Thursday, May 19, 2022

$10,000 fish roaming free as Spring Mack Days winds down

by Lake County Leader
| May 9, 2022 8:55 PM

Lake trout anglers have one weekend left to participate in the 2022 Spring Mack Days event, which ends May 15 on Flathead Lake. Up to $225,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the event. Get your name in the lottery drawings that begin at $2,000 and go to $100 by entering one lake trout in the event. Every lake trout entry gives you a chance to win. There are a lot of different ways to win. Smallest lake trout, largest lake trout, weekend drawings, etc. Visit for information, fishing tips, safety information, maps, etc. A total of 18,699 lake trout have been entered in the event so far. The weekend total was 1,150.

“The Captain” is still eluding all of the anglers. He is out there somewhere lurking in the depths of Flathead Lake and is worth $10,000. There are also three fish worth $5,000, five worth $1,000 and a $1,000 tagged lake trout sponsored by Bretz RV and Marine. Bretz have also sponsored the $500 prize for the largest lake trout entry.

Jade Smith of Charlo turned in a 41-inch lake trout that weighed in at 25.25 pounds and is in the No. 1 spot for that prize so far. Julie Perkins of Kalispell turned in a $200 tagged lake trout. Smallest lake trout entries are Sam Cusker of Bigfork with a 5-inch lake trout and Jason Mahlen of Kalispell with a 6-inch entry. When asked how they catch a fish so small, they said that it may just be a line twitch or bump that makes them bring the line in to check it or sometimes you don’t even know there is a small fish on the hook. They may think it is just time to change bait and bring the line in and there is a small lake trout on it.

Anglers earn bonus dollars once they have entered 10 lake trout entries. As their total goes up the amount of the bonus goes up. The amount goes up every 25 fish. There is a bonus chart on the website.

The eighth weekend drawing winners were: Tom Kemppainen of Columbia Falls, $200; Julie Duncan, $100 (2); Travis Banyai of Lakeside, $100; and Dwayne Whitaker, $100.

Kolton Turner of Kalispell continues to lead the anglers in the Top Twenty Category. He and his dad, Bob, had a combined total of 471 lake trout entries for the weekend and 2,593 total for the weekend fishing. Friday, Kolton turned in 60, Saturday the perfect 100, and 96 on Sunday. He has a 68.72 18-day average. Top anglers are placed at the conclusion of the event by their best 18-day average. There are 27 weekend days in the event. Using the best 18-day average gives them the opportunity to miss a few days and still be in the competition as a Top Angler.

Jason Mahlen of Kalispell is in second with 1,230 entries. Jason had 0,42 and 52 for the weekend, and he has a 60.94 average. Bob Turner is third with 1,145 and a 56.22 average; fourth is Sam Cusker of Bigfork with 616 and a 33.72 average; Steven Benson of Spokane Valley is fifth with 612 and 31.50 average.

The 70 and Over leader is Mike Benson with 526, followed by Larry Karper with 464, Larry Ashwell with 392, Jack Kirkland with 344 and Marty Herak of Polson with 88.

Julie Perkins of Kalispell is the Ladies leader with 257, followed by Connie Jones of Kalispell with 78, Rebecca Spring of Alberton with 18, and Ia Thao of Missoula with 11. Amanda Hobak of Arlee and Laurie Kreis of Huson each have five.

Leading the 13-17 anglers is Matt Guckenberg Jr. of Kalispell with 59, followed by Brodie Smith of Kalispell with 47, Karson Cox of Charlo with six, Otto Anderson of Columbia Falls and Thomas Airhart of Kalispell with five each and Michael Palmer of Kalispell with two.

The 12 and Under leader is Wyatt Best of Florence with six, followed by Gage Spring of Alberton with four.

There is no entry fee and entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. Come out and enjoy some lake trout fishing on Flathead Lake

For More information, visit or call Cindy Benson @ (406) 270-3386.