Lake trout anglers on Flathead Lake have now completed four weekends of the nine-week long 2021 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event. The event is sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. There is Up to $225,000 in Cash and Prizes that will be awarded at the conclusion of the fishing event which is May 16th.
A total of 14,068 lake trout have been entered with 12,683 during Friday to Sunday fishing and 1,385 during the Monday to Thursday angling days. Friday’s total was 1,060-a very windy and cold Saturday had a total of 64 entries. Most anglers did not go out on the water, several drove to boat ramps and anxiously watched and waited for calmer waters that never came! Sunday was a much better weather day, there were 1,498 lake trout turned in. Some anglers fish as many days as possible others fish a few chosen days, and some only fish one day.
Many boats are leaving the boat ramp areas before dawn and not returning until late evening. Every angler counts and contributes to the goal of increasing native fish numbers in Flathead Lake by decreasing the population of the non-native lake trout. There have been several hours of lake trout angling by the one hundred eighty-five anglers of all ages out of the seven hundred nine registered entrants. Some days catching them is easy-it’s getting them into the boat that is hard. Losing a fish right at the boat is very frustrating. There are days they say they lose more than they get in the cooler. That is the reason we say Tight lines everyone!
Jaws the fish worth $10,000 is still swimming in the lake. He along with 3-$5,000, 5-$1,000 and over 9,000 with $500-$100 values are waiting for just the right lures. Matt Guckenberg Sr of Kalispell was lucky enough to bring in $100 and a $500 lake trout. Travis Banyai of Kalispell was another lucky angler with $200 and $100 tagged lakers. Chris Shae and Bob Turner of Kalispell each had $100 tagged lake trout. There have been thirty-four tagged lake trout turned in so far.
Every angler hopes it is their turn to catch a tagged fish.
Once anglers turn in 11 fish they begin to accumulate bonus dollars. Go to www.mackdays.com to see the bonus chart, rules, entry form, fish ID, etc. or telephone 406-270-3386 for information.
Kolton Turner of Kalispell is in first place in the Top Twenty Angler category with 892 entries. He has turned in the limit of one hundred lake trout for five days in a row that he has fished. For the weekend he had 100 on Friday, chose not to fish on Saturday, and 100 fish entries on Sunday. Jason Mahlen of Kalispell is 2nd with 855. He also has five one hundred fish days with the last being on Sunday. His total on Friday was 93, Saturday he did not fish, and Sunday he turned in 100 coming off the water at 2:00 with a limit. Bob Turner has 734 for 3rd. He turned in 87 on Friday, zero on Saturday, and 90 on Sunday. The Turner boat has turned in a total of 1,626 in total so far during the event. Fourth place is Sam Cusker of Bigfork with 434, 5th place is Steven Benson of Spokane Valley with 421, 6th place is Mike Benson of Lonepine with 416, 7th place is Ken Varga of Kalispell with 403, 8th place is Tyler Varga of Kalispell with 382, 9th place is Scott Bombard of Missoula with 370, and 10th place is Travis Banyai of Kalispell with 308.
Jack Kirkland of Missoula leads the Golden Oldies (70 & Over) with 256 lake trout entries, Larry Karper of Florence is 2nd with 213, Larry Ashwell of Missoula is 3rd with 194, 4th place is Marty Herak of Polson with 119, and 5th place is John Gauci of Florence with 63.
Julie Perkins of Kalispell continues her lead in the Ladies category with 183, 2nd place is Connie Jones of Kalispell with 50, 3rd place is Debbie Paine of Polson with 27, 4th place is Laurie Kreis of Huson with 26, and 5th place is Lisa Cloo of Clinton with 25.
Matt Guckenberg Jr of Kalispell has a total of 158 for 1st in the 13-17 category, 2nd place is Abby Hodgson of Kalispell with 26, 3rd place is Josey McIlhargey of Kalispell with 23, 4th place is Colton Spacht of Culbertson with 13, and 5th place is Bryce Harvey of Kalispell with 10.
Brodie Smith of Kalispell is 1st in the 12 & Under with 159, 2nd place is Tripp Bick of Arlee with 5, Gage Spring of Alberton is in 3rd place with 2, and Kaden Blowers of Missoula and Ridder Bissegger of Polson each have one lake trout entry.
Winners of the weekend random electronic drawing of $100 each were: Larry Karper, Matt Guckenberg Jr, Mike Benson, Sou Thao of Missoula, and Jason Mahlen.
Bucket Day number two is Saturday April 17th. Anglers put their four heaviest lake trout under 30 inches into a bucket and a weight is recorded. Heaviest bucket wins $200. Shore anglers and boat anglers alike enjoy this competition. Points are given and overall prizes after the third bucket day are awarded.
Remember all it takes is one lake trout entry to be qualified for a lottery drawing from $1,000 to $50. Lottery prizes are drawn the day after the event ends. There will be sixty-seven drawings for the prizes.
Good luck-come out and join in the Flathead Lake Mack Days Fishing Event! Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event and there is no entry fee. For more information please visit www.mackdays.com.
Tight lines everyone!