FISH ON! Angler Jason Mahlen of Kalispell continues to dominate the Spring Fishing Event on Flathead Lake. Total fishing entries for the four time Spring Event Champion angler Mahlen has a total of 1,063 lake trout entries. Seven perfect scores of 100 fish per day out of the twenty four turned in so far are also added to his resume. Jason turned in 100 lake trout on Friday, 93 on Saturday, and 61 on Sunday. Danner Shima with 921 entries adds five perfect 100 scores to the list. His father Ryan is in third place with 911 and three 100 days. Travis Banyai of Kalispell and Mike Benson from Lonepine add three each, along with Felix Gauci-Stevensville, Mike Shima Polson, and Steven Benson Four Lakes, WA with one each.
Spring Mack Days are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Up to $225,000 in Cash and Prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the event. Cash awards begin at $1,000 in the lottery style drawing and go down to $300. All it takes is one lake trout entry to qualify. There are several categories-Golden Oldies, Ladies, Youth-12 & Under and 13-17, Top Ten Anglers, Weekend Prizes, etc. Go to www.mackdays.com for the rules and information. Lake trout entries are taken Tuesday-Sunday with Friday-Sunday days for tickets, bonuses, and tagged fish. Tuesday-Thursday fishing is for bonus amounts and tagged fish only.
Lake trout entries total 20,650 so far in the event. Friday-Sunday fishing total is 17,997 for twelve days and Tuesday-Thursday total is 2,653 for nine days. Fridays entries were 1,804, Saturday 1,544, and a windy morning on Sunday limited the number of anglers and entries were 593 lake trout.
The $10,000 tagged fish is still out there along with the three $5,000 and five $1,000 tagged fish. There is also over 6,000 that have values from $100-$500. Angler Walt Reznick of Polson caught a $100 tagged fish off a dock over the weekend. Other tagged $100 tagged fish were turned in by Matt Guckenberg Sr., Travis Banyai X 2, Jason Mahlen, and Danner Shima-Kalispell, Steven Benson Four Lakes, WA., Jason Kowalski-Florence X 2, Larry Ashwell and Myles Tripp-Missoula, and Shannon Brownlee of Lolo.
Top ten anglers after 12 days of Fri-Sunday fishing are: Jason Mahlen-Kalispell 1st with 1,063, Danner Shima-Kalispell 2nd with 921, 4th Mike Benson-Lonepine 760, 5th Scott Mahlen-Kalispell 649, 6th Mike Shima-Polson 646, 7th Travis Banyai-Kalispell 638, 8th Felix Gauci-Stevensville 564, 9th Steven Benson-Four Lakes, WA 537, and 10th Jerry Benson of Plains with 519.
Julie Vacca holds first in the ladies category with 140, Brandy Hilde of Missoula is second with 130, 3rd-Connie Jones of Kalispell-73, 4th-Nicole Peters-Missoula with 61, and 5th Andrea Banyai of Kalispell with 49.
Matt Guckenberg Jr. of Kalispell is leading in the 12 & Under with 97, Leah Banyai is 2nd with 90, 3rd-Abby Hodgson of Kalispell-38, Ellyana Tripp of Missoula is 4th with 28, and Sophia Hodgson is 5th with 25.
Danner Shima is first in 13-17 with 921, Tyler Varga-Kalispell 2nd with 175, Garett Vaughan of Charlo is 3rd with 70, Myles Tripp of Missoula 4th with 62, and Christopher Shae of Kalispell is 5th with 49.
Golden Oldie leader is Larry Karper of Florence with 459, Bob Christensen of Missoula 2nd with 194, 3rd-Jim Hoover of Whitefish with 102, Ralph Johnson of Columbia Falls 4th with 99, Roger Smart of Ronan is 5th with 49.
Winner of the 1st Bucket of Fish Day was Bob Christensen of Missoula with a bucket weight of his 4 largest lake trout under 30” that weighed 21#’s. Second of the three Bucket Days will be Saturday April 23rd and the last day of the category will be Sunday May 8th. Overall winner is chosen by total points given to the top five buckets by weight. Second place was the Shima boat with 15.25#’s, Steven Benson was third with 13.55, 4th the Cusker boat from Missoula with 13.25 and Shannon Brownlee of Lolo with 13.1.
No large fish entries have been turned in during the event. A large fish entry has to be turned in by 4:30. Mike Shima of Polson hooked onto a 27# lake trout on Friday evening after the time deadline. Largest one he had ever caught. Mike released the large lake trout back into the lake to be caught again another day.
Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. Anglers can turn in fish and enter at the same time. All it takes is one fish to win.
(Report via Cynthia Bras)