Char-Koosta News

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Warmer waters create challenge for Fall Mack Days anglers

POLSON — FISH ON! Mack Days anglers have turned in a total of 2,763 lake trout entries the first six days of the 2012 Fall Fishing Event. The total is 366 short of the 2011 Fall Event six-day total of 3,129. The unseasonable warm water seems to be keeping the lake trout in the deeper depths especially during the warm afternoons. Fishing reports are that the early morning and late evening bite is when most numbers of lake trout are being caught. Anglers are finding high numbers of fish but report the bite is very light and fish are moving around a lot. Jigging is the most popular fishing method but trolling is picking up. Lake trout spawn in the fall and they will move into the shallower depths as the days get cooler.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes sponsor Mack Days, which is used as a tool to slowly reduce numbers of non-native lake trout. The event is sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event and there is no entry fee. Mack Days continues until November 11-fish on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays except the last ten days from November 2 to the 11, which will be ten straight days of fishing. Up to $125,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to the anglers-all it takes is one fish to be entered. Once an angler has fifteen days of entries their tickets are limited to their best fifteen days and to receive more tickets they are required to turn in more than their lowest number of the fifteen days. Top anglers prizes are also awarded on their best fifteen-day average out of 28 days of fishing. Lottery prizes will begin at $1,000 and go to $200. Youth anglers have a special category along with the ladies, captains, weekend, etc. Go to www.mackdays.com for complete information on prizes, fishing tips, recipes, bull trout identification, maps, and lots more.

Tagged lake trout continue to be turned in with $100 going to Dan C. Smith-Columbia Falls, Tim Mooney-Missoula, Phil Meredith-Kalispell, Max Martz-Corvallis, Steve Benson-Four Lakes, Wa., Don Beville-Lakeside-2, Alfred DeRoche-Stevensville, Felix Gauci-Stevensville, and Paul Soukup-Ronan. Anglers with $200 tags were David McDaniel-Polson, Phil Meredith-Kalispell, and Jacob Thurman-Polson. There are over 3,800 tagged lake trout with values from $10,000 to $100.

Lonepine angler Mike Benson took the lead with daily totals of 52-39-65 for a six day total of 260 lake trout entries, Scott Bombard-Missoula-2nd- with a total of 206-41,42, and 40, 3rd- Max Martz-Stevensville-188-40-15- and 17, 4th - Steven Benson-Four Lakes, Wa.-44-26- and 48, 5th-Don Beville-Lakeside-147-50-34-two days, Phil Meredith-Kalispell-6th-106, 7th-Chad Cottet-Polson-104, 8th-Craig Morigeau-Polson-100, 9th-Larry Karper-Florence, and 10th-Jason Kowalski-Florence-87.

Ladies leader is Kim McMillie of Ronan with 30, 2nd Sharon Beville-Lakeside-27, 3rd-Susan Martin-Polson-17, 4th-Kathryn Cox-Lakeside-14, and 5th -Susanne Albrecht-Polson-12.

Polson youth anglers- Eric Sams leads the 13-17 age group- and Carson McDaniel the 12 and under category with 2.

The new Heaviest Bucket of Fish category-September 28th first day- leaders are Roger Schiff and Kirby Adams of Kalispell with a bucket of 4 lake trout weighing in at 19lbs.15ozs.-10 pts. $200, 2ndplace-Phil Meredith and Nick Fister-Kalispell-19lbs.-8pts., 3rd-John and Felix Gauci-Stevensville-18lbs.10ozs.-6pts., 4th-Max Martz-17lbs. 11ozs.Stevensville-4pts., and 5th-Dan Smith-Col. Falls, Jim Hoover-Whitefish, and Ralph Johnson-Col. Falls-16lbs.10oz. Next day of weighing the bucket of top four lake trout will be October 20 with points going to the top five. The last day of weights will be November 4. The bucket of fish must come from one boat but may be more than one angler. Top daily winner receives $200 and three overall winners will receive $500, $400, and $300.

Anglers can catch and turn in up to 100 lake trout under 30” per day or 99 under 30” and one over 36”. Lake trout between 30 and 36” are considered the “slot” and are to be returned to the lake. This high daily limit makes it easy for the lead to quickly change back and forth. Totals for all anglers can be viewed on the website.

Everyone is reminded to think safety first: be prepared and have safety equipment (life vests, flares, cell phone, etc.) on board; be informed of weather reports before going out; and be aware of changes in wind - go to shore if needed and wait out a storm.

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