Three weeks are left in the nine week 2015 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event. Anglers have turned in a total of twenty two thousand eight hundred eighty eight lake trout entries. Eighteen thousand six hundred and sixteen of those fish are from Friday-Sunday fishing days and four thousand two hundred seventy two are Tuesday through Thursday fishing days.
Mack Days are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Up to $225,000 will be awarded at the end of the event in cash and prizes by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. The events are used as a tool to reduce the non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. All it takes is one fish entry to be entered in the lottery style drawing.
There is still one $10,000-three $5,000-and five $1,000 tagged lake trout plus over 5,000 with values from $500-$100. Ninety tagged lake trout have been turned in during this event so far. Values won by anglers are $500-$200-and $100.
Jason Mahlen of Kalispell took over the lead in the event on Sunday with 983. Mahlen turned in 74, 89, & 63 for a total of two hundred twenty six for the weekend. Ryan Shima of Kalispell is second with entries for the weekend of 66, 79, & 43 for the weekend bringing his total to 970. Danner Shima is in third with 847, 4th-Steve Benson Four Lakes, WA-660, 5th-Scott Bombard-Missoula-587, 6th-Felix Gauci-Stevensville-585, 7th-Mike Shima-Polson-573, 8th-Terry Krogstad-Kalispell-535, 9th-Mike Benson-Lonepine-514, & 10th-Larry Karper-Florence-491.
Julie Vacca of Florence is leading the ladies with 174, Debbie Pike of Polson 2nd with 142, Nicole Peters-Missoula-3rd-116, 4th-LeAnne Guillory-Kalispell-94, and 5th-Jane Ramey of Stevensville with 83.
Larry Karper leads the 70 & Over group with 491, 2nd Jim Hoover of Whitefish with 171, 3rd-Ralph Johnson of Columbia Fals with 95, Thomas Shonholtzer of Helena is 4th with 54, and Jim Miller of Missoula is 5th with 47.
Danner Shima has a large lead in the 13-17 category with 847, 2nd Kobe Cox of Charlo with 166, 3rd-Garett Vaughan of Charlo with 101, 4th Jade Smith of Charlo with 83, and 5th Christopher Shae of Kalispell with 80.
Matthew Guckenberg Jr. of Kalispell has the lead in the 12 & Under group with 108, 2nd place is held by Abby Hodgson of Kalispell with 81, 3rd-Tripp Bick of Arlee with 23, 4th-Aaron Lang of Kalispell with 18, Karson Cox of Charlo and Shelbie Guckenberg of Kalispell are tied for 5th with eleven each.
Many anglers are fishing 10-13 hours a day on the lake. Sometimes it is quiet and not much exciting is happening when the bite is off and anglers are anxiously waiting for the fishing to begin again. But then again sometimes it’s not. Mike Shima lost a rod overboard on Saturday. His son Ryan cast out where the rod disappeared and caught Mike’s line bringing the pole back in for his dad. Sometime later Ryan’s best pole went overboard and Ryan watched in horror as it hit the water. Mike and son Danner Shima couldn’t believe what happened next as Ryan dove overboard after the pole. They were amazed when he came up with the pole in hand. Orders from home came through the telephone a bit later when Mike reported in to his wife about what had just happened-no more swimming in the lake-keep the kids out of the water. Same thing happened on the Cottet boat on the same day. Brothers Tyson and Chad were fishing when all of a sudden one of Chad’s poles went over. Chad had one pole in his hand, looked at it and realized it was his old pole and that his good pole was the one that had just gone overboard. Chad dove in-thinking as he went through the air that maybe he should rethink the situation but it was way too late for that- and he still had the old pole in one hand. Tyson could not believe what he had just seen and reported he just stood there trying to figure out what was going on. Chad came up with both poles loudly exclaiming about how cold the water was. Both anglers reported that the water is just not warm enough for swimmers yet and they do not recommend trying it. Water temp is at forty one degrees. They both were shocked at how cold it actually was. Clothes were hanging up everywhere on both boats and the anglers wore rain gear until their clothing dried.
The second of three days for the Bucket Competition was held on Saturday. Anglers put four of their heaviest fish in a bucket and a weight is taken. Heaviest bucket was won by Randy Hovet and Rick Castor of Charlo who fished from shore and had a weight of 22.5 pounds for four lake trout. They won $200 for their bucket weight. Shimas were second with a bucket weight of 16.1, 3rd place was Bryan Long and Darren Borgen of Kalispell with 15.6, 4th-Cottets with 15.45, and 5th Guillorys of Kalispell with 15.1. The next bucket day is May 10th. Points are given to the anglers on their buckets. Highest number of points will win overall and $300, 2nd place will win $200, and 3rd wins $100.
For information on the fishing event, safety tips, entry forms, fish ID, etc. go to www.mackdays.com and check out the website or telephone 406-883-2888 ex. 7294.
Tight lines everyone.