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Anglers rally in third week of Spring Mack Days


The third weekend of the 2022 Spring Mack Days event ended with a total of 9,039 lake trout entries by 159 anglers out of the 550 registered. Each lake trout entry gives an angler a chance at lottery prizes that begin at $100 and go up to $2,000.

These fishing events are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and are used as a tool to reduce the non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. Up to $225,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the event.

Weather is the determining factor when it comes to the fish totals. Anglers are having to battle wind, cold, rain, and snow while out on the lake on some of the blustery spring days and this past weekend had plenty of those issues. Fridays total was 896, Saturday’s total was 425, and Sunday’s total was 905. The bite has been off and on with many saying the fish are there but they are not interested in anything they have to offer.

Dan Hoffman of Missoula and Sheldon Woldstad of Somers each turned in $100 tagged lake trout. There are over 9,000 tagged lake trout with values from $100 to $500. You have to be a Mack Days angler and turn in at least one lake trout entry before the event ends to win a $100 prize. Bonus dollars are available to all anglers who enter 11 or more lake trout entries. Categories in the bonus go up every 25 fish. Check out the chart on the website

The largest lake trout entry is still Jade Smith’s 41-inch 25.25-pound lake trout. The award for the largest lake trout is $500 and is sponsored by Bretz RV and Marine of Missoula. Smallest lake trout entries are a 169mm turned in by Kolton Turner and a 171mm by Mike Benson.

Kolton Turner and Jason Mahlen, two anglers from Kalispell, are vying for first place in the Top 20 category. They have both been in this duel before. Kolton has a total of 544 and Jason has 518 lake trout entries. Limit of lake trout is 100 per day under 30” on Flathead Lake so totals will change fast. Third place angler Bob Turner has also been in this place before. He and son Kolton fish from the same boat, Bob’s total is 449. Steve Benson of the Spokane Valley moved into fourth place with 323 above older brother Mike of Lonepine with 311.

Mike had a surprise catch last weekend on the end of his line. He caught a net that he had lost in the same area a few years ago. It was in good shape and still usable. Sixth place holder is Sam Cusker of Bigfork with 272, seventh place is Larry Karper of Florence with 269, eighth place is Jerry Benson of Plains, who is the youngest of the three Bensons with 241, Scott Bombard of Missoula and Larry Ashwell of Missoula are tied for ninth with 224.

Angler Julie Perkins of Kalispell has 76 for first in the ladies’ category, Connie Jones of Kalispell has 46, Rebecca Spring of Alberton 18, Ia Thao of Missoula-11 and Amanda Hoback of Arlee has 5.

Age 13-17 leaders are Brodie Smith of Kalispell with 22, Matt Guckenberg, Jr., of Kalispell with 12, third is Karson Cox of Charlo with 6, and Michael Palmer of Kalispell has 2.

In the 12 and under age category, Wyatt Best of Florence leads with 6, Gage Spring of Alberton has 4 and Tripp Bick of Arlee, Martin Phan of Kalispell, Allydia Yang and Ava Yang of Missoula each have 2.

Lake trout entries will be taken until the last day of the event. It takes every angler and every lake trout entry to make the events successful. Flathead Lake is a beautiful place to be, especially if you enjoy fishing! The $10,000 lake trout may be waiting for you. For more information visit the website


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