September 27, 2012
2012 Fall Mack Days first week results edge out last year
POLSON Hard fishing lake trout anglers turned in a total of 1,302 lake trout entries during the first weekend of the 2012 Fall Fishing Event slightly edging the 2011 Fall Event by 38 fish. Fantastic fall fishing weather lasted over the first three days of the event. Mack Days Fishing Events are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks and are used as a management tool to slowly reduce numbers of non - native lake trout in Flathead Lake. Increasing numbers of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout is important for the future populations of these species that were once dominant in Flathead Lake.
Leading the adult anglers is Max Martz of Corvallis with 116 entries. Max had daily totals of 51, 31, and 34 over the weekend. Second place is held by Mike Benson of Lonepine with 104 and daily totals of 34, 34, and 36. Scott Bombard of Missoula comes in tied for third with 83 daily numbers of 27, 23, and 33. Jason Kowalski of Florence fished two days for his total of 83 and had numbers of 44 and 39. Steven Benson coming in from Four Lakes, WA., turned in 67 to hold fifth place with daily numbers of 15, 31, and 21. Phil Meredith of Kalispell - 6th with 65, Don Beville - Lakeside - 7th - 63, Chad Cottet - Polson - 57 and Craig Morigeau - Polson - 57 - 8th and 9th, and 10th place is held by Larry Karper - Florence with 44 lake trout entries.
Leading the lady anglers is Kim McMillie of Polson with 13. Sharon Beville of Lakeside is 2nd, Deana Knipe - Polson - 8, Lorinda Freeman - Polson - 7, and 5th place Cindy Upwell - Kalispell and Susanne Albrecht - Polson with 4 each.
Youth anglers with lake trout entries are Eric Sams - Polson - 13, Carson McDaniel - Polson - 2, Cody Ausbury - Missoula - 2, and Tom McDonald - Polson - 1.
Catching the smallest lake trout is a contest in its own and sometimes requires a lot of finesse or maybe a lot of luck. The two smallest lake trout entries in the event were turned in by anglers - Mike Benson with a 164mm (6 3/8) and Tyson Cottet of Charlo with 179mm (7) lake trout entries. There have been no large lake trout entries in the event - there were reports of some close but not close enough.
There is one tagged lake - $10,000, 5 - $5,000, 10 - $1,000, and over 4000 with values from $100 - $500. These fish have pit tags that are not visible. The adipose fin has been clipped on them and they were tagged and released all around the lake. Each event new tagged fish with the high dollar values are released the week or two before the event begins and the old high dollars are changed to $100 - $500 values. Information is used from the tagged fish for population estimates, movement, growth, etc. Turning in $100 tagged lake trout the first weekend were Mike Howe - Kalispell, Phil Meredith - Kalispell, John Gauci - Florence, Don Beville - Lakeside, Sharon Beville - Lakeside, Gary Smith - Hot Springs, Scott Bombard - Missoula, Jeff Mountgomery - Hamilton, Brian Arnott - Polson, and Reed Blackburn - Whitefish. Lucky anglers with $200 tagged lake trout were Craig Morigeau - Polson, Tyson Cottet - Charlo, and Max Martz - Corvallis.
Mack Days continues Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays until November 2 and then continues for ten straight days until November 11. All it takes is one fish to win in the lottery style drawing. Anglers receive one ticket for every lake trout to enter into the drawing. There are several ways to win - weekend prizes, captains prizes, smallest fish, largest fish, youth prizes, ladies prizes, Over 70, etc. Go to www.mackdays.com for information on prizes, fishing tips, bull trout ID, fish release tips, recipes, maps - the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have produced a new Flathead Lake Fishing Map that is available at Blue Bay or ask the check in staff for a copy. The map shows some of the popular fishing spots, depths of the lake, fishing tips, lake information, and a lot of other lake information.
New to this event is a Heaviest Fish Contest. It is for three days only Friday, September 28, Saturday, October 20, and Sunday, November 4. Anglers must mark their four heaviest lake trout entries before entering them at the check in stations. Mark them with rubber bands, tie them together, use electrical ties around the tail, etc. They will be put into a bucket and a weight take at Blue Bay or they will be put in bags and brought to Blue Bay from the check in sites. Points will be given for the top 5 places. Daily winners will receive $200 and the three day winners will receive $500 - $400 - and $300.
Entries are taken at any time until the last day of the event. There is no entry fee. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have a special $12 fishing license for the south half of Flathead Lake available for any angler and is sold by license vendors in Montana.