The Spring Mack Days lake trout fishing tournament concluded Saturday (May13) on Flathead Lake. And it was one to remember!

While not a record-setting event in terms of number of fish harvested, it is one of the highest of all time, including results from both spring and fall tournaments. Spring Mack Days 2023 produced an amazing 33,297 lake trout turned in to tourney headquarters! Nearly 200 anglers submitted fish during the tournament's 8-week run.

The tourney format is one of the most unique in Montana. Anglers can fish as many or as few of the tournament days they want, in an effort to capture their share of the $225,000 in cash available. It takes some hearty souls to log lots of days and hours on Flathead Lake in March and April, as weather is going to be a factor (wind, rain, snow) on plenty of those days.

The goal of these tournaments is to restore a balance in Montana's Flathead Lake by reducing non-native lake trout and therefore helping increase native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout. Mack Days are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes.

There are so many ways to win at least some of the cash available, and dozens of competitors did just that, through overall totals, largest/smallest fish, wins for the most fish turned in each week, and many more. Obviously, the more days of the tournament that can be fished, the greater the odds of coming away with some big money.

If you would like to see exactly who won what in each and every category, tournament director Cindy Benson has compiled it on the Awards and Prizes Statistics page of the Mack Days website. And we wanted to acknowledge at least a few of the big money winners, each whom took home over $2,000 for their efforts through the various incentives the tournament offers. That includes Steve Benson and Tyler Varga. AND this year's top finisher, Kolton Turner, who turned in an eye-popping 2,089 lake trout, averaging over 95 fish turned in every day that he was out on the water!

Congratulations to all the competitors. We know that the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes appreciate each and every one of you.

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