Blustery fall weather caught up to Flathead Lake anglers during the fifth weekend of the 2012 Mack Days Fall Fishing Event. Last Friday’s winds were rolling the waves and rocking the boats all across the lake. Howling wind on last Saturday kept most anglers off the water with wind advisories from 40-50 mph predicted all day.
Total entries during the fifth weekend were 533 on Friday, 147 on Saturday, and 686 on Sunday bringing the total for the event up to 6,974. The totals for the weekends are: 1,302, 1,461, 1,494, 1,351, and 1,366 for the fifth weekend.
Max Martz of Corvallis continues to hold on to the lead with a total of 574. Martz caught 53 last Friday and 71 last Sunday. The highest daily catch of the event so far is 71. Mike Benson of Lonepine turned in 24 last Friday and 67 on last Sunday and Scott Bombard of Missoula turned in 44 last Friday and 52 last Sunday, they are tied for second and third with 531 each.
Craig Morigeau of Polson comes in fourth with 362, then last Friday he caught 39 and 55 last Sunday. Phil Meredith of Kalispell holds fifth place with 336, last Friday he caught 32, then 21 last Saturday, and 24 on Sunday.
Don Beville of Lakeside is sixth with 255, Chad Cottet of Polson is seventh with 244, Terry Krogstad of Kalispell is eighth with 239, Nick Fister of Kalispell is ninth with 233, and Tyson Cottet of Charlo is 10th with 222.
Sharon Beville of Lakeside is the leader of the ladies category with 44. Julie Vacca of Stevensville is second with 42, Deana Knipe of Polson is third with 35, fourth is Kim McMillie of Ronan with 34, and Jeanee Mooney of Missoula is fifth with 31.
Youth 13-17 is led by Eric Sams of Polson with 36 and the 12-and-under category leader is Mark Herzog of Missoula with six.
Tagged fish worth $100 were turned in by Bill Swany and Tony Incashola of St. Ignatius, Jeff Mountgomery of Hamilton, Keith Wock of Polson, Tom King of Waddell, Ariz., Debbie Martz of Corvallis, Ben Knipe of Polson, Leonard Lewis of Plains, Morigeau, Bombard, Krogstad, and Martz.
Krogstad and Knipe each caught $200-tagged fish.
There is still no large lake trout entry in this event; several Fall Events have had no large lake trout entry.
Tyson Cottet with a 7-inch lake trout and Mike Benson with a 6.5-inch lake trout hold smallest lake trout entries.
Anglers reported the bite was improving as the weather cools and the fish are coming into the shallower waters. Shore anglers were also having better luck over the past weekend.
Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. There are currently 504 anglers entered in the Fall Event. Entry forms with the rules are available at area sporting goods stores and www.mack days.com.
Mack Days Fishing Events are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. The fishing events are used as a tool to slowly reduce numbers of non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake.
Up to $125,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the event on Nov. 11. Competition days are Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays until Nov. 2 and then it is 10 straight days of fishing until the end of the event.
There are over 4,000-tagged lake trout worth $100-500, 10 worth $1,000, five worth $5,000 and one of the tagged lake trout is worth $10,000.
The pit-tags are not visible. The adipose fin on the tagged lake trout has been clipped. Information is used from the tagged fish such as growth, movement, and population estimates. The lake trout are scanned when they are brought in to be entered and anglers anxiously await the results of the scan and the results of the award associated with that number.
The last day is a separate day with separate awards. Top 10 angler awards are based on the 15 highest days the angler has during the event. Top angler tickets are limited to their best 15 days.
All it takes is one ticket to win in the lottery style drawing that goes from $100-1,000. Prizes are given for several different categories including weekend, captains, and by age.
For more information go to www.mackdays.com or call 883-2888 ex. 7294.