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Hundreds of anglers compete for top prizes in Mack Days


April 11, 2019

The third weekend of the 2019 Spring Mack Days on Flathead Lake sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes ended with a total of 13,549 Lake Trout entries that have been turned in by 148 anglers. This event is used to reduce the nonnative Lake Trout in Flathead Lake. Currently, 469 anglers have entered this year’s event.

Up to $225,000 in Cash and Prizes will be awarded on May 19 during the fish fry event at the BlueBay headquarters. Friday’s total came to 1,873, Saturday was a cooler day with 1,215 entries, and a blustery Sunday total with rain and wind came to 1,044. Wet cold anglers were coming off the water early on Sunday. There was snow in the higher elevations around the lake making the breeze cold and biting through damp clothing. Anglers will also be fishing Tuesdays through Sundays until the end of the event. Tuesday-Thursday are for totals and tagged Lake Trout. Friday to Sunday is the main competition for prizes and cash for the event.

The famous $10,000 tagged Lake Trout is still in the depths of the lake. He was nicknamed Bubbles by Mountain Wahl of the fisheries staff, and he is still the most wanted fish in Flathead Lake. Steve Benson of Spokane Valley, Washington, turned in Lake Trout with $500, $200, and $100 values over the weekend.

Cory Speer of Spirit Lake, Idaho, caught two $2,000 tagged Lake Trout. His rod and reel was retrieved from the rocky bottom of the lake by fishing partner Ron Timlick of Kalispell after it went over the edge of the boat. Another rescue cast by Matt Guckenberg Sr. ended with Matt Jr.’s line retrieved on Sunday along with the Lake Trout that pulled it out.

Top Ten Angler Category

Kolton Turner, Kalispell

Jason Mahlen, Kalispell

Mike Benson, Lonepine

David McDaniel, Polson

Bob Turner, Kalispell

Ken Varga, Kalispell

Tyler Varga, Kalispell

Jerry Benson, Plains

Matt Guckenberg, Kalispell

Scott Bombard, Missoula

Lady Anglers

Julie Perkins, Kalispell

Leah Banyai, Kalispell

Connie Jones, Kalispell

Debbie Paine, Polson

Courtney Chisler, Kalispell

Golden Angler (70 & over)

Larry Karper, Florence

Larry Ashwell, Missoula

John Gauci, Florence

Gary Perleberg, Bigfork

Bob Christensen, Missoula

12 & under Anglers Entries

Fisher Whitaker, Kalispell

Gunner Whitaker, Kalispell

Brodie Smith, Missoula

HD, Arlee

Mike Ross, Stevensville

13-17 Anglers Entries

Matt Guckenberg, Jr, Kalispell

Leah Banyai, Kalispell

Abby Hodgson, Kalispell

John Ross, Jr, Stevensville

Austen Elverud, St. Ignatius


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