Anglers fishing the 2019 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event have completed the second weekend with a total of 7,926 lake trout entered. Even with this year’s event being delayed by ice and snow the first two-week fish total is only 321 lake trout behind the 2018 first two weekend total.
Totals for the second weekend of this year’s event were: Friday – 1,639; Saturday – 1,622; and Sunday – 1,578. Leading the Top Ten Anglers by only four fish is Mike Benson of Lonepine with 449, turning in four perfect 100-fish days in a row. Kolton Turner of Kalispell has three 100-fish days, for a total of 445 fish. Jason Mahlen of Kalispell is only 25 fish behind the leader with a total of 424 and two 100-fish days. Third place is David McDaniel of Polson with 361 fish, with a 100-fish day. Bob Turner of Kalispell is fourth with 300 fish. Jerry Benson of Plains is fifth with 295 fish. Tyler Varga of Kalispell is sixth with 261 fish. Ken Varga is seventh with 250 fish. Scott Bombard of Missoula is ninth with 242 fish, and Scott Mahlen of Kalispell is 10th, with 221 fish.
The top 10 anglers have seven weekends left to increase their numbers and averages. Anglers will be ranked on their best 15-day average instead of the usual 18-day average for the longer spring events.
Boat ramps open on Flathead Lake at this time are Blue Bay, Yellow Bay, Wayfarers, and Westshore.
Tagged fish with $100 values were turned in over the second weekend by Kalispell anglers Larry Phan, Tyler Varga, Matt Guckenberg Jr., Matt Guckenberg Sr., and Tom Kemppainen, Spokane Valley angler Steve Benson, Missoula anglers Dillon Lapsy, Sou Thao (x2), and Polson angler Chad Cottet. Tagged fish with $200 values were turned in by Terry Krogstad of Kalispell (x2), Mike Benson, and Steve Benson.
The first of the three Bucket Days was on Friday. The heaviest bucket of four fish-under 30 inches at 34.2 pounds was turned in by Kyle Hovey and Dave Booher of Kalispell-10 points-$200. Terry Krogstad and Julie Perkins were in second with 28.5 pounds-8 points. Duane Whitaker of Kalispell was third with 27.7 pounds-6 points. Travis and Leah Banyai with Hank McLeod were fourth with a 26.8-pound bucket, and fifth place was Matt and Matt Jr. Guckenberg with 19.2. There will be a total of three Bucket Days.
Smallest lake trout entries have been turned in by Ron Boyce of Polson-179mm (7 inches) and 190mm (7.5 inches).
The 70 & Over age category has Larry Karper of Florence leading with 145, John Gauci of Florence has 87, third Gary Perleberg of Bigfork with 72, fourth Larry Ashwell of Missoula with 46, and Bob Christensen of Missoula is fifth with 17. There are several anglers who are in the 80-plus category, and a few nearing their 90s.
Leah Banyai has 93 to lead the Ladies, second is Julie Perkins of Kalispell with 88, third Courtney Chrisler of Kalispell with 24, fourth Connie Jones of Kalispell-20, and Lisa Cloo of Missoula with 16.
12 & Under leader is Fisher Whitaker of Kalispell with 22, second Gunner Whitaker with 10, third HD of Arlee with 5, and fourth Brodie Smith of Kalispell has 4.
The 13-17 leader is Matt Guckenberg with 101, second Leah Banyai with 93, and third Abby Hodgson of Kalispell with 17.
2019 Spring Mack Days began March 22 with up to $225,000 in cash and prizes. The event is sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. Prizes will be awarded on the last day of the event which is May 19.
Go to www.mackdays.com to check out all of the information. Click on the events tab for rules, bonus amounts, fish ID, entry, etc. Mack Days is used to reduce nonnative lake trout in Flathead Lake and increase the numbers of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat.
Entries will be taken until the last day of the event. Lottery drawings start at $1,000 on the last day of the event and go to $450. All it takes is one fish to be entered in the drawing. Go to the website www.mackdays.com or telephone 406-883-2888 ext. 7294 or 406-270-3386 for more information.