Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Big Arm angler leads Mack Days bucket standings

by Lake County Leader
| October 19, 2021 10:55 AM

Big Arm angler Rick Skates turned in a bucket of four lake trout under 30 inches that weighed in at 30.05 pounds for the winning entry in Fall Mack Days’ second Bucket Day on Saturday.

Week five wrapped up last weekend, and the fishing event runs through Nov. 14.

Skates gets 10 points for finishing first in the second of three Bucket Day events this fall. He had eight points from the first Bucket Day, so his total stands at 18 points. The final Bucket Day of the fall is Nov. 7.

Week five of the event sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes ended with a total of 9,291 lake trout entered by 118 anglers out of the registered 443 entrants. Up to $200,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the event.

A total of 415 entries were turned in Friday. Saturday's total was 516, and Sunday’s total was 400. The Monday-Thursday total is at 1,558 and the Friday-Sunday total is at 7,733.

The 2021 Spring Mack Days saw 27,561 entries turned in.

Overall Top 10

Felix Gauci of Stevensville leads all anglers with a total of 766 entries, followed by Larry Karper of Florence (551), Mike Benson of Lonepine (492), Scott Bombard of Missoula (419), Jack Kirkland of Missoula (416), Sam Cusker of Bigfork (378), Richard Kreis of Huson (361), Larry Ashwell of Missoula (349), Julie Perkins of Kalispell (345) and Terry Krogstad of Kalispell (383).

Anglers can only win cash prizes in one category. If an angler is in the Top 10 at the end of the event they can choose to stay in the Top 10 for that cash prize or if they are a leader in one of the other categories, they can drop out of the Top 10 to claim that prize.


Leading the Ladies is Julie Perkins with 345 entries, followed by Laurie Kreis of Huson (265), Kim Mack of Helena (95), Gina Schiff of Whitefish (59) and Debby Sacchi of Thompson Falls (48).

70 and Over

Larry Karper is first with 551 entries, followed by Jack Kirkland of Missoula (416), Larry Ashwell of Missoula (349), John Gauci of Florence (271) and Paul Grove of Wyoming, Ill. (101).

Ashlin Peters of Polson has turned in two and Kaden Blowers of Missoula turned in one fish in the 13-17 group. Bryan Blowers has three entries in the 12 and Under category, and Wyatt Best of Florence has one.

Weekend drawing winners were: John Gauci, $200, Bryon Long of Kalispell, $100, Scott Bombard, Larry Ashwell and John Cusker, $100 each. A 158-millimeter (6.5”) small lake trout entry was turned in by Larry Ashwell. It joins a 176-millimeter (7”) also turned in by Larry.

Skates has the only entry in the Largest Lake Trout category so far with a 23.6-pound, 40.5-inch lake trout. Rick caught the fish Saturday. Bretz RV and Marine of Missoula is sponsoring the $500 prize in this category.

Every lake trout entry gives anglers a chance to win cash awards from $50 to $2,000 in the lottery drawings. Bonus dollars are earned once anglers reach a total of 11 entries. Dollars go up as totals go up. The chart is on the rules page at www.mackdays.com. Click on the Events tab for the drop-down boxes.

“Freddy Mack”, the $10,000 tagged fish named by Peter Dayton of Missoula, was caught last week by the Terry Krogstad of Kalispell. Dayton will win a Siberian Soft Side Cooler for naming the $10,000 fish if he turns in at least one lake trout entry before the event ends.

There are still three tagged fish worth $5,000, five worth $1,000 and more than 9,000 with values from $100 to $500. Bretz RV and Marine of Missoula are also sponsoring a $1,000 tagged lake trout.

Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. Visit www.mackdays.com or call (406) 270-3386 to find all the information on the event, fish ID, weather, entries, etc.

The events are a management tool used to benefit native bull trout and cutthroat populations in Flathead Lake.