The $10,000 tagged lake trout (aka-Jaws) is still hanging about somewhere in Flathead Lake. He or she is an elusive and highly sought-after lake trout. Anglers are also trying their best to lure the three $5,000 and five $$1,000 lake trout to the end of their lines. Over 9,000 lake trout have values from $500 to $100. Kalispell angler Travis Banyai hooked a $500 tagged fish and Tristin Persico of Missoula came in with a $200 tagged lake trout over the past week. Catching $100 tagged fish were Jason Mahlen and Ken Varga-Kalispell, Mark McMillin and Jack Kirkland-Missoula anglers.
Three weeks are left in the 2021 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Up to $225,000 in Cash and Prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the event. Anglers have been given the opportunity to participate in the events to reduce the non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake and increase the populations of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout. The events are one of the tools used to reduce the invasive lake trout. Mack Days includes a Fall and a Spring Event. This is the 38th Mack Days Event-19th Spring Event. The events have always been weather dependent-this event has had an over abundance of wind and cold making for long days on the water and lower numbers of entries.
Totals change fast with the 100 per day lake trout limit. First and second place is a fish race along with fourth and fifth place. Kolton Turner of Kalispell hangs on to a narrow lead for first with 1,258 lake trout entries. Right behind him is Jason Mahlen with 1,252. Top ten anglers will be placed on their best 18-day average at the end of the last day on May 16th. Bob Turner of Kalispell is 3rd with 1,034, 4th Steve Benson of Spokane Valley has 646, 5th Mike Benson-Lonepine-644, 6th Sam Cusker-Bigfork-628, 7th Ken Varga-590, 8th Tyler Varga-556, 9th Travis Banyai-531, and 10th Scott Bombard-Missoula-517.
Larry Karper of Florence is 1st in the 70 & Over with 486 and 11th in the standings. Jack Kirkland of Missoula is 2nd with 401 and 12th in the standings, 3rd Larry Ashwell of Missoula with 305, 4th Marty Herak of Polson with 134, 5th Don Peters of Missoula with 42, 6th Lloyd Kelch of Great Falls with 32, 7th Wes Wilkinson of Kalispell-29, 8th Roy Hassinger of Kalispell with 12, 9th Conn Hodgson of Kalispell with 10, and 10th Roger Brewer of Kalispell with 4.
Julie Perkins of Kalispell is first in the Lady Angler Category with 227, 2nd Connie Jones of Kalispell with 52, 3rd Nicole Peters of Missoula-35, 4th Lisa Cloo-Clinton-30, and 5th Debbie Paine of Polson with 29.
Matt Guckenberg Jr of Kalispell is 1st in the 13-17 Category with 241, Josey McIlhargey of Kalispell 2nd with 31, 3rd-Abby Hodgson-Kalispell-26, 4th Colton Spacht of Culbertson-13, and 5th Bryce Harvey of Kalispell-10.
Brodie Smith-Kalispell is 1st in the 12 & Under with 203, 2nd and 3rd Tripp Bick of Arlee-5 and Henry Phan of Kalispell, 4th Martin Phan Kalispell-3, and 5th Gage Spring of Alberton with 2.
A total of 19,763 lake trout entries have been turned in. Friday to Sunday total is 18,084 and the Monday to Thursday total is 1,679. Fridays total was 938, Saturday-779, and Sunday 625.
Sunday May 2nd is the final day of the Bucket Competition. Anglers weigh in their heaviest four lake trout in a bucket.
Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. Go to www.mackdays.com for information or telephone 406-270-3386. Tight lines everyone!