Two weekends of the nine-week-long 2019 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are left. Up to $225,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded on the last day of the event — May 19.
It is not too late to get entries in the lottery drawing and be eligible for one of the many prizes. It is one entry for every lake trout plus there is always the chance you may catch a tagged lake trout. More than 9,000 tagged lake trout with values from $10,000 to $100 are swimming out there in Flathead Lake. Fish all of the lake. There is a special tribal fishing stamp for the south half of Flathead Lake available to anyone. Registration is open until the end of the event. Go to www.mackdays.com and click under the events tab for more information.
The $10,000 tagged lake trout is still in the lake. So are the other higher-dollar tagged lake trout — three for $5,000 and five for $1,000. Tagged lake trout have been released in all areas of Flathead Lake. Turning in $100 tagged lake trout the seventh week were: Kalispell anglers Hank McLeod, Bob Turner, Jason Mahlen, and lucky Florence angler John Gauci with two $100 tags out of 14 fish entries on Friday.
Anglers have turned in a total of 30,963 lake trout entries which could be record setting for the Spring Events. It all depends on the weather over the next two weekends. Wind causes anglers a lot of trouble on the water with big waves. The rough water makes it difficult to stay over the areas they find with pockets of fish. Totals for the weekend were 1,546-Friday, 1,444-Saturday, and 904 on a rough water Sunday. Fridays catch included a 38.5 inch large lake trout by Ken Varga. Ken was bringing up a smaller lake trout on the fly when all of a sudden the large one came out of the depths and hit his jig. Ken reeled in two at once-that takes some finesse when one is a larger fish. The larger lake trout just did not have enough girth to weigh in over twenty four pounds which is the weight a large lake trout has to weigh to qualify. Ken’s lake trout weighed in at 22.15 pounds. Anglers can choose to keep one large lake trout over thirty six inches a day or they can release the fish after weigh in. Ken choose to release the big guy and he left the boat in good shape swimming for the middle of the lake.
Jason Mahlen of Kalispell continues to set the bar in this event. He has set a new record for a fifteen day average which will be hard to compete with in future years. His lake trout total is 1,679 with eleven one hundred fish days and a new record average of 94.47. Congratulations to him. Kolton Turner also of Kalispell- is still coming in with high numbers also. This race will go on to the end of the event with lines in the water at daybreak everyday. Kolton has a total of 1,530 with a 90.0 average-six one hundred fish days. Third place-David McDaniel with 1,307 and 73.07, Bob Turner-4th with 1,233 and 75.87, 5th Mike Benson of Lonepine with 1,108 and 67.4, Scott Mahlen of Kalispell has 1,003 for sixth with a 60.87 average, 7th Jerry Benson of Plains with 924 and 58.4, 8th Ken Varga-Kalispell with 880 and 57.0, 9th Matt Guckenberg Sr. of Kalispell with 777 and 49.6, 10th Steve Benson of Spokane Valley with 770 and 50.52.
Lady angler Julie Perkins of Kalispell has a total of 531 entries which is also a new record for a ladies spring total. She turned in over seven hundred in 2018 fall. Leah Banyai of Kalispell is in second with 306, 3rd Connie Jones of Kalispell with 105, 4th Debbie Paine of Polson with 100, and Lisa Cloo of Clinton has a total of 56 for fifth.
Over 70 anglers are following first place angler from Florence Larry Karper with 466, 2nd Larry Ashwell of Missoula with 378, 3rd Gary Perleberg of Bigfork with 237, 4th John Gauci of Florence with 158, and 5th Roger Brewer of Kalispell with 36.
Matt Guckenberg Jr. of Kalispell has a total of 513 in the 13-17 Category for first. Emmett Ludahl of Kalispell is at 27, and Abby Hodgson of Kalispell has 20. Brodie Smith of Kalispell is leading the other Youth Category with 122, Fjord Borgen of Columbia Falls has 37 in second, 3rd Fisher Whitaker of Kalispell with 33, HD of Arlee has 17 for 4th, and 5th Gunner Whitaker with 12.
Heaviest bucket of lake trout-four largest lake trout in a bucket-on the third day of the competition May 5th was turned in by the Paine/Nelson boat with a total weight of 19.4 lbs., 2nd J/C Jones with 16 lbs., 3rd Torran Lawson of St. Ignatius with 15.9. The Paine/Nelson boat wins overall-3 days- with a total of twenty points, 2nd Whitaker boat with 16 points, and third place Krogstad/Perkins with 14 points.
Come out and dip a line in the water. You may be a winner of a $10,000 tagged lake trout or maybe with one ticket in the drawing you will win one of the several cash or merchandise drawings. Tight lines everyone! Spring is coming.