The 2015 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event moves on into the fifth week after a stormy, very windy, fourth weekend of lake trout fishing. Friday was a great day for the anglers with 1,457 lake trout turned in. Three angles-Ryan Shima, Jason Mahlen, and Danner Shima all of Kalispell and placing one, two, and three in the standings each turned in the same total of seventy one fish after 12 hours of fishing. It would be hard to ever repeat that. Trying to get the same number of fish to turn in would be hard to do even if it was a carefully planned day with that total in mind to end the day with. Ryan and Danner were in the same boat but didn’t know totals until they checked in. Mahlen was in another boat by himself. Friday was a very lucky day for lady angler Debbie Pike who turned in a total of twelve lake trout entries. She was pleasantly surprised when two out of the twelve turned out to be $100 tagged lake trout.
What can you say about a howling windy Saturday with a fish total of fourteen? Safety first was on everyone’s mind. Wind gusts were predicted to be in the 35-45mph range with wind direction changing as the day went on and 20 mph sustained winds. The prediction was close. The few anglers who did go out put in some difficult fishing time and received tickets that were hard fought for. Many anglers took the wind predictions seriously and stayed off the water. Sunday was still windy but the water was a little less rough. A few anglers ventured out into areas that were protected some from the wind and rough waters. One hundred sixty five fish were turned in on Sunday bringing the weekend total to 1636 and four week total to 10,760. Adding in the Tuesday-Thursday numbers brings it to 13,181.
Ryan Shima continues to lead the anglers with 573 entries, 2nd-Jason Mahlen-554, 3rd-Danner Shima with 466, 4th-Steve Benson-Four Lakes, WA, 5th-Scott Bombard-Missoula-373, 6th-Felix Gauci-Stevensville-365, 7th-Mike Benson-Lonepine-347, 8th-Larry Karper-Florence-319, 9th-Terry Krogstad-Kalispell-309, and 10th-Mike Shima-Polson-303
Debbie Pike of Polson is 1st in the ladies category with 101, 2nd-Julie Vacca-Florence-80, 3rd-Nicole Peters-Missoula-61, 4th-Jane Ramey-Florence-51, and 5th-Abby Hodgson-Kalispell-45.
Danner Shima is 1st in the 13-17 age group with 466, Kobe Cox of Charlo is 2nd with 129, Jade Smith-Charlo is 3rd with 66, Garett Vaughan-Charlo-4th-with 49, and Christopher Shae-Kalispell is 5th with 30.
Kalispell angler Matt Guckenberg is leading in the 12 & under group with 55, Abby Hodgson-Kalispell-2nd with 45, Tripp Bick-Alree-3rd with 21, and Kieran Incashola-St. Ignatius and Karson Cox-Charlo are tied for 5th with 9 each.
Larry Karper is first in the 70 & over category with 319, 2nd Jim Hoover of Whitefish with 87, 3rd-Ralph Johnson-Columbia Falls-72, 4th-Jim Miller-Missoula-43, and 5th– Tom Shonholtzer-32.
Anglers do have the option to fish Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to increase their bonus amounts. Tagged fish also count on those days. Entries are taken up until the last day of the event. Go to www.mackdays.com for information, fishing tips, fish ID, etc.
(Report by Cynthia Bras)