Lake trout anglers on Flathead Lake have two weekends left in the 2021 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event on Flathead Lake. It is not too late to become involved and win some of the $225,000 in Cash and Prizes that is sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Come out and help in the effort to reduce numbers of the non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake and increase the populations of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout.
A total of 22,534 lake trout entries have been turned in by 216 hard-working anglers. The Friday to Sunday total is 20,561 and Monday to Thursday total is 1,973. Friday’s total came to 1,039, Saturday 696, and the total fish count for Sunday was 742.
The $10,000 tagged lake trout is still waiting for some lucky angler. Three $5,000 and five $1,000 tagged lake trout plus over 9,000 with values from $500 to $100. Hank McLeod of Kalispell turned in a $500 tagged fish and Julie Perkins of Kalispell turned in a $200 lake trout.
Due to Covid, there will not be a fish fry or awards ceremony on the last day of the event. Drawings will be done electronically after the event ends. There is a total of $30,000 in the lottery drawings. The drawings begin at $50 and go to $1,000. There will be sixty-seven drawings for the cash prizes-all it takes is one fish entry to be a winner. Several ways to win but many only take one entry and some go by totals-Captains Prizes-Ladies Category, Youth Categories, Top Twenty Angler’s, 70 & Over, Largest Lake Trout, and Smallest. Go to the website www.mackdays.com click on the events tab and check out the many ways you can qualify to win.
Special for Mother’s Day Weekend will be a drawing for a Siberian Cooler, Powell Fishing Rod, and stadium seat. Every lake trout under 30” will be entered for this special drawing Friday through Sunday and there will be an added Special Drawing for the last two weekends-includes Mother’s Day weekend also- Friday to Sunday-every fish under 30″ counts-45 Qt. Siberian Cooler, Crowder Fillet Knife-handmade by Bob Crowder of Thompson Falls, and a Powell Fishing Rod. There will still be the overall weekend cooler drawing that includes every weekend of the event for a 65 Qt. Siberian Cooler.
The third and final day of the Heaviest Bucket of Fish was Sunday. Rick Skates of Big Arm turned in a winning weight of 27.35 for his bucket of four lake trout. Terry Krogstad and Julie Perkins were 2nd with a weight of 24.2. Shore anglers Kathleen Bell of St. Ignatius and Julie Duncan of Polson were 3rd with 23.75 pounds in their bucket. Overall winners of the three bucket days were Terry and Julie with 20 points. Second and third places were tied with 10 points-a tie is broken by weight. Second place with a total weight of 48.4 for three buckets goes to Travis Banyai and Hank McLeod of Kalispell. Third place went to Bob Turner and Kolton Turner of Kalispell with a weight of 35.95 for two buckets.
Weekend winners of $100 were: Marty Herak-Polson, Jason Mahlen-Kalispell, Ken Varga-Kalispell, Andy Reed-Kalispell, and Bob Turner.
Julie Perkins leads the ladies with 252, Connie Jones of Kalispell is 2nd with 60, 3rd Nicole Peters of Missoula-44, 4th Lisa Cloo of Clinton with 30, and Debbie Paine of Polson is 5th with 29.
Kolton Turner is leading in the Top 10 Angler category with 1,477 and an eighteen day average of 80.5, 2nd Jason Mahlen with 1,435 and 77.94, 3rd Bob Turner-1,175 and 64.33, 4th Mike Benson-Lonepine-770 and 41.5, 5th Steve Benson-Spokane Valley-733 and 40.39, 6th Sam Cusker of Bigfork-714 (no average), 7th Larry Karper-Florence-641 and 35.61, 8th Ken Varga-639 and 34.89, 9th Travis Banyai-602 and 33.44, and 10th Scott Bombard of Missoula-623 and 33.22.
Larry Karper is first in the Golden Oldies Category even though he ended the weekend fishing with just one rod. Fishing rods can vanish without a sound-many anglers know the feeling when that happens. Larry could not believe it when he turned to one of his poles and it had disappeared. The only place it could go was in the water. Maybe it will end up on his line next weekend. Larry’s total is 641, 2nd Jack Kirkland of Missoula-523, Larry Ashwell of Missoula is 3rd with 361, 4th Marty Herak of Polson with 141, and 5th John Gauci of Florence with 73.
Kalispell angler Matt Guckenberg Jr is first in the 13-17 Category with 269, 2nd Josey McIlhargey Jr of Kalispell 36, 3rd Abby Hodgson of Kalispell-26. Brodie Smith leads the 12 & Under with 207, 2nd and 3rd Tripp Bick of Arlee and Henry Phan of Missoula with 5.
Come out and enjoy the beauty of Flathead Lake. Help to restore a balance to the native fishery of the lake. We remind everyone to be safe, have a plan and let someone know when you will return, have and use safety equipment-PFD’s do not work if they are not on your back. Be safe and weather wise. 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!