(Above photos via www.mackdays.com)
The first weekend of the 2013 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event ended with a total of 2,227 lake trout entered in the event which is sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Friday was the best day for fishing during the first weekend. Anglers turned in 1,227 lake trout entries which was a great first day for the event. Saturday the winds began and fishing was tougher with 822 lake trout entries. Blustery winds with chilling temperatures made the fishing on Sunday extremely challenging. A total of 178 entries were turned in on Sunday. The wind and waves continued throughout the day. Five hundred ten anglers are entered in the event which ends on May 19th. Anglers can fish Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays until May 10th and then it is ten straight days of fishing until May 19th. Entries are taken up until the last day of the event. Up to $150,000 in Cash and Prizes will be awarded to the anglers at the conclusion of Spring Mack Days. Tagged lake trout with values from $10,000 -1 tag, $5,000-5 tags, $1,000-10 tags, and over 4,000 with values from $100-$500 have been released in the lake. .Top ten anglers are placed by their best 18 day average of the event. Bonus amounts begin to accumulate after an angler has turned in twenty entries. Bonus amounts go up as anglers totals go up. There are several ways to win including youth, over 70, and ladies categories. All it takes is one lake trout entry to qualify for the lottery drawings from $1,000 to $100. Information can be found on the website www.mackdays.com.
Jason Mahlen, Kalispell angler, leads with 166 lake trout entries. Jason’s best day of the weekend was Friday with 88 entries, followed by Saturday-30, and 48 on Sunday. Scott Bombard-Missoula- is in 2nd with 97 entries-62-18- & 17. Third place is Craig Moriegau-Polson-90 entries after two days of fishing-50 and 40 fish days. Fourth place-Steven Benson-Four Lakes, WA. with 85 entires-57-22- & 6. Michael Benson-Lonepine comes in 5th with 83 entries-64-12- & 7.
The youth anglers improve each year and some are chasing close behind or even ahead of the fathers and grandfathers that have been teaching them to fish since they were old enough to stand and hold their own fishing poles. It is great to see them developing into expert anglers and sportsmen.
Kobe Cox(13-17 category)from Charlo leads his group with 35. Connor Kowalski follows him with 30 and Danner Shima-Kalispell is third with 17. Kimberly Biere-Butte is third with 9 followed by Tanner Murry of Columbia Falls with 6. Garett Vaughan(12 & Under category)-Charlo angler-has a total of 63 lake trout entries and is in 7th place in the overall standing. Second is Abby Hodgson of Kalispell with 2 and Boone and Cole Gilleard-Charlo with one each.
Tracy Powers of Missoula leads the ladies with 26 entries. Second place is Nicole Peters-Missoula with 23, 3rd-Susan Martin-Polson-19, 4th Julie Vacca-Florence and Kimberly Biere-Butte with nine each.
Tagged fish worth $100 were turned in by Bryan Long-Columbia Falls, Paul Soukup-Ronan, Mike Upwell-Kalispell, Michael Benson-Lonepine x 2, Darren Borgen-Columbia Falls, Steve Biere-Butte, Steve Benson-Four Lakes, Jerry Benson-Plains, Scott Bombard-Missoula, Jason Mahlen-Kalispell. Tucker Morigeau-Polson, Jason Mahlen, and Tyson Cottet turned in tagged fish with $200 tags.
Mack Days are used as a tool to slowly reduce numbers of non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. To find out more information go to the website @ www.mackdays.com or telephone 406-883-2888 ex. 7294.