Mike Benson is top angler for 2021 Fall Mack Days
A few of this fall's top anglers, from left: Jack Kirkland, Larry Ashwell, Terry Krogstad, Julie Perkins, Mike Benson and Scott Bombard. (CSKT Natural Resource Department)
| November 16, 2021 7:35 AM
After nine weeks of lake trout fishing, Lonepine angler Mike Benson took Top Angler honors with a total of 1,068 lake trout entries in the 2021 Fall Mack Days fishing event.
Benson won with an 18-day average of 52.89 entries. He fished 26 of 27 weekend fishing days.
The Flathead Lake event concluded Sunday with a total of 14,036 lake trout entries. A total of 455 anglers entered, and 128 turned at least one entry to qualify for the prize drawings.
The total for the last weekend was 878 with Friday’s count of 342, Saturday’s count of 400 and 136 entries Sunday.
Felix Gauci of Stevensville placed second in the Top Angler standings with 902 entries, a 49.94 average and 19 fishing days. He was followed by Larry Karper of Florence (751/37.5/25), Sam Cusker of Bigfork (600/32.5/23), Jack Kirkland of Missoula (631/31.78/24), Terry Krogstad of Kalispell (675/31.61/27), Julie Perkins of Kalispell (669/30.94/27), Scott Bombard of Missoula (640/30.83/26), Larry Ashwell of Missoula (564/28.0/24) and Richard Kreis of Huson (557/26.89/25).
The annual Mack Days Fishing Events are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Anglers were competing for up to $200,000 in cash and prizes.
Final-week Siberian coolers went to Laurie Kreis, Mike Benson and Kim Mack of Helena. Julie Perkins won a $200 drawing. Nicole Peters and Larry Karper were $100 drawing winners. Sam Cusker won a pair of $100 drawings. Mark McMillin of Missoula won the Spirit of the Event Award. A list of lottery winners is available at www.mackdays.com on the “Stats” page. Click on the awards tab at the top of the page.
Laurie Kreis was the winner of the Ladies category with 352 lake trout entries, followed by Kim Mack of Helena (102), Gina Schiff of Whitefish (76), Nicole Peters of Missoula (55) and Debby Sacchi of Thompson Falls (51).
John Gauci of Florence won the 70 and Over category with 524 lake trout entries, and Paul Grove of Wyoming, Ill. was second with 101. Larry Ashwell and Bernie Olsen won the two drawings in the category.
There was a tie in the 13-17 category, with nine entries each for Alison Putzler of Kalispell and Blake Williams of Big Arm. Ashlin Peters of Polson was third with two entries.
Wyatt Best of Florence won the 12 & Under category with five entries, followed by Brynn Blowers of Missoula with three.
Terry Krogstad and Julie Perkins turned in Freddie Mack, this fall’s $10,000 tagged fish, in early October.
The 2022 Spring Mack Days fishing event begins in March.