It was great fishing weather for the 2nd weekend of 2022 Spring Mack Days on Flathead Lake. Friday through Sunday weather was just what many anglers have been waiting for and there were a lot of anglers out on the water! There were mild temperatures and no winds, but for many fisherman, the fish were in a lock jaw mode. If you were in one of the few good spots your numbers were high. If not, it was a beautiful, but exasperating day. Sunday was very slow for some with Sam Cusker standing in his boat waving a white flag saying he was going in early. Friday a total of 1,369 lake trout entries were turned in. Saturday entries came to 1,085 and Sunday the total was 721 for a weekend grand total of 3,175 lake trout. One hundred thirty-three out of five hundred nine registered anglers have caught one or more lake trout.
The largest fish weight so far in the event went up to 25.25lbs. with a lake trout turned in by Jade Smith of Charlo on Saturday. Jade was fishing with Kobe Cox of Charlo who grew up fishing Mack Days Events and is now taking friends out fishing. Jade’s lake trout measured 41 inches and was released back into the lake. Winner of the largest fish at the conclusion of the event receives $500.
Bretz RV and Marine of Missoula is the sponsor of the largest fish award.
Smallest lake trout entries are Kolton Turners 169mm (6.5”) and Mike Bensons 173mm (6.75”) entries.The five weekend winners were: Jack Kirkland-Kalispell $200 and $100 winners Larry Karper of Florence, Bob Turner of Kalispell X 2, and Kolton Turner of Kalispell.
Jason Mahlen from Kalispell is leading the Top Ten Anglers with 402 entries. His catch over the weekend was 94, 28, & 40. In 2nd place is Kolton Turner, with 388 entries, with 74, 72, & 40. In 3rd place Bob Turner with 342 entries, with 71, 63, & 22 weekend entries, In 4th place is Mike Benson (Lonepine) with 240 entries, with 50, 16, 14 weekend entries. In 5th place is Steve Benson (Spokane Valley), with 218 entries, with 59, 48, 47 weekend entries. In 6th place is Sam Cusker (Bigfork), with 211 entries, with 27, 43, 16. In 7th place is Larry Karper (Florence), with 203 entries, with 16, 50, 30 entries. In 8th place is Jerry Benson (Plains), with158 entries, with 20, 44, 51 weekend entries. In 9th place is Clint Speer, with 156 entries, with 42, 32, 32 entries. And in 10th place is Larry Ashwell (Missoula), with 151 entries, with 43, 36, & 12 weekend entries.
Julie Perkins of Kalispell is leading the Ladies with 76, In 2nd place is Connie Jones of Kalispell with 26, In 3rd & 4th place is Ia Thao of Missoula and Rebecca Spring of Alberton with 11, and in 5th place is Amanda Hoback of Arlee.
Brodie Smith of Kalispell is in 1st place in the 13-17 category with 16 lake trout entries. In 2nd place is Matt Guckenberg Jr. with 12, In 3rd place is Karson Cox of Charlo with 3 entries, and in 4th place is Michael Palmer of Kalispell with 2 entries. The 12 & Under leader is Wyatt Best of Kalispell with 6 entries. Gage Spring is 2nd with 4 entries, 3rd through 6th place is Tripp Bick of Arlee, Martin Phan of Kalispell, Allydia Yang of Missoula, and Henry Phan of Kalispell.
70 & Over leader is Mike Benson with 240 entries, In 2nd place is Larry Karper with 203 entries, In 3rd place is Larry Ashwell with 151 entries, in 4th place is Jack Kirkland (Missoula) with 102 entries, and in 5th place is John Gauci of Florence with 44 lake trout entries.
The first of the Bucket Days was Friday with the Demmons boat out of Missoula turning in four lake trout under 30” that weighed in at 24lbs.10 ozs. Second place was the Krogstad boat-Kalispell with a weight of 21lbs.3 ozs. Third place was the Speer boat-Kalispell at 19lbs.3 ozs. The second day of the Buckets will be on Saturday April 16th. Tagged lake trout $100 were turned in by Kalispell anglers Jim Flinchbaugh and Jason Mahlen, Ber Yang-Missoula, Paul Soukup-Polson, Matt Brazda-Missoula, Jerry Benson-Plains, and Justin Spring of Alberton had a $200 lake trout.
Up to $225,000 will be awarded at the conclusion of 2022 Spring Mack Days to anglers of all ages and experience levels. Mack Days Events are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and are used to reduce the non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake to increase populations of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout. The $10,000 tagged lake trout is still waiting for a lucky angler. There are 3-$5,000, 5-$1,000 (plus a $1,000 tagged lake trout sponsored by Bretz RV & Marine) and over 9,000 with $500 to $100 values. There are a lot of ways to win in this event. Go to www.mackdays.com for more information. Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. Every fish counts and is entered in the lottery drawings. You can fish as many times as you like-Monday through Sunday. Spring Mack Days ends on May 15th.
Entries are taken until the last day of the event. There is no entry fee. Every fish counts for lottery awards and you start getting bonus amounts after your eleventh lake trout entry. Amounts go up every 25 fish. Every fish counts in this effort to reduce the non-native lake trout. Help to restore a balance and make a difference for the future fishery of Flathead Lake. For More information, visit www.mackdays.com or call Cindy Benson @ (406) 270-3386.
Tight lines everyone!