2023 Spring Mack Days: Week 7 Update
By angelamontana

Posted: May 1, 2023

As the temperatures are rising so does the 2023 Spring Mack Days lake trout fishing total. One hundred ninety-six out of five hundred ninety-one anglers have turned in a whooping total of 28,176 lake trout entries and there are still two weeks left in the event! Each and every angler is important and you are all appreciated. If you catch one or more lake trout you are a part of this conservation effort to reduce the numbers of non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. Come out and take part in the future of the Flathead Lake native fish.

2023 Spring Mack Days on Flathead Lake are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.

There is UP TO $225,000 in CASH AND PRIZES sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes that will be awarded on May 13th, it is not too late to enter there is only two weeks left. Entries continue to be taken until the last day. Check out the different categories and prizes on the rules page under the events tab on the website at www.mackdays.com

“Howdy” the $10,000 elusive tagged lake trout is still eluding the anglers from the bottom depths of the lake. Also being difficult to catch are the 3-$5,000, 6-$1,000 including one sponsored by Bretz RV and Marine of Missoula, and the over 9,000 tagged lake trout with values from $100-$500. There were no tagged lake trout entries over the seventh weekend. We know they are out there, who will be first to turn in a high dollar lake trout this event? There have been nineteen tagged lake trout turned in with values from $100 to $500.

A total of 4,245 lake trout were entered on Friday 1,473, Saturday-1,627, and Sunday-1,145. Anglers are reporting that the bite is on in the delta area on the north end of the lake. Many boats with good fish numbers are coming in from that area. But there still getting good numbers from the south area also.

Kolton Turner of Kalispell who has grown up fishing Mack Days is leading the anglers with 1,836 entries on Friday-100, Saturday-71, and Sunday-73. He has eleven 100 fish days and an 18-day average of 93.5. Second place in numbers is Bob Turner-Kalispell with 1,500 entries-100,55,50 and avg. 76.9. Bob has five 100 fish days. Third in numbers is Jason Mahlen of Kalispell with 1,388-84,100,81. Jason has eight 100 fish days with an avg. of 92.5. Top ten anglers are placed by their best 18-day average on the last day. 4th place Clint Speer of Kalispell with 987-61,33,65-avg. 51.5, 5th Jerry Benson of Plains with 970-36,44,37-avg. 49.67, 6th Mike Benson of Lonepine with 951-48,42,16-avg. 49.17, 7th Travis Banyai of Lakeside-892-31,49,22-avg. 46.4-one 100 fish day, 8th Steven Benson of Spokane Valley, WA-776-38,31,21-avg. 41.4, 9th Terry Krogstad of Kalispell with 699-45,30,26-avg. 36.6, and 10th David McDaniel of Polson with 633-60,42,46-avg. 35.1. 

The competition parts of the event continue until Friday the 12th-lottery prizes and placings end. Saturday is a separate day with different prizes but does count on the anglers totals and bonus amounts. There will be no fish fry. All fish are to be turned in by 3:00 and angler awards will be announced. Lottery prize drawings will be posted. Drawings from $400 to $100, Captains Prize, Ladies, 70 & Over, Cooler, and Largest Lake Trout under 30” will be given for the last day. 

Leah Banyai of Lakeside who also has grown up fishing the event is leading the Ladies with 298 entries. Second is Julie Perkins of Kalispell with 176, 3rd-Connie Jones-Kalispell-85, 4th Nicole Peters of Missoula-7, and 5th Amanda Hoback of Arlee with 5. 

Brodie Smith of Kalispell has 230 and is in first in the 13-17 age group. Second Matt Guckenberg Jr. of Kalispell with 41, 3rd Josey McIlhargey Jr of Kalispell with 27, 4th and 5th Tsimmeej Yang of Missoula and Tripp Bick each at2. Wyatt Best of Florence is 1st in the 12 & Under with 14, 2nd Leon Thao of Missoula, 3rd Fisher Whitaker of Hungry Horse-4, 4th and 5th Hunter and Chloe McIlhargey of Kalispell-3.

The 70 & Over category leaders are Mike Benson-951, Terry Krogstad-699, Larry Ashwell-Missoula 535, Larry Karper-Florence 508, and Jack Kirkland of Lolo 393.

Winners of the weekend drawing–$200-Jack Kirkland—whose last comment for the weekend was “Hey draw my name in the drawing will ya.” Surprised the staff as well as a surprise for him-$100-Larry Ashwell, Travis Banyai, Ken Varga-Kalispell, and Scott Hale of Lolo.

Last day of the Heaviest Bucket of Fish will be Sunday May 7th. Anglers put their 4 heaviest lake trout under 30” in a bucket for a weight. The winner receives $200. 

Be safe on the water-have safety equipment on board, watch weather conditions-come out and enjoy beautiful Flathead Lake. 

Tight lines everyone!


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