(photo courtesy of mackdays.com)
Tagged fish were the excitement of the Spring Mack Days Fishing Event during the ninth weekend. May 10th was a winning day for Steven Benson of Four Lakes, Wa. He is one of the eight hundred and fifty anglers competing in the 2013 Spring Fishing Event. Benson turned in forty three lake trout which was the high number for the day and one of them was a $1,000 tagged lake trout. The high dollar tagged fish was the third tagged fish he has caught since the beginning of the event. The other two were $100 valued fish. Saturday was another banner day for the tagged fish entries. David McDaniel and Susan Martin had four on their boat when they docked at the end of the day. Each of them worth $100 but made it an exciting day for them. Other $100 tagged fish were turned in by Chad Cottet-Polson, Jeff Cox and Don Beville-Lakeside, Jerry Benson-Plains, Doug Hodgson and Kevin Burns-Kalispell. Turning in a $200 tagged fish was Mike Benson of Lonepine. Somewhere in the lake is the $10,000 tagged lake trout-5-$5,000, and 10-$1,000 along with over 4000 with values from $100-$500.
Mack Days are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Up to $150,000 in Cash and Prizes will be awarded on May 19th at a Fish Fry and Awards beginning at 4:00 at the Blue Bay Campground.
Jason Mahlen of Kalispell continues to lead with 1,403 entries and a 63.67 average, 2nd is Mike Benson of Lonepine with 971 an d44.17, 3rd-Steven Benson of Four Lakes, Wa. with 884 and 40.5, 4th-Craig Morigeau-Polson with 804 and 40.67, 5th Danny Smith-Hot Springs-745 and 36.89, 6th-Scott Mahlen-Kalispell-742 and 35.06, 7th-Jerry Benson of Plains with 593 and 29.06, 8th-David McDaniel-Polson-567 and 27.16, 9th-Bryan Long-Kalispell-565 and 31.39, and 10th-Dean Vaughan-Charlo-548-and 30.44.
Ladies category leader is Susan Martin of Polson with 267, 2nd Julie Vacca of Florence with 202, and third is Nicole Peters of Missoula with 196.
The 13-17 age group leader is Danner Shima of Kalispell with 303, Connor Kowalski-Florence with 178, Roger Guillory-Kalispell-171, Tanner Murry-Columbia Falls-139, and Kobe Cox-Charlo-135. 12 & under leader is Garett Vaughan-Charlo with 331, Matt Guckenburg-Kalispell with 37, Cole Gilleard-St. Ignatius-35, Abby Hodgson-Kalispell-25, and Dylan Hodgson-14.
Jim Hoover-Whitefish leads the 70 and over group with 147, Ralph Johnson-Columbia Falls-103, Bill McIntyre-Conrad-40, Dutch Turner-Kalispell-35, Jens Gran-Polson-32.
A new smallest lake trout was turned in by Dan Long of Columbia Falls with a 158mm laker. Jason Mahlen continues to hold the other smallest entry with a 160mm lake trout.
Anglers are fishing the last ten days of the event and will finish on May 19th. Entries continue to be taken up until the last day of the event. Go to www.mackdays.com for information or call the tribal Blue Bay headquarters at 406-982-3142.
(Report by Cynthia Bras)