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2014 Fall Mack Days results

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The 25th Mack Days Fishing Event began September 26 and will end on November 16 after twenty four days of lake trout fishing on Flathead Lake. The event runs on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for eight weekends. Fish one day or several to enter the competition for up to $125,000 in cash and prizes-that is sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, who utilize the events as a management tool to reduce non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. Bull trout and westslope cutthroat, which used to dominate the fish populations in the lake, have significantly declined over the years. Increasing the native fish is part of the 2014 Implementation Plan for the Flathead Lake and River Fisheries Co-Management Plan. You can read the plan@ and also find more information on the Mack Days Fishing Event-rules, prizes, pick up sites, bull trout identification, entry, etc.

A total of 897 lake trout entries were turned in during the first weekend of lake trout fishing. There are two hundred and ninety anglers entered in the event. Entries are taken until the last day of the event and there is no entry fee. 

Leading at the end of week one was Terry Krogstad of Kalispell with 100 well-earned lake trout entries. Wind hammered the anglers most of the weekend making it one of the most difficult and one of the lowest numbers for a weekend ever. Second place was Mike Benson of Lonepine with 93, 3rd-Craig Morigeau-Polson-64, 4th-Phil Meredith-Kalispell-61, 5th-Larry Karper-Florence-57, 6th-Felix Gauci-Stevensville, 7th-Scott Bombard-Missoula, 8th-John Gauci-Florence-41, 9th-GW Schneider-Kalispell-34, and 10th place-Max Martz-Corvallis-32. 

Debra Pike of Kalispell has a total of 20 and is leading the ladies with Laurie Kreis Huson second with 19, 3rd- Gina Schiff Kalispell 9, 4th-Susanne Albrecht Polson with 7 fish, and 5th place is Susan Reynolds, Hamilton with 5.

No youth anglers turned in entries over the first weekend of fishing.

Smallest lake trout entry was turned by Felix Gauci with a 232mm or 9 ” entry and another in second place at 241mm was entered by John Gauci. No large lake trout entry so far in the event.

The Golden Oldie category-70 & Over-is led by Larry Karper with 57, 2nd-Glenn Hoffman-Missoula, 3rd-Jim Hoover-Whitefish-13, 4th-Bernd Albrecht-Polson-with 9, and 5th-Susanne Albrecht-Polson-7, 6th-Jerry Luderman-Whitefish-5. The angler with the distinction of “most experience by number of years and maybe most experienced shore angler” is Stanley Tattle of Polson. Ninety-eight years young and still fishing-reported to be catching fish and having fun-and has turned in several lake trout during past years of the event. He will be the first to know when the lake trout start coming in shallower to the docks in the fall.

The second weekend ended with 1,720 lake trout entries-bringing the total to 2,617 entries over the first two weekends. Three hundred thirty four anglers are registered-entries continue to be accepted at any time through the last day of the event. Anglers turned in 597 on Friday, 573-Saturday, and 550 on Sunday. Weekend fishing weather was warm and calm. 

October 3rd was the first of three days of the Bucket of Fish category. Winning with the heaviest bucket of their four heaviest lake trout entries was the team of Richard and Laurie Kreis of Huson with a bucket weight of 23 lbs.6ozs., second place went to the team of Phil Meredith and GW Schneider of Kalispell with a weight of 20 lbs., third place went to Terry Krogstad of Kalispell with 17 lbs.11ozs., fourth place was a tie between the team of Denny, Hoffman, and Lewis of Missoula and team Bombard of Missoula with 17 lbs 3 ozs. The next Bucket Day will be Saturday October 25th and the last day for Buckets will be Sunday Nov. 9.  Daily points are given for the first five places-heaviest daily bucket wins $200 and the all-around winners after the three designated days win 1st- $300, 2nd-$200, and 3rd-$100 decided by total points at the conclusion of the three days.

The smallest fish category has been changing every day with several anglers holding the title for a day. Sunday John Gauci of Florence turned in a 142mm (5”) entry that will be hard to beat. The other small lake trout entry is held by Paul Olson of Polson measuring 198mm (7 3/4”). Two anglers with the smallest entries will win $200 each.

There is no large fish entry in the Fall Fishing Event. The largest fish has to be over 36” and weigh 24 pounds or more to be entered. Winner of the largest lake trout entry receives $500. 

Anglers are using trolling and jigging methods. They change from one to the other depending on the fish. Trolling in depths of 50-80 feet is reported to be working well. The fish are said to be moving in to the shallower areas. Jigging depths are varied depending on the area. Some are jigging in 180’ and others 230’. 

Leading the Fall Mack Days anglers at the end of week two is Mike Benson of Lonepine with 232 lake trout entries, 2nd place is a tie between Terry Krogstad of Kalispell and Felix Gauci of Stevensville with 173, 4th place-Larry Karper of Florence with 164, 5th-Craig Morigeau of Polson with 158, 6th-Scott Bombard of Missoula-155, John Gauci is 7th with 137, Phil Meredith-Kalispell-8th with 134, 9th and 10th place is a tie between GW Schneider of Kalispell and Richard Kreis Huson each with 87.

Laurie Kreis of Huson is leading the ladies with 69, 2nd is Debra Pike of Kalispell with 29, 3rd-Jeanee Mooney Missoula with 24, 4th Julie Vacca-Florence-18, and 5th, Gina Schiff of Kalispell with 15.

Youth angler leader is Kobe Cox of Charlo with 7 followed by Myles Tripp of Stevensville with 2.The Under 12 age group leader is Aaron Haynes of Arlee with 7 and Ayden and Elly Tripp each have entered one.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have lake trout fishing information booklets, maps, and DVD’s available to help anglers learn about fishing on Flathead Lake. You can pick them up from the NRD Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation office or telephone 406-883-2888 ex. 7200 or 7294.

The $10,000, $5,000, and $1,000 tagged lake trout are out there and still available. Anglers turning in $100 tagged lake trout have been Missoula anglers: Larry Ashwell, Larry Karper, Scott Bombard X 2, Hoffman/Deny/Lewis, and Kevin Illig, Huson anglers: Laurie Kreis X2, and Richard Kreis, Kalispell anglers: GW Schneider, Terry Krogstad, Phil Meredith, and Roger Schiff, Kim McMillie-Ronan, and Craig Morigeau-Polson X 2.Terry Krogstad of Kalispell and Chad Cottet of Polson have each turned in $200 tagged lake trout. 

We remind everyone to think safety first. Have the proper equipment on board, tell someone when you plan to return, keep a cell phone in a dry place (zip lock bag), and be aware of changing weather conditions.

For more information telephone 406-270-3386 or 406-883-2888 ex. 7294 or go to the website. 

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