The Mack Days 2023 Spring total is at 23,517 entries turned in by one hundred eighty-eight anglers out of five hundred seventy-three entered. The sixth weekend was the most successful so far in this event. It was good fishing weather for most of the weekend. Fridays catch came to 1,640, Saturdays entries were 1,486, and Sundays entries were 1,388 for a weekend total of 4,514 fish entries.
Mack Days Fishing Events are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks and are used as a management tool to reduce non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. Up to $225,000 in Cash and Prizes sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes will be awarded at the conclusion of the event on May 13th. Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. There is no entry fee. Enter one lake trout and you qualify for the lottery drawings that begin at $2,000 and go to $50. Check out all of the ways to win on the website www.mackdays.com.
The $10,000 tagged lake trout has eluded all attempts to entice him to bite anyone’s hook. There is also 3-$5,000, 6-$1,000 including one sponsored by Bretz RV and Marine and over 9,000 tagged lake trout with values from $100 to $500. David Kelch of Great Falls turned in two $100 tagged lake trout over the 6th weekend and David McDaniel of Polson turned in his third $100 tagged fish of the event.
The second Bucket Day was Saturday with Rick Skates of Big Arm winning with a three fish bucket at 21.7 lbs., 2nd with the four fish limit was David McDaniel-21.5, 3rd Cole Williams of Kalispell-21.3, 4th Mike Colyer’s of Missoula-17.6, and 5th Nate Dieterich of Kalispell with 14.75. The third and final Bucket Day will be Sunday May 7th.
Kolton Turner of Kalispell had a stellar weekend of fishing with 3-100 fish days and has a total of 1,592. Robert Turner-Kalispell 1,295-100,73, & 92, for 2nd. Jason Mahlen-Kalispell has 1,123 and also a great weekend of fishing with-96, 100, & 100-3rd, 4th place Jerry Benson of Plains-22, 25, 46, 5th Mike Benson-Lonepine 71, 29, & 21, 6th Clint Speer of Kalispell 828-59, 74, & 47, 7th Travis Banyai of Lakeside 790-64, 31, & 57, 8th Steven Benson of Spokane Valley WA with 686-63, 32, 42, 9th Terry Krogstad of Kalispell with 596-34, 26, 18, 10th Gene Corne of Kalispell has 525-31, 24, & 28.
Lady angler Leah Banyai of Lakeside is leading in the Ladies Category with 253, 2nd Julie Perkins of Kalispell-91, 3rd Connie Jones-Kalispell 72, 4th Amanda Hoback of Arlee with 5, 5th Desiree McIlhargey of Kalispell with 4.
The 13-17 Category leader is Brodie Smith of Kalispell with 188, Josey McIlhargey Jr-Kalispell has 27, Tripp Bick of Arlee-2, Tsimmeej Yang of Missoula has 2, and Eli Yang of Missoula has 1. 12 & Under leader is Wyatt Best of Florence with 14, 2nd Leon Thao of Missoula with 12, 3rd Fisher Whitaker of Hungry Horse with 4, 4th Hunter and Chloe McIlhargey of Kalispell each have 3.
70 & Over leader is Mike Benson of Lonepine-845, 2nd Terry Krogstad-596, 3rd Larry Ashwell-Missoula-414, 4th Larry Karper of Florence-401, and 5th Jack Kirkland-Lolo with 294.
Weekend winners were: $200-Leah Banyai and $100-David McDaniel, Jerry Benson, Ryan Hilgar of Missoula, and Bob Stewart of Kalispell.
Competition for smallest lake trout became a little more intense with Steven Benson taking the lead with a 157mm lake trout. Second is Bob Turners’ 158mm laker. Those are both approximately 6.25-6.5 inches long.
Largest lake trout entry is still Kalispell angler Bryon Long’s fish at 36.65 lbs and 45.5 inches.
The weather for the seventh weekend coming up is looking good. It is not too late to come out and be involved in the event. Help to make a difference for the future of the native fish in Flathead Lake.
2023 Spring Mack Days will end on Saturday May 13th at 3:00. All fish will need to be turned at Blue Bay. There will be no fish pickups on that day. The lottery prizes will be drawn Saturday morning and posted after all entries are in from Fridays catch. Saturday prizes are separate—6 lottery drawings-$400-$100, Captains-$200, Ladies-$100, 70 & Over-$100 one drawing each. Largest lake trout under 30”-$100, $74, & $50. Totals will be added to anglers’ bonus totals. Awards and recognition for winners in categories will be made at 3:00. All cash awards will be mailed out as usual the following week to these awesome anglers.
Tight lines everyone!