Saturday, December 02, 2023

Winning Mack Days angler breaks record

by CSKT Fisheries
| November 16, 2023 12:00 AM

The 2023 Fall Mack Days fishing event on Flathead Lake, sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, is in the books. A total of 17,502 lake trout entries were received, which is the second largest event total since the 2019 Fall Event which tallied 18,214 entries.

In 2020, the event total was 14,821; in 2021, 14,036; and in 2022, 13,901. Out of 344 registered anglers, 135 turned in one or more lake trout entries.

On the final weekend, Friday’s fish total came to 472, Saturday’s raging winds keep the total down to 172, and Sunday was a good day with 448 lake trout entries, for a weekend total of 1,092.

Fishing 62 days in a row – including all 60 event days and two days pre-fishing for spots – was the winner of the event, David Myers of Riverton, Wyo. David had 1,399 lake trout entries for the Friday-to-Sunday competition days. His goal was to turn in an entry every day of the event and he did! 

David even had his wife out a couple days of the event. She reported that her hands were very cold and she hooked a large lake trout. It pulled the fishing rod out of her hands and over board it went! David tied a treble hook onto another pole and they went fishing for her pole and were lucky enough to get it back.

David turned in 1,423 for the Monday-to-Thursday fishing. His 18-day average was 61.61, and he set a new total record count for Fall Mack Days – great job David!

 Coming in second was Felix Gauci of Stevensville with 1,127 and 59.61 average; third place was Michael Benson of Lonepine with 1,135 and 51.72 average; fourth place was Bob Stewart of Kalispell with 980 and 46.67; fifth place was Jerry Benson of Plains with 771 and 37.78; sixth was Larry Ashwell of Missoula with 726 and 34.89; seventh was Larry Karper of Florence with 624 and 32.56; eighth was Jack Kirkland of Lolo with 624 and 32.56; ninth was Richard Kreis of Huson with 543 and 24.72; and in 10th place was Scott Bombard of Missoula with 450 and 22.33 average.

The Ladies winner was Laurie Kreis of Huson with 307; second place was Julie Perkins of Kalispell with 210; third place was Debby Sacchi of Thompson Falls with 143; Kim Mack of Helena with 67 entries was fourth; and in fifth place was Connie Jones of Kalispell with 18 lake trout entries. Connie had a lucky day on Friday catching two in a row with tags!

“The Ghost,” a $10,000 tagged lake trout, eluded all anglers during the 2023 fall event. A new $10,000 lake trout will be tagged for the 2024 Spring Mack Days event.

Turning in tagged lake trout the last week were: Julie Perkins, Richard Kreis, Connie Jones and Tony Incashola, all $100; and Jones and Alison Putzler of Kalispell, $200.

The winner of the 13-17 age group was Lucia Savola of Missoula with 11 lake trout entries; Alison Putzler took second with nine lake trout entires.

Winning the 12 & Under age category was Blaine Helvey of Thompson Falls with 18 lake trout entries; second place was Paisley Helvey with 18 lake trout entries.  Zander Oliver of Missoula and Emily Simonich of Missoula tied for third with five lake trout entries apiece.

Terry Krogstad of Kalispell won the 70 & Over age category with 398; in second place was Mike Cosby of Thompson Falls with 132; and in third  place was Paul Grove of Wyoming, Ill., with 116 lake trout entries.

We would like to thank each and every angler who caught one fish or hundreds of fish, you are all awesome and are helping in the conservation effort to increase native fish numbers in Flathead Lake!

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