The lake trout fishing in Flathead Lake was great for the second weekend of 2012 Spring Mack Days- thanks to all of the participating anglers. The weekend entries came to 3,088 bringing the total to 6,088. Mack Days are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Up to $150,000 in Cash and Prizes is available in the Spring Event.
Two lucky anglers-Matt Gukenberg-Kalispell and youth angler Connor Kowalski-Florence-turned in $500 tagged lake trout during the second weekend. Two other anglers were lucky with $200 tagged lake trout-Greg Grenwell-Missoula and Brett Thompson-Charlo. Winning $100 for tagged lake trout were-Mike Benson x 2, Mark Lang-Kalispell, Charlie Miller-Missoula x 2, Blaine Koistinen-Hot Springs, Jens Gran-Polson, Bear Malatare-Arlee, Connor Kowalski, Paul Hobos-Kalispell, Travis Banyai-Kalispell, and Willie Murry-Columbia Falls. Anticipation for one of the higher valued tags to come in increases every day. Who will it be?? Each angler is hoping to be the one to bring one in. There is one tag valued at $10,000, 5-$5,000, and 10-$1,000 plus over 4,000 from $100-$500.
Chuck Forgey-Arlee leads the event with 287-weekend total 137, and Mike Benson is second with 260-weekend 129. Benson took over the lead by five fish with a high on Friday of 81. Saturday it was Forgey turning in 51 and Benson had 38 putting Forgey back in the lead by eight. His lead increased to 27 on Sunday with 29 entries and Benson turning in 10. Third place is angler-Steven Benson-229-his weekend total was 129, 4th-Terry Krogstad-Kalispell-217-2 day weekend total 88, 5th-Scott Bombard-Missoula-212-weekend 88, 6th-Danny Smith-Hot Springs-198-weekend 82, 7th -Jason Mahlen-Kalispell-182-weekend113, 8th-Don Beville-Lakeside-175-weekend 107, 9th-Jerry Benson-Plains-158-weekend 92, 10th-Craig Morigeau-Polson-153-weekend 91.
Ladies leaders are Terry Biere-Butte-37, Kathryn Cox-Rollins-24, Susan Martin-Polson-24, Sharon Beville-Lakeside-18, & Michelle Slyder-Billings-18.
Garett Vaughan-Charlo leads the 12 & under group with 32. Following him is Autumn Powers-Missoula-18, Dylan Hodgson-Kalispell-9, Carson McDaniel-Polson-5, and Cole Gilleard-St. Ignatius-5
Connor Kowalski has 71 total in the 13-17 category followed by Tanner Murry-Columbia Falls with 51, Brady Weible-Charlo-12, Keegan Noyd-Missoula-11, and Wyatt Jenson-Polson-7.
Mack Days continues until May 20th Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. May 11th-20th will be ten straight days of fishing bringing the total days to 34. Top ten anglers are limited to their best 18 day average and tickets for their best 18 days. One ticket gets you entered in the lottery drawing that starts at $1,000 and goes to $200.
We remind anglers to always think safety first-be aware of weather and weather advisories, have and wear personal floatation vests-jackets, follow all fishing regulations, keep cell phones dry and in a zip lock plastic bag, let someone know when you plan to return, know your fish ID. It is illegal to catch or harvest bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout are catch and release only in Flathead Lake.