2021 Spring Mack Days – Week 5 Update
By angelamontana

Posted: April 19, 2021

Five weeks of Flathead Lake fishing entries just concluded with a total of 17,234 lake trout entered. There are four weeks left in 2021 Spring Mack Days. Entries continue to be taken until May 16th the last day of the event. Two hundred three anglers out of seven hundred forty-four entered have turned in one or more lake trout entries. The success of the events is dependent on the many lake trout anglers who participate in the event. 

Mack Days Fishing Events are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Up to $225,000 in Cash and Prizes will be awarded to the competing anglers. Mack Days are used as one management tool to help restore a balance in Flathead Lake by decreasing the population of non-native lake trout and increasing the numbers of native fish. The events have been used over the years along with other management tools to try to reach the reduction numbers needed to be effective and make a difference. Working together is the only way to reach the goals needed. Each and every angler is part of the success of the events.

The famous $10,000 tagged lake trout-aka-Jaws is swimming in the depths of the lake along with 3-$5,000, 5-$1,000 and over 9,000 with values from $500-$100. Sought after tagged lake trout were turned in by Bill Blixt of Ronan-he turned in a $100 tagged lake trout after fishing along the shoreline-others were:  Gene Corne-$100-Kalispell, Steve Benson-$100-Spokane Valley, Tyler Varga-$100-Kalispell, Tristan Persico-Missoula-$100, Sam Cusker-$100-Bigfork, Jason Mahlen-$100-Kalispell, and Travis Banyai-$200-Kalispell. 

Winners of the $100 drawings for the fifth weekend were: Tom Borr-Polson, Jerry Benson-Plains, Kolton Turner-Kalispell, Jack Kirkland-Missoula, and Ken Varga of Kalispell.  Smallest lake trout leaders are now Jack Kirkland-175mm(7”) and Bob Turner-177mm.  Largest lake trout entry so far is still Riley Andersons 21.25 lb. 40” laker.

The second Bucket Day was Saturday. Winner of heaviest bucket of four lake trout under 30” was Terry Krogstad and Julie Perkins of Kalispell with a weigh of 30.3 lbs. 

Top Ten Anglers will be placed on their eighteen best day average at the conclusion of the event. Leading the amazing and hard-working anglers in the Top Ten is Kolton Turner with 1,095, 2nd Jason Mahlen-1,050, Bob Turner is 3rd with 914, 4th Sam Cusker 563, 5th Steve Benson-544, 6th Mike Benson-Lonepine-509, 7th Ken Varga 499, 8th Tyler Varga-468, 9th Travis Banyai-454, and 10th Scott Bombard-Missoula with 413. The 11th to 20th place anglers also qualify for cash awards-they along with every other angler are hard working and dedicated. Larry Karper of Florence is 11th with 351, 12th Matt Guckenberg Sr.-323, 13th Hank McLeod-Kalispell-317, 14th Jack Kirkland-314, 15th Jerry Benson-297, 16th Felix Gauci-Stevensville-281, 17th Terry Krogstad-258, 18th Larry Ludahl-Kalispell-249, 19th Sou Thao of Florence-247, and 20th Clint Speer-Kalispell-240.  

Julie Perkins leads the Ladies with 205, 2nd Connie Jones of Kalispell with 52, 3rd Debbie Paine-Polson with 30, 4th Laurie Kreis of Huson-26, and tied for 5th is Lisa Cloo of Clinton and Nicole Peters of Missoula with 25 each.

Matt Guckenberg Jr of Kalispell has 221 for 1st in the 13-17 Category, 2nd Josey McIlhargey of Kalispell-31, 3rd Abby Hodgson of Kalispell with 26, 4th Colton Spacht of Culbertson with 13, and Kalispell angler Bryce Harvey has 10.

Brodie Smith of Kalispell is 1st in the 12 & Under with 175, 2nd Issac Cole of Stevensville with 14, 3rd Tripp Bick of Arlee with 5 and Henry Phan of Kalispell-5, Gage Spring of Alberton has 2 and Martin Phan has 2.

Fridays total catch was 1,251, Saturday-1,135, and Sunday with raging winds coming in the afternoon still had a total of morning and early afternoon catches of 673.  For more information go to www.mackdays.com. Click on the events tab for the drop-down pages. Come out and be part of 2021 Spring Mack Days. Fish all of the lake. Be involved in making a change and helping the native fish of Flathead Lake.

Tight lines everyone!