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Mack Days continues until June 28

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News from CSKT

FLATHEAD LAKE – Anglers are at the halfway point of the 2020 Spring Mack Days extended fishing event. 

Blustery winds and rain were hampering even the hardiest of lake trout anglers Saturday and Sunday. Friday was the calmest day of the weekend with a total of 1,564 lake trout entries. Saturday anglers pulled in their lines and headed for shore early. The total for Saturday was 1,281 entries. Sunday’s quitting time was even earlier as stronger winds blew across huge white capping waves. 

The winds brought an end to Jason Mahlen’s perfect 100 fish days. Mahlen’s total on Sunday was 47. He had to head to shore early knowing it was better to be safe than sorry. Sometimes it is just better to reel up your lines. 

The total for Sunday came to 536. The total for the event, so far, is at 16,929, with 2,672 from Monday to Thursday fishing. The Friday to Sunday fishing total is 14,257. We caution all anglers to pay attention to weather and be prepared with proper safety equipment. 

Sunday, June 28, will be the last day lake trout entries will be taken. There are several ways to win. One fish is all it takes to have a chance to win one of the lottery drawings that begin at $1,000 and go to $450. Other category prizes include top ten anglers, ladies, youth, weekend prizes, largest lake trout and smallest lake trout. 

There is still an elusive $10,000 tagged lake trout, three at $5,000, five at $1,000; and over 6,000 tagged fish with values from $500 to $100 lurking in the lake just waiting for any angler. 

Bob Turner, of Kalispell, turned in a $500 tagged lake trout on Saturday, making his rough ride across the water seem a little less stressful. Matt Guckenberg Sr., of Kalispell, was a $200 winner during the weekend. Turning in $100 tagged fish were Kalispell anglers Ken Varga, Terry Krogstad, Colton Marron, and Julie Perkins. Also Mike Benson, of Lonepine, Will Best, of Florence, Peter Dayton and Scott Bombard, of Missoula, and Brad Ivanoff, of Arlee, with $100 tagged fish.

Saturday was the second of three days of the heaviest bucket of fish category. Anglers put their four heaviest lake trout in a bucket and then a weight is taken. The winner was Jens Gran, of Polson, with a 24.7-pound bucket. There was a tie for second and third with 16.5 pounds. The T. Krogstad boat and Paul Soukup, of Polson, came in with two exact weights. The same scenario happened for fourth and fifth places with 16.45 pounds from the Varga boat and the Ludahl’s, of Kalispell. The last day of the bucket fish contest was on June 21. Points are given for places for each day. Contest winners are determined as organizers record numbers from boats with the most points or in case of a tie the heaviest weight is used.

Jason Mahlen, of Kalispell, leads the top ten anglers with 947 entries; second place went to Kolton Turner, of Kalispell; third place went to Mike Benson, of Lonepine with 755; fourth place went to Bob Turner with 733; fifth place went to Sam Cusker, of Bigfork, with 669; sixth place went to Larry Karper, of Florence, with 462; Scott Bombard, of Missoula, took seventh with 409; eighth place went to John Gauci, of Florence, with 396; ninth place went to Larry Ashwell, of Missoula, with 394; and 10th place went to Ken Varga, of Kalispell, with 378. 

Larry Karper is in the lead in the 70 and over category with 462; second went to John Gauci with 396; and third went to Larry Ashwell with 394. 

Julie Perkins has 254 to pace the ladies category; second place went to Connie Jones, of Kalispell, with 54; third place went to Debbie Paine, of Polson, with 49; Nicole Peters, of Missoula, took fourth with 28; and Savannah Popper, of Kalispell, has 20 for fifth. 

Youth angler Matt Guckenberg Jr., of Kalispell, is first in the 12-17-age-group category with 258; Leah Banyai, of Kalispell, has 23 for second; Madison Mahlen, of Kalispell, is third with 17; fourth went to Allison Hotchkiss, of Missoula, with 11; and fifth went to John Ross Jr., of Missoula, with six. Brodie Smith, of Kalispell, is first in the 12-and-under group with 103.

Organizers hope to see warmer calmer weather for the remainder of the contest. Come out and join in the fun. Tight lines everyone. Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. Go to and click on the event’s tab for the drop-down boxes or enter when your fish are turned in. For more information call: 406-270-3386 or 883-2888, extension 7294.



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