Off to a great start anglers in the 2015 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks turned in a total of 3,774 lake trout entries over the first weekend. The weather was great on Friday and the anglers many who had not fished all winter were anxious to get on the water. Fridays total was one of the best over the years with 1,825 entries with hard working anglers-Steve Benson and Ryan Shima turning in limits of 100 each. Saturday’s weather was rougher with 731 lake trout and Sunday was another good day with 1,218. Up to $225,000 in Cash and Prizes will be earned by the anglers in the Spring Event which has fifty one fishing days. There are many ways to win-top anglers, tagged fish, bonuses, ladies, youth categories, weekend prizes, Over 70 age group, plus the lottery cash and merchandise prizes where all you need is one ticket to win. New to this event is fishing on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. No lottery or prize tickets for those days but they do count for bonus dollars and tagged fish. Totals will be kept separate until the end of the event and then added together. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will be regular Mack Days with all prizes counting.
A $10,000 tagged fish, 3-$5,000, & 5-$1,000 plus over 5,000 with values from $100-$500 are another way to win. Debbie Pike of Polson was the lucky winner of a $500 tagged fish on Sunday. She turned in seven fish with one of them being a tagged fish. Other tagged fish winners during the first weekend were-$200-Matthew Lemert-Livingston, Scott Bombard-Missoula, and Felix Gauci-Stevensville. Felix, Chad Cottet and David McDaniel-Polson, Kolton Turner, Brian Hodgson, Tony Martin, Danner Shima, Terry Krogstad X 2-Kalispell, Steve Benson-WA, Bill Swaney-Missoula, and John Gauci X 2-Florence were $100 tagged fish winners.
Leading the event is Four Lakes, WA angler Steven Benson with 219 entries, 2nd place is held by John Gauci-Florence-198, 3rd-Ryan Shima-Kalispell-188, 4th-Jason Mahlen-Kalispell-160, 5th-Scott Bombard-Missoula-142, 6th-Danny Smith-Hot Springs-135, 7th-Larry Karper-Florence-131, 8th-Terry Krogstad-Kalispell-124, 9th-Mike Benson-Lonepine-121, and 10th-Greg Karlson-Hot Springs-115.
Ladies leader is Julie Vacca-Florence with 41, Debbie Pike-Polson-34, Jane Ramey-Florence-21, Susanne Albrecht-Polson-16, and Nicole Peters-Missoula-15.
Danner Shima of Kalispell was the high number angler on Sunday with 84 entries putting his total at 114 and first in the 13-17 categories. Kobe Cox of Charlo is second with 58, and Dylan Hodgson of Kalispell follows with 18. Youth 12 & Under leaders is Tripp Bick-Arlee with 16, Abby Hodgson of Kalispell with 15, Kieran Incashola of St. Ignatius with 9, Karson Cox of Charlo-8, Matt Guckenberg-Kalispell-4, and Jacob Yorgason-Missoula-4.
Larry Karper is leading in the 70 & Older group with 131, Jim Miller-Missoula-41, Larry Ashwell-Missoula-28, Jim Hoover-Whitefish-25, and Jens Gran-Polson-20.
Smallest lake trout leaders are Brian Hodgson with a 230mm lake trout (9”) and Danny Smith of Hot Springs with a 233mm lake trout. NO large fish entries over 36” and 24#’s have been turned in.
Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. Go to www.mackdays.com for more information on the event, fishing tips, safety, entry form, etc.
(Report by Cynthia Bras)