2024 Spring Mack Days – Week 5 Results
By angelamontana

Posted: April 15, 2024

Flathead Lake 2024 Spring Mack Days, sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks is moving into week number six in the nine-week long event. The Spring Mack Days Fishing Event will end Saturday May 11th. Entries continue to be taken until the last fish is entered with entries closing at 3:00pm. 

There is Up to $225,000 in Cash and Prizes that will be awarded to the anglers by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to anglers who have been participating in this management program to reduce the non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake and increase populations of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat. Catching a bull trout is an experience, If you have never caught one in the lake and do get one at the end of your line anglers will tell you that most of the time you immediately know something different is on the hook. Angler Dan Deuschman of Missoula was out with his fishing partner Larry Ashwell and caught a 10-pound bull trout on Saturday. Dan had it back in the water quickly-the bull trout took off like a shot and disappeared into the depths of the lake. We get reports of smaller bull trout catches but this one was a good size fish. It is super important to be able to properly identify your fish, both Bull trout & Westslope Cutthroat trout are catch & release in Flathead Lake and it is unlawful to keep them.

The current total entries for the 2024 Spring event are 22,241. Fridays total was 1,799, Saturday-1,373, and Sunday-1,332 for a weekend total of 4,504. 

The $10,000 tagged lake trout is still eluding anglers. There are also $5,000 X 3, $1,000 X 6 including one sponsored by Bretz RV and Marine of Missoula and over 9,000 with values from $100-$500. Turning in $100 tagged lake trout were: Josef Kuchera and Matthew Mitts both of Kalispell.

Kalispell angler Kolton Turner has turned in a total of 1,475, with fourteen 100 fish limit days-his last 2 weekends were all 100 fish days, Robert Turner has a total of 1,342 with nine 100 fish days-5th weekend catches were 93, 100, & 100, 3rd Jason Mahlen of Kalispell with 1,234 and eight 100 fish days-weekend 100, 96, and 77, 4th Clint Speer of Kalispell 857-92, 56, and 52, 5th Gene Corne of Kalispell 733-81, 33, & 58, 6th Ken Varga of Kalispell 693, 7th Tyler Varga 651, 8th Jerry Benson Plains 623, 9th Michael Benson Lonepine 568, 10th Travis Banyai Lakeside 562, 11th Larry Ashwell Missoula 536, 12th Bryan Long Kalispell 505, 13th David McDaniel Polson 484, 14th David Kelch Great Falls 473, 15th Larry Ludahl Kalispell 458, 16th Jake North Denton 455, 17th Dan Deutschman Missoula 425, 18th Nate Dieterich Kalispell 418, 19th Jack Kirkland Lolo 409, and 20th Felix Gauci Stevensville 390. 

Brodie Smith of Kalispell is 1st in the 13-17 Category with 332, 2nd Kennedy Yang of Missoula with 31, 3rd Lane Brazda of Missoula with 14, Matthew Mitts of Kalispell has 12, and Lucia Savoia of Missoula has 1. The 12 & Under Category leader is Eli Yang of Missoula with 31, 2nd Mason Cusker of Bigfork with 4, Gage Spring of Alberton 3, and James Kuchera of Kalispell has 2.

Leading the Ladies is angler Julie Perkins of Kalispell with 166, 2nd Corrine McCubbins of Kalispell with 69, 3rd Shirley Batz of Kalispell 58, 4th Melissa Triano of Bigfork 24, and 5th Janine Kowalski of Frenchtown 17. 

Michael Benson is leading the 70 & Over with 568, 2nd Larry Ashwell-, 3rd Felix Gauci-390, 4th Jack Kirkland-, and 5th Terry Krogstad of Kalispell-.

The three-way tie in the popular category for the Smallest Lake Trout was broken Sunday by Gene Corne with a164mm lake trout entry. Kolton Turner, Jason Mahlen, and Gene Corne of Kalispell all have turned in 166mm (6.5”) lake trout and are now tied for 2nd. 

Saturday April 20th will be the second day of the Bucket Day Competition. Anglers put their four heaviest lake trout in a bucket and a weight is taken. Matthew and Colin Mitts of Kalispell were the winners of the first Bucket Day with a weight of 19.15. 

Weekend winners were: $200-Terry Krogstad of Kalispell, $100 Travis Banyai X 2, Bob Turner, and Matt Clark of Columbia Falls. 

Anglers can enter at any time-one entry in the event gives you a chance in the lottery drawings that begin at $2,000 and go to $100. Come out and enjoy lake trout fishing on Flathead Lake. Our website is currently under construction, please call (406) 270-3386 to enter or enter at the end of the day when you turn in your catch. You can keep your catch or they can be donated to be processed. 

Be weather wise on the lake. Have the proper safety equipment in your boat and keep cell phones dry.

Tight lines everyone and Thank you anglers-you make this happen!



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