Weekend weather hinders Mack Days numbers

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Gusty winds kept last weekend’s Mack Days fish catch numbers the lowest since it began in 2002.

According to information from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe, record gusting winds kept anglers off the water and resulted in just 364 lake trout caught, most of which occurred Friday.

The second weekend total showed 359 fish were caught Friday and 15 Sunday. The last zero taken on an event day was in the Fall 2003 event. Fifteen entries Sunday wasn’t the lowest day ever. The 2015 Spring Event had a 14-fish day on April 11. The lowest weekend record had been a 2008 April total that was 608 fish.

There are six weeks remaining in the 2019 Fall Mack Days Fishing Event sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. A total of 3,401 lake trout entries have been entered so far in the event.

There is $150,000 in cash and prizes that will be awarded on the last day of the event, Nov. 10. Enter one fish to get your name in the lottery drawing that begins at $1,000 and goes to $400. Several categories have prizes for all ages. Check out the rules and categories at mackdays.com or telephone 406-270-3386.

The $10,000 tagged lady lake trout Marie Laveau is still swimming back and forth in the lake. Three $5,000, five $1,000, along with over 9,000 tagged lake trout with values from $500-$100 are also available to be caught.

Lucky anglers Monte McPhearson of Silverdale, Washington, and Jim Flinchbaugh, of Kalispell, caught $200 tagged lake trout during the second week. Turning in $100 tagged lake trout were Kalispell anglers Julie Perkins and Terry Krogstad.

Mike Benson of Lonepine is leading the anglers with 361 entries. Scott Bombard of Missoula is second with 222, Felix Gauci of Stevensville is third with 221, Terry Krogstad of Kalispell has 183 for fourth, Julie Perkins of Kalispell is fifth with 171.

Sam Cusker of Bigfork is sixth with 160, Larry Ashwell of Missoula is seventh with 155, Larry Karper of Florence is eighth with 144, Jack Kirkland of Missoula is ninth with 142, and Bob Stewart of Kalispell is 10th with 128.

Perkins of Kalispell is first in the Ladies Category with 171, Gina Schiff of Whitefish is seocnd with 26, Laurie Kreis of Huson is third with 18, Kim McMillie of Polson is fourth with 14, and Lisa Cloo of Clinton is fifth with 9.

Matt Guckenberg Jr. of Kalispell has eight lakers in the 13-17 age group and HD of Arlee has three in the 12 & Under.

Larry Ashwell is a new leader in the 70 & Over Category with 155. Larry Karper is second with 144, John Gauci of Florence is third with 49, Mike Cosby of Thompson Falls is fourth with 24, and Bernie Olson of Lakeside has 18 for fifth.

Weekend $100 awards drawn from the weekend tickets by five different fillet staff were Mike Benson (3), Bob Stewart, and Felix Gauci.

The lake trout are fall spawners and should be moving in closer to shore areas. Jigging for them is still the choice of most anglers. Some trollers are starting to have some luck catching the lake trout also.

Mack Days Fishing Events are used as a management tool to reduce non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake to increase the populations of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat in the lake.

Anglers receive a ticket for every lake trout entry. Bonus amounts begin with your 11th fish entry. Fish Tuesday through Sunday until the end of the event Nov. 10.

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