The 2022 Spring Mack Days sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes wrapped up the fourth weekend of this nine weekend event, which ends on Sunday May 15th, where up to $225,000 in Cash and Prizes will be awarded. There is still time to become involved in and to get qualified for the lottery drawings starting at $50 up to $2,000. Get your lines in the water and hook onto one of the tagged lake trout that have values from $100 to $10,000. There are also (3) $5,000, (5) $1,000 plus a $1,000 lake trout sponsored by Bretz RV and Marine of Missoula and over 9,000 with values from $100 to $500. Once anglers have turned in 11 lake trout they begin to accumulate bonus dollar amounts. The amounts go up every 25 fish. Check out the chart on the rules page at www.mackdays.com.
Wind warnings have almost become an everyday occurrence. Winds began Friday night and continued throughout the weekend with wind advisory warnings all day Saturday and on Sunday afternoon on into the next week plus snow was added in along the way. It was cold, windy, and rough out there. Hoping for fairer weather coming soon. Friday’s total lake trout entries were 774, Saturday’s total was 240 hard caught entries, and Sunday was another rough day on the water with 560 entries. Our total count for the event is at 11,014 well deserved entries from the anglers.
If you want to get serious about fishing in the event you may qualify in the Top Twenty Angler category. The Top Ten are ranked by their best eighteen-day average from weekend totals. Several have the full twelve days in so far. Eleventh through twentieth places are placed by fish totals. Leading is Kalispell angler Kolton Turner with 745, 2nd Jason Mahlen of Kalispell with 639, 3rd Bob Turner of Kalispell with 607, 4th Steven Benson of Spokane Valley, WA. With 368, 5th Mike Benson of Lonepine with 349, 6th Jerry Benson of Plains with 315, 7th Larry Karper of Florence with 314, 8th Travis Banyai of Lakeside with 282, 9th Sam Cusker of Bigfork with 281, and 10th Clint Speer of Kalispell with 263.
11th-20th Place is; Larry Ashwell of Missoula with 261, Scott Bombard of Missoula with 243, Tom Kemppainen of Columbia Falls with 219, Larry Ludahl of Kalispell with 217, Hank McLeod of Kalispell with 214, Ken Varga of Kalispell with 189, Andy Reed of Kalispell with 178, Jack Kirkland of Missoula with 161, Gene Corne of Kalispell with 151, and Terry Krogstad of Kalispell with 145. These anglers work hard putting in many rough hours fishing on Flathead Lake in all kinds of conditions. We appreciate everyone who turns in one fish or many. You are all amazing!
The ladies are also working hard and turning in some good numbers. Julie Perkins of Kalispell is leading with 97entries, Connie Jones of Kalispell has 64, Rebecca Spring of Alberton with 18, Ia Thao of Missoula with 11, and Amanda Hoback of Arlee with 5.
Leading the 13-17 anglers is Brodie Smith of Kalispell with 29, Matt Guckenberg Jr of Kalispell has 12, Karson Cox of Charlo-6, and Michael Palmer of Kalispell has 2. The 12 & Under leader is Wyatt Best of Florence with 6, Gage Spring-Alberton 4, Tripp Bick-Arlee, Martin Phan-Kalispell, Allydia Yang and Ava Yang of Missoula are at 2, Henry Phan-Kalispell and Bridgett Reed of Kalispell each have one entry.
Mike Benson is leading in the 70 & Over with 349, 2nd Larry Karper with 314, 3rd Larry Ashwell with 261, 4th Jack Kirkland with 161, and 5th John Gauci of Florence with 44.
The drawing weekend winner of $200 was Nick Dauenhauer of Polson and $100 winners were; Jason Mahlen (Kalispell) X 2, Larry Karper (Florence), and Brian McDowell of Columbia Falls. Connie Jones of Kalispell turned in the only tagged lake trout over the weekend with a $100 tag.
The second day of the Bucket of Fish competition is Saturday April 16th. Anglers put their four largest lake trout under thirty inches in a bucket and a weight is taken. Heaviest bucket wins a $200 award.
Entries are taken until the last day of the event and there is no entry fee. Mack Days are used to reduce the numbers of the non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. Be weather alert while out on the lake. Blustery winds come up fast. Check weather forecasts before going out and have your safety equipment on board. For More information, visit www.mackdays.com or call Cindy Benson @ (406) 270-3386.
Tight lines everyone!