The first weekend drawing winners-which were drawn by staff with observers present were Mike Benson and Terry Krogstad. Two winners are drawn each weekend out of the weekend tickets. First name drawn is a $300 winner and second is $200. Anglers are limited to winning twice in the weekend drawings. Having just one ticket in the weekend ticket bin makes any angler eligible to win.
Anglers can fish all of Flathead Lake for lake trout Tuesday through Sunday during the event. Tuesday-Thursday fish are to be turned in at Blue Bay before 6:00 in the evening. Friday through Sunday there are fish pickup sites at the Big Arm State Park boat ramp from 4:00 to 4:30 and Salish Point 5:00 to 5:30 only if you call and let us know you are bringing in fish. We are also picking up at Somers 3:30 to 4:30 and Wayfarers 5:00 to 5:30.