Thursday, October 21, 2021

Bigfork's Cusker third after Mack opening weekend

| September 23, 2021 12:00 AM

The 2021 Fall Mack Days Fishing Event, sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, began with anglers having good luck landing fish in their boats on Friday.

The weather cooperated after a morning breeze and many had some good numbers of lake trout to turn in at the end of the day.

Felix Gauci of Stevensville had an awesome day and turned in the first 100-fish day of the event. The fish total on Friday was 955.

Saturday the wicked winds began to blow and anglers were looking for protection, many reported huge rollers out on the water. The total for Saturday was 370 lake trout.

Sunday the winds and rain came and continued all day long. It was a brutal day on the water for the anglers but many toughed it out turning in a total of 616 lakers.

Anglers agree that they can handle the rain but the wind is something they have more difficulty dealing with.

Up to $200,000 in cash and prizes that will be awarded at the conclusion of the event Sunday, Nov. 14.

There are many ways to win with several different categories to qualify in. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

use these fishing events as a management tool to reduce non- native lake trout in Flathead Lake in efforts to increase the populations of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout in the lake.

The un-named $10,000 lake trout is waiting for a lucky angler to drop down their lure. Next week we will have it named after a drawing from a list of names anglers submitted.

There are an additional 3-$5,000, and 5-$1,000 tagged lake trout plus over 9,000 with values from $100-$500.

Also, added to the event is year is a $1,000 tagged fish sponsored by Bretz RV and Marine of Missoula.

Richard Kreis of Huson turned in the first tagged 2021 Fall lake trout on Thursday with a $100 value. Gauci also turned in a $100 tagged lake trout. Saturday, Jim Schriber of Bigfork caught a $100 tagged lake trout and Mike Benson of Lonepine turned in a $500 tagged lake trout at the end of the day.

Laurie Kreis of Huson, is off to a good start, leading the ladies with 109 lake trout entries. Kim Mack of Helena is in second place with 49 lake trout entries. In third place is Julie Perkins of Kalispell with 34. In fourth place is Debby Sacchi of Thompson Falls with 23, and in fifth place is Gina Schiff of Whitefish with 20 macks.

The 70 and over category leader is Larry Karper of Florence with 135 entries. He is followed by Jack Kirkland of Kalispell with 106 entries, in third is Larry Ashwell of Missoula with 83 entries, John Gauci of Florence is fourth with 67 entries, and in fifth place is Paul Grove of Wyoming, with 36 lake trout entries.

The top 10 anglers are Gauci (185), Benson (171), and Sam Cusker of Bigfork (154). Richard Kreis of Huson is fourth with 150 entries while in fifth place is Larry Karper, with 135 entries. In sixth place is Laurie Kreis with 109 entries.

In seventh place is Jack Kirkland of Missoula with 106. In eighth place is Scott Bombard of Missoula, with 101 entries. In ninth place is Larry Ashwell, with 83 entries, and in 10th place is Mark McMillin, with 79 lake trout.

Weekend winners were: Kim Mack-$200, Richard Kreis-$100, John Gauci-$100, Sam Cusker-$100, and Roger Schiff of Whitefish-$100.

One smallest lake trout entry has been turned in. Mark McMillin turned in 8¾ inch fish. No large lake trout entries have been turned in so far.

The nine-week Fall Mack Days event ends Nov. 14. Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event.

For more information go to and click on the events tab at the top of the page or call 406-270-3386.