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$10K Mack Days fish caught


The elusive $10,000 tagged lake trout was caught last weekend during the 2020 Spring Mack Days event on Flathead Lake. Angler Matt Guckenberg, Sr., of Kalispell caught the fish, which was tagged on March 18, in the Yellow Bay area.

The first time a $10,000 lake trout was caught was in 2014 during the fall event.

With one week left in the spring competition, Jason Mahlen of Kalispell continues to lead the Top 10 category with a total of 1,211 entries. For the spring event, the total lake trout entries equal more than 22,600 turned in by 221 anglers.

Leaders are:

Top 10: 1. Jason Mahlen, Kalispell, 1,211; 2. Kolton Turner, Kalispell, 1,069; 3. Bob Turner, Kalispell, 1,000; 4. Mike Benson, Lonepine, 887; 5. Sam Cusker, Bigfork, 870; 6. Larry Karper, Florence, 624; 7. Jack Kirkland, Lolo, 586; 8. Matt Guckenberg, 583; 9. Ken Varga, Kalispell, 517; 10. Tyler Varga, Kalispell, 512.

Ladies: 1. Julie Perkins, Kalispell, 331; 2. Connie Jones, Kalispell, 56; 3. Debbie Paine, Polson, 49; 4. Laurie Kreis, Huson, 44; 5. Nicole Peters, Missoula, 32.

Age 13-17: 1. Matt Guckenberg, Jr., Kalispell, 384; 2. Leah Banyai, Kalispell, 41; 3. Wyatt Thompson, Bigfork, 25; 4. Madison Mahlen, Kalispell, 17; 5. Allison Hotchkiss, Missoula, 11.

Age 12 and Under: 1. Brodie Smith, Kalispell, 136; 2. Colton Marrone, Kalispell, 67; 3. Karson Cox, Charlo, 27; 4. Aldon Wood, Kalispell, 24; 5. Josey McIllangey, Kalispell, 14.

Other tagged lake trout were caught over the fourth week: Hank McCloud, Kalispell, $500; Bob Turner, Will Best, Florence, Tyler Varga, Joe Quimby of Polson each had $200 tagged fish; John Dorias, Big Arm, Mike Cosby, Thompson Falls, Tristan Persico, Missoula (2), Craig Morigeau, Polson, Jack Kirkland, Glenn Hoffman, Missoula, Clint Speer, Kalispell, Travis Banyai, Kalispell, and Sam Cusker all had $100 tags.

Shore anglers are turning in fish from all parts of the lake. There is one week left in the competition, the goal of which is to help restore a balance to the fishery of Flathead Lake. Reducing the non-native lake trout and increasing the native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout is important for the future fishery of the lake.

For more information go to and click on the events tab, or call (406) 270-3386.


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