The 2015 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event continues with anglers having turned in a total of 18,340 lake trout entries through the fifth week of the nine week fishing event. The 2015 Spring Event has reached the half way mark and looks to be one of the more successful Mack Days Events. The fifth weekend of the event has been the largest with 4,113 lake trout entered. Mack Days are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and are sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. The event continues until May 17th when it ends with a fish fry and awards at the Blue Bay Campground area. Mack Days are used as a management tool by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to reduce non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake and to increase the once highly abundant native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout in the lake.
Up To $225,000 in Cash and Prizes is being awarded in the 2015 Spring Fishing Event. All it takes is one lake trout entry to get your name entered in the lottery style drawing for cash or merchandise prizes. There are many ways to win including the highly sought after and elusive tagged fish. There is one $10,000, three-$5,000, and five-$1,000 along with over 5,000 more tagged lake trout with values from $100-$500. There have been seventy four tagged lake trout turned in so far in the event with values from $100-$500. Other award categories include Captains Prizes, Weekend Prizes, Youth-2 categories, Ladies, Over 70 age group, Top Ten Anglers, Smallest and Largest Lake Trout, and more. You can check out the prizes, entry form, rules, etc. on the website at www.mackdays.com. Entry continues to be taken until the last day of the event.
Ryan Shima of Kalispell is leading the anglers with a total of 782 lake trout entries. Ryan hit his second perfect 100 fish day on Friday. He is only the second angler in the history of the event to get two- hundred fish days. The other angler to do so was Wes Shockley of Plains in the fall of 2011. Most anglers are fishing in depths from 180-240 feet. It takes a lot of hard work, determination, luck, skill, and good equipment to catch and land that many fish a day. Anglers all agree that everything has to go smoothly all day long to reach a 100 fish limit. No break downs, line tangles, fish hooks in fingers, or rods overboard kind of a day. Many of these hard core fishermen and women have set goals of fish per hour, per day, and a fish total they want to reach at the end of the event. Ryan’s son Danner turned in a total of 73 on Friday and Mike Shima father and grandfather had 56 in his cooler. They caught a total of 229 lake trout-anglers who watch at a distance from other boats are amazed at the skills they see from these three anglers as they fish and catch lake trout.
Others in the top ten to watch as the event moves forward are Jason Mahlen of Kalispell who is second with 757, Danner Shima-3rd-670, Steven Benson-Four Lakes, WA-4th -542, Scott Bombard-Missoula-5th-487, Mike Shima-Polson-6th-446, Felix Gauci-Stevensville-7th-442, Larry Karper-Florence-8th-421, Terry Krogstad-Kalispell-9th-407, and Mike Benson-Lonepine-10th-394.
Over 70-Larry Karper-1st, Jim Hoover-Whitefish-2nd-140, Ralph Johnson-Columbia Falls-3rd-95, Jim Miller-Missoula-47-4th, Thomas Shonholtzer-5th-Helena.
13-17 Category-Danner Shima-670, 2nd Kobe Cox-Charlo-151, 3rd-Jade Smith-Charlo-83, 4th-Garett Vaughan-Charlo-65, and 5th-Christopher Shae-Kalispell-58.
12 & Under-Matt Guckenberg Jr.-Kalispell-96, Abby Hodgson-Kalisell-77, Tripp Bick-Arlee-3rd-21, Karson Cox-Charlo-4th-11, and Kieran Incashola-St. Ignatius-9.
Ladies-The top two ladies are tied again. Julie Vacca of Florence and Debbie Pike of Polson each has 125 entries. Third is Nicole Peters of Missoula with 87, 4th-Abby Hodgson-77, and 5th –Leann Guillory of Kalispell-67.
Nice weather greatly helped the anglers and was a welcomed relief from the cold and wind. There were a few sunburned faces but all in all it was a good fishing weekend.
We remind everyone to think safety first and keep aware of weather predictions and changes throughout the day. Wear your PFD’s and have safety equipment aboard. Go to www.mackdays.com for more information or telephone 406-883-2888 ex. 7294.
Tight lines and good luck everyone.
(Report by Cynthia Bras)