2017 Fall Mack Days will end on November 12, 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 as it was warm and calm, bringing 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 were caught, the highest number of lake trout of this event so far. Felix Gauci had a high of 90 with Terry Krogstad turned in 58, and Benson had 56. Lady angler Laurie Kreis had a high of 33.
Sunday was a different story all together as the 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 have a chance to reach a fifteen day average and will compete intensely. The fishing lines will be flying until the last day as anglers try to increase their average.
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 a 60.27 average-next low number is 30 with Terry Krogstad of Kalispell is second with 808 and 50.47-low number is 26. Third is Felix Gauci of Stevensville at 677 and 44.4-low of 13. Fourth is Larry Karper of Florence at 403 and 26.87-low of nine. Larry Ashwell of Missoula is fifth with 394-low of 10 and 25.67. Richard Kreis of Huson is sixth with 381 and 25.4-low of nine. Sam Cusker of Whitefish is seventh with 362 and 24.13-low of three. Scott Bombard of Missoula is eighth with 313-no average yet, John Gauci of Florence is ninth 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, three are at $5,000 and five $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. 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 is the last day of the event with all entries in at 3:00 p.m. 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 p.m..