2024 Spring Mack Days – Week 2 Results
By angelamontana

Posted: March 25, 2024

Two weeks are in the books for the 2024 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event on Flathead Lake. Mack Days are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. The event began on March 14th and will end on Saturday May 11th

Enter at any time-up until the last day. There is Up To $225,000 in Cash and Prizes that will be awarded at the conclusion of the event in lottery drawings, category winners, tagged fish, and bonus dollars. Every fish you enter gives you a chance to win. Send your entries with name, mailing address, telephone number, and age to cindy.benson@cskt.org. We apologize, our Mack Days website is not functional at this time.

Mack Days anglers on Flathead Lake have gone from one weather extreme to another in the first two weeks of the nine-week long fishing event. The first weekend was three days of very good fishing weather, with calm waters, sunny skies, and light winds. It was the third highest weekend of entries (5,644) since the events began in 2002 (2017=6,138 entries and 2016=5,987 entries). Then along came the second weekend with rough water, waves coming over the sides of boats, blustery cold winds, snow, and sleet. Fish total on Friday came to 1,517, Saturday’s total was 697, many anglers were off the water by early afternoon. Sunday the boat ramp at Blue Bay was vacant by 10:00. There were some anglers that made it out at the north end of the lake. Friday’s total was 234 lake trout. 

The $10,000 tagged lake trout, 3-$5,000, & 6-$1,000 including one from Bretz RV and Marine of Missoula are still out there. Turning in $100 tagged fish were: Clint Speer and Collin Mitts both of Kalispell. 

Kolton and Bob Turner are still having 100 fish days. The Turner boat is a fishing legend. Kolton has seven days of 100 entries. Bob has six 100’s and one 99 fish day. The Kalispell anglers are hoping to continue bringing full coolers with 100 lake trout each till the end of the event and they are having a good time while doing it. Kolton stated they have a method when it is so cold of putting one line down in the water and keeping the other rod where it is warmed by a heater so the reels don’t freeze-when a line is brought up they switch out for the warm one! 

Good luck and tight lines reaching your goal guys! Kolton is leading the Top Twenty anglers with a perfect 600, 2nd Bob Turner with 599, 3rd Jason Mahlen- Kalispell with 444, Jason has four 100 days so far, 4th Jerry Benson-Plains with 359, 5th Tyler Varga-Kalispell-327, 6th Jake North-Denton with 314, 7th Clint Speer-Kalispell with 312, 8th Michael Benson-Lonepine 288, 9th Ken Varga-Kalispell 260, 10th Felix Gauci-Stevensville 253, 11th Gene Corne-Kalispell 251, 12th Bryan Long-Kalispell 228, 13th Travis Banyai-Lakeside 226, 14th Larry Ashwell-Missoula 218, 15th Dan Deutschman-Missoula 200, 16th Larry Ludahl-Kalispell 175, 17th David Kelch-Great Falls 173, 18th Brodie Smith-Kalispell 154, 19th Cory Speer-Athol, ID 153, and 20th Scott Bombard-Missoula and Joe Minnehan of Kalispell with 144. 

Brodie Smith of Kalispell is leading the 13-17 Category with 154. Lane Brazda of Missoula is in 2nd with 14, and 3rd place is Kennedy Yang of Missoula with 12.  

The 12 & Under the leader is Eli Yang of Missoula with 11, Mason Cusker of Bigfork is 2nd with 4, Gage Spring of Alberton and James Kuchera of Kalispell each have 2. 

Julie Perkins of Kalispell is leading the Lady Angler Category with 47, Melissa Triano of Bigfork is in 2nd with 24, 3rd place is Jamie Caldwell of Kalispell-13, 4th and 5th Aryahna Stevenson and Connie Jones of Kalispell each have 11.

Smallest lake trout entry is Kolton Turner with a lake trout entry of 166mm (6.5”) and Tristan Persico with a 210mm (8.33”) lake trout. Winners at the conclusion of the event (2) receive $200. There has been no large lake trout entry so far. Bretz RV and Marine sponsors a $500 award for the heaviest fish 36” or over and weighing 20 pounds or more.

Michael Benson is leading the 70 & Over group with 288, Felix Gauci is 2nd with 253, 3rd Larry Ashwell of Missoula with 218, 4th Jack Kirkland of Missoula with 132, and 5th Terry Krogstad of Kalispell with 47.

We are hoping for warmer weather in the next weeks of the event. The 2019 Spring Event has the record for the highest total of 40,362 Lake Trout. There were 33,297 turned in during the 2023 Spring Event. Time will tell where this year’s total will be in this fish conservation effort to reduce the numbers of the non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. The anglers are who make the events successful. 

Friday April 29th is the first of the three Bucket Days. Four of an angler’s largest lake trout 30” or under are put in a bucket and a weight is taken. Winner of the Buckets receives $200. 

Winners of the 2nd Weekend Drawing were: $200 Kolton Turner-$100 Kolton Turner, Bob Turner, Gene Corne, and Joe Minnehan. 

Be weather alert while on the water, have proper safety equipment, and keep cell phones dry. Be safe out there.

Tight lines everyone! 


Entries continue to be taken until the end of the event. We apologize, our website is currently under reconstruction. Please send your entry with name, mailing address, telephone number, and age if 70 & Over to cindy.benson@cskt.org or call (406) 270-3386. You can also enter at the end of a day of fishing when you turn in your catch. 

Thank you to all anglers who are participating in the event. You are the success of this effort!  Fish one day or fish every day!        


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