2015 Spring Mack Days sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks began March 20th and will end on May 17th. The event has Up To $225,000 in Cash and Prizes that will be awarded to hard working anglers at the conclusion of the fishing event that is used as a tool to reduce the non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. Enter at any time until the last day of the event. All it takes is one lake trout entry to qualify for the lottery and merchandise drawings. Go to www.mackdays.com for complete information.
One hundred sixty five lake trout anglers out of the six hundred entered have turned in over six thousand fish at the end of the second week of the 2015 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event. Total number after nine days of fishing is 6,986. Many anglers are putting in long hard days-up to 12.5 hours per day in all kinds of weather. Friday’s lake trout total was 1,175. Wind took a toll on Saturday. Winds gusts were expected to get up to 40-50mph on Saturday. A total of 68 fish were still turned in and Sundays total was 1,061. Leading the top ten angler category in the Mack Days Event is Kalispell angler Ryan Shima with 310 entries. Danner Shima-Ryan’s son leads the 13-17 categories with 228; Mike Shima-Polson-Ryan’s father- sits in 13th place with 164. Danners brother Austin turned in 18 on Sunday his first day out during this event. Steven Benson of Four Lakes, WA is second with 302. Another Kalispell angler and former winner of the event Jason Mahlen has entered a total of 263 lake trout entries. Larry Karper-Florence sits fifth in the top ten and leads the 70 & Over category with 212. Danny Smith a Hot Springs angler is sixth with 210, Mike Benson of Lonepine is seventh with 205, John Gauci of Florence and Felix Gauci of Stevensville are tied for eighth and ninth with 198, and Scott Bombard of Missoula is tenth with 193.
Anglers can also fish Tuesday-Thursday. Those fish are added to the bonus dollars and tagged fish count for those days. You can see those results on the Mack Days website.
Two ladies are tied in that category for first. Debbie Pike of Polson and Julie Vacca of Florence each have fifty three entries. Third is Nicole Peters of Missoula with 37, 4th is Jane Ramey of Florence-23, and 5th-Susanne Albrecht of Polson with 16.
Matthew Guckenberg of Kalispell is first in the 12 & Under group with 20, Tripp Bick-Arlee is second with 17, Abby Hodgson-Kalispell-3rd-15, Kieran Incashola-St. Ignatius and Karson Cox-Charlo each have 9.
Behind Danner in the 13-17 category are Kobe Cox-Charlo-94, Jade Smith-Charlo-43, Dylan Hodgson and Austin Shima-Kalispell each have 18.
Fish can be turned in at Blue Bay every day except Monday. There are also fish pickups at Big Arm, Salish Point, Wayfarers, and Somers. Check the website for the times.
Anglers may keep their catch or donate it. Tribal fish fillet staff expertly fillet the fish and it is then delivered to area food banks.
Jigging is the most popular way to catch the lake trout. Anglers are jigging in water from 180’ to 240’. Use cut bait with the jig. Anchoring right over the fish keeping as stable as possible seems to work the best. Trollers are having success also but not in the higher numbers as jigging. Use a map that shows contours and depths of the lake to find areas to try fishing for the lake trout. There is a lot of information on the website for fishing Flathead Lake. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have produced fishing videos and maps that are available from the NRD Offices. Telephone 675-2700 ex 7200 or ex 7282 for information.
(Report via Cynthia Bras)