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2016 Spring Mack Days – FINAL UPDATE (5.16.16)
By angelamontana


After fifty one days of lake trout fishing on Flathead Lake 2016 Spring Mack Days on Flathead Lake ended with a total of 34,687 lake trout entries which is the second highest total of the events since it began in 2002. The 2012 Spring Event total of 38,085 still holds the record for the total number of entries. Strong winds hampered the lake trout anglers the last two weekends of the event. The wind weary anglers were struggling with low numbers while battling the waves and wind but still put in hours of fishing.

Each and every angler is part of the success of the Mack Days Events. The anglers are helping to make a difference by being a part of the fishing events. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes sponsor Mack Days with Up to $225,000 in the Spring Event. The fishing events are used as a tool to lower numbers of non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake and increase the once abundant bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout in the lake. These native fish are an important part of the history and culture of the lake wide system and were once the dominate fish in the lake. Thank you to every angler who supports or participated in 2016 Spring Mack Days.

After putting in many days and many, many hours of fishing from daylight until dark or close to it Jason Mahlen of Kalispell repeated a first place win for the fourth consecutive time. Jason ended the event with 1,803 and an eighteen day average of 85.89-which is a record. 2nd place went to Danner Shima of Kalispell with 1,429-71.67, 3rd place Ryan Shima of Kalispell 1,478-68.78, 4th place Mike Benson of Lonepine 1,121-56.94, 5th place Bob Turner of Kalispell 1,107-56.56, 6th place Travis Banyai of Kalispell 982-51.67, 7th place Scott Mahlen Kalispell 1,004-50.0, 8th Mike Shima of Polson 1,000-49.0, 9th Kolton Turner of Kalispell 957-48.56, and 10th Steven Benson of Four Lakes, WA 996-46.0. Top ten anglers are placed by their eighteen day average.

A $1,000 tagged fish was caught Sunday from the Blue Bay dock by Roxanne Coleman-Herak of Charlo and Nate Kimmel from Kalispell landed a $200 tagged fish from the dock. Many anglers reported catching fish from the shore docks over the past two weeks.

Special Spirit of the Event Winners were Ryan Shima and Jason Mahlen both of Kalispell. Each of the anglers exemplifies what the events are about in their sportsmanship and in their angling expertise, courtesy, and helpfulness.

Brandy Hilde of Missoula was first in the Ladies Category with 238, 2nd Julie Vacca of Florence with 194, 3rd Nicole Peters of Missoula-153, 4th Connie Jones of Kalispell with 82 and 5th Jane Ramey of Florence with 61.

Winner of the 13-17 Category was Tyler Varga of Kalispell with 266, Garett Vaughan of Charlo was 2nd with 148, 3rd Christopher Shae of Kalispell with 83, Myles Tripp of Missoula 4th with 62, and Aaron Lang of Kalispell with 41.

The 12 & Under Category winner was Matt Guckenberg Jr. of Kalispell with 179, 2nd Leah Banyai of Kalispell with 109, and 3rd place-Abby Hodgson of Kalispell with 42.

Golden Angler award went to Larry Karper of Florence with 697 and Bob Christensen of Missoula was second with 273.

Marty Noyd of Missoula won the Last Day Largest Fish under 30” with an 8.2# lake trout and 2nd place went to youth angler Dalton Kluesner of Missoula with a 6.9# lake trout.

2016 Fall Mack Days will begin September 23rd and end November 13th. Go to www.mackdays.com for more information about 2016 Spring Mack Days.