2014 Spring Mack Days anglers have completed their sixth weekend of lake trout fishing with a total of 15,075 lake trout entries being turned in by 199 of the 760 registered lake trout anglers. There are still three full weekends and 10 straight fishing days that end on May 18th left to fish. The best day of the event so far was on Saturday with 1,719 lake trout entered. Friday was one of the worst windy days with 166 entries and Easter Sunday there were 710 lake trout entries. Registration is free and entry forms continue to be taken until the last day of the event. Enter online at www.mackdays.com on the events tab or pickup registration forms at area sporting good vendors. You can also telephone 406-883-2888 ex. 7294. One fish is all it takes to get entered in the lottery drawing for cash and prizes that start at $1,000. Mack Days Fishing Events are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and are used as a management tool to reduce non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. The events are sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Native bull trout and westslope cutthroat-the native fish in Flathead Lake-are important to the history of the tribes and the state of Montana and are the purpose for the events being used to reduce lake trout numbers.
Danner Shima turned in a second large fish entry in the 2014 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event on Saturday April 19th. It surpassed the weight of his first entry weighing in at 25.5lbs. and measuring 40.5”. Danner was fishing with his Dad Ryan, brother Austin, and grandfather Mike when he hooked onto the large fish. Everyone was catching fish at the time-the lines were busy-and gave him a hard time about having to bring lines up just to go and get another fish weight taken. It was all in fun and everyone was guessing the weight of the large lake thinking it was larger than the first large fish entry Danner had entered the previous week. Mike and Austin caught some nice fish later in the day but they didn’t measure or weigh enough to pass Danner’s. Winner of the large fish category receives a $500 prize. Smallest lake entries are still held by a 191mm 7.5” entry from Chris Demmons of Missoula and 2nd place is a fish that measures 201mm 8” entered by Bob Stewart of Kalispell. Winners of the two smallest lake trout entries each receive $250.
Jason Mahlen of Kalispell widens his lead with 928 entries. Following Jason is Scott Bombard-Missoula with 737, 3rd Mike Benson-Lonepine-706, 4th-Kevin Burns-Kalispell-604, 5th-Steven Benson-Four Lakes, Wa. with 557-6th Terry Krogstad-Kalispell-554, 7th Jerry Benson-Plains-516, 8th Ryan Shima-Kalispell-488, 9th Robert Turner-Kalispell-434, and 10th Danny Smith-Hot Springs-432.
Danner Shima is leading the 13-17 category with 358, 2nd Garett Vaughan-Charlo-226, 3rd Roger Guillory-Kalispell-189, 4th Kobe Cox-Charlo-139, 5th Keaton Turner-Kalispell-82. Matthew Guckenberg Jr. of Kalispell is leading in the 12 & under category with 89 followed by Abby Hodgson of Kalispell-47.
Ladies category leader is Julie Vacca of Florence with 76, 2nd Abby Hodgson-Kalispell-47, 3rd Leanne Guillory of Kalispell-27, 4th Kim McMillie-Ronan-21, and Mellissa Gilleard of Charlo-15.
Larry Karper of Florence has a large lead in the 70 and over group with 303 followed by Conn Hodgson of Kalispell wih 183, Roger Smart of Ronan with 80 is third, Jens Gran of Polson-4th with 24, Glenn Hoffman of Missoula-5th with 13.
A $500 tagged fish was turned in by Matt Guckenberg of Kalispell. Turning in $100 tagged fish were Larry Karper, Mike Benson, Doug Hodgson-Kalispell, Scott Bombard, and Leanne Guillory. Every angler would like to find the $10,000 tagged lake trout, one of the two $5,000 tagged lake trout, or one of the five $1,000 tagged fish. Those fish plus over 5000 valued at $100-$500 are still out there.
Family, fun, and fishing-come out and join in. Fishing tips, maps, boat safety, weather, etc. can be found on the website along with lake trout fishing videos on trolling, jigging, and fishing from shore.
(Report by Cynthia Bras-Benson)