Anglers are reeling in the lake trout on Flathead Lake during the 2018 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event. After two weekends (Fri-Sun) and one week (Tues-Thurs) of fishing the total of lake trout entries is at 9,528. That is less than the 2017 Spring total of 10,577 after the same amount of days. Fridays total was 1,467, Saturday-783, and Sunday 1,524. Weather can really hamper the anglers on the lake. Saturday was a blustery spring day with cold wind, rain, snow, rough water, and fish that quit biting.
Up to $225,000 in Cash and Prizes sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes will be awarded at the conclusion of the event on May 13th. Mack Days are sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. The events are used to reduce non-native lake trout on Flathead Lake. Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. For more information go to www.mackdays.com or telephone 406-270-3386. All it takes is one fish to be entered in the lottery style drawing on the last day of the event.
The $10,000 tagged lake trout has not been caught-neither has the 3-$5,000 or 5-$1,000 tagged lake trout-they are still out there. There’s also over 6,000 with tags valued from $500-$100. The tagged fish are caught in all areas of the lake. The adipose fin on the tagged lake trout has been clipped-you cannot see the tags.
Catching $100 tagged fish over the second weekend were: Brian Hodgson, Matt Guckenberg, Scott Mahlen, Ken Varga, Kolton Turner, Tim Iverson-Kalispell, Felix Gauci of Stevensville X2, Sam Cusker of Bigfork, and Mike Benson of Lonepine X3.
There is now a largest fish entry-Matt Guckenberg caught a 40.25” lake trout that weighed 24.925 lbs. The largest fish has to be over 36” and weigh over 24 #’s to qualify.
Smallest lake trout entries are held by David McDaniel of Polson with a 146mm 5 ¾” and a 182mm entry from Roger Olson Jr. of Butte.
The Top Ten Angler Category has Mike Benson of Lonepine holding the lead with 564-Mike had a triple 100 fish weekend-100 is the lake trout limit per day on the lake, 2nd Steve Benson of Spokane Valley, WA with 508-his catches were 81 for Fri,-55 on Sat,-and 97-on Sunday, Sam Cusker of Bigfork is 3rd with 442-90, 41, & 79, 4th Jason Mahlen of Kalispell with 441-59, 30, and a perfect 100, 5th Felix Gauci-419-100, 69, and 100-double perfect limit weekend, 6th Scott Bombard of Missoula with 354, 7th Larry Karper of Florence with 336, Tyler Varga of Kalispell is 8th with 237, Ken Varga is 9th with 224, and Bryan Long of Kalispell is 10th with 221. Another 100 fish limit day was turned in by Chad Cottet of Polson on Friday.
Brandy Hilde of Bigfork continues to lead the ladies with 211. She is followed by Julie Woolley with 54, Julie Vacca-28, Connie Jones-16, and Julie Perkins with 16.
Matt Guckenberg Jr. leads the 12 & Under group with 100 entries, Tripp Bick has 13, Brodie Smith 8, and Emmett Ludahl with 3.
Tyler Varga is 1st in the 17 & Under group with 237, Rylan Koch has 20, Abby Hodgson-13, Leah Banyai-10, and Aaron Lang-10.
The first of the three Bucket of Fish Days is Friday March 30th. Anglers pick out four of their largest fish under 30” to be weighed in a bucket. Heaviest bucket of fish wins $200.
There is still a lot of time to participate in the event and a lot of ways to win.