|October 10, 2013
2013 Fall Mack Days starts off strong
POLSON — The fishing on Flathead Lake was phenomenal the first weekend of the 2013 Fall Mack Days Fishing Event. The weather was great for fishing and the anglers were catching. The total for the first weekend of the event was 2,114 lake trout entries. Mack Days are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Up to $125,000 in Cash and Prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the event on November 17. All it takes is one fish to win in the lottery style drawing for prizes from $1,000 to $200. Each fish an angler enters give them one ticket in the drawing. Once an angler reaches fifteen days they are limited by their average for tickets. Fridays total was 610, Saturday had 745, and Sunday anglers turned in 759 lake trout. The same weekend in the 2012 Fall Event 1,494 lake trout were turned in.
Categories for other prizes are Ladies, Youth 12 and under and 13-17, Top 10 Anglers, Captains, Golden Anglers-70 and over, Weekend Prizes, Smallest and Largest Lake Trout, etc. Go to www.mackdays.com for information on the prizes categories. Once an angler reaches twenty lake trout entries they begin to receive bonus amounts depending on their totals at the end of the event.
There are over 4,000 tagged lake trout with values from $10,000-$100. Catching a tagged fish is part of the excitement of fishing Mack Days. Anglers are able to catch them from shore and from the boats. Turning in a fish at Blue Bay caught from shore- angler Kevin Dupuis of Polson was pleased to learn he had won $100. Tagged fish have the adipose fin clipped and are scanned when entered. Other $100 tagged lake trout were turned in by Gary Stolz of Missoula-x2, Max Martz of Corvallis, John Gauci of Florence, Tim Mooney from Missoula, Phil Meredith of Kalispell-x3, Bob Syvrud of Polson, Danny Smith from Hot Springs, Mike Benson of Lonepine-x2, and Shawn Madsen of Polson. Bill Swaney of Missoula and Bill McIntyre from Conrad turned in $200 tagged fish. Information from tagged the fish is used for estimating population and also movement of the fish.
Leading the lady anglers is Jeanee Mooney of Missoula with 57, second is Deana Knipe of Polson with 42, 3rd was Kim McMillie of Ronan with 15, 4th place goes to Debbie Maze of Kalispell with 14, and 5th was Laurie Kreis of Huson with 8.
Mike Benson of Lonepine ended the first weekend with 181, Roger Dilts of Polson had 172 giving him 2nd, Max Martz of Corvallis with 171 puts him in 3rd, Danny Smith from Hot Springs hauled in 148 landing him in 4th, Scott Bombard of Missoula with 142 puts him in 5th, John Gauci of Florence with 115 at 6th, Tim Mooney of Missoula with 111 at 7th, Phil Meredith of Kalispell with 100 sitting 8th, Larry Ashwell of Missoula with 79 at 9th, and Larry Karper of Florence with 71 landing10th.
Eric Sams in the 13-17 category turned in 27 and Tom McDonald of Nirada turned in 5. Dawson Dumont of Charlo turned in a lake trout in the 12 and under group.
Golden anglers are led by Glenn Hoffman of Missoula with 25, 2nd is Ralph Johnson of Columbia Falls with 17, 3rd is Jens Gran of Polson with 9, Leonard Lewis of Plains and Jim Hoover of Whitefish each have 6.
Entries are taken until the last day of the event. Enter at any time to get into the drawings or to have a chance at catching that $10,000-(5)$5,000, (10)$1,000 or the over 4,000 other tagged lake trout. Mack Days Events are used as a management tool to slowly reduce the non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. We remind everyone to always think safety first when fishing the lake. Have a plan-let someone know when to expect you to return, use your PFD's-keep informed on weather changes and watch when you are out there for signs a storm may be approaching.
Go to the Mack Days website www.mackdays.com for information about the event prizes and bonuses, to view the DVD clips on fishing for lake trout, check on bull trout ID, see maps of Flathead Lake, etc. Telephone 406-883-2888 ext, 7294 for other information or questions.