2016 Spring Mack Days ends on May 15th with Up to $225,000 in Cash and Prizes sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes awarded to lake trout anglers who are working to slowly reduce the non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. There are seven hundred forty two anglers from the ages of three to eighty four who have registered for the event with two hundred forty of them turning in a total of 31,762 lake trout entries. Four thousand five hundred eighty of those fish were caught in the Tuesday-Thursday fishing and twenty seven thousand one hundred eighty two caught in the Friday-Sunday fishing days. The seventh weekend total was 2,546.
Returning top angler Jason Mahlen of Kalispell continues to lead the anglers with a total of 1,670 entries and an eighteen day average of 85.8 which is phenomenal for the event. Jason’s 2015 Spring average was 74.6, 2014 Spring 54.6, and 2013 65.8. The only other angler close to his average was Terry Krogstad of Kalispell in the 2013 Fall Event with 68.2. Two weekends are left in the event-six fishing days for the numbers to change. High school student Danner Shima of Kalispell is second with 1,351 and a 70.6 average, 3rd-Ryan Shima 1,339 and 68.1, 4th Mike Benson of Lonepine 1,065 and 56.6, 5th-Robert Turner of Kalispell 1,001 and 54.5, 6th Scott Mahlen of Kalispell 977 and 50.0, 7th Travis Banyai of Kalispell 958 and 51.6, 8th Mike Shima of Polson 911 and 47.8, 9th Steven Benson Four Lakes, WA 909 and 46.6, and 10th in numbers is Felix Gauci of Stevensville with 845 and 45.0. Kolton Turner of Kalispell has 838 and an average of 45.6. Top ten anglers are placed by their eighteen day average at the end of the event so placings may change.
Larry Karper of Florence still leads in the 70 and Over with 661, Bob Christensen of Missoula-2nd with 267, 3rd-Jim Hoover of Whitefish with 143, 4th-Ralph Johnson of Columbia Falls with 133, and 5th Roger Smart of Ronan with 101.
Brandy Hilde of Missoula is first in the Ladies with 233, Julie Vacca of Florence 2nd with 188, and Nicole Peters of Missoula is third with 133.
Matt Guckenberg Jr. of Kalispell is 1st in the 12 and Under with 178, 2nd is Leah Banyai with 109, and 3rd Abby Hodgson of Kalispell with 42.
Danner Shima leads the 17 & Under with 1,351, 2nd is Tyler Varga of Kalispell with 222, and 3rd Garett Vaughan of Charlo with 133.
Bob Stewart of Kalispell caused some excitement when he caught and turned in a $500 tagged fish on Saturday. Other $100 tagged fish were caught the past week by Scott Bombard-Missoula, Mike Benson, Larry Karper, Felix Gauci, Bill Swaney-Missoula, David McDaniel-Polson, Danner Shima X 2, Larry Ashwell-Missoula, and Kolton Turner. Anglers are anxiously awaiting the lines to bring in the $10,000, 3-$5,000, or 5-$1,000 tagged fish. There are over 6,000 with values from $100-$500.
Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. Go to www.mackdays.com for information or telephone 406-270-3386.
The fish fry will begin at 3:00 at the Blue Bay Campground on May 15th and awards will begin at 4:00. All it takes is one fish to get you entered in the lottery style drawing.
(Report via Cynthia Bras)