Fishing has been a passion for angler Danner Shima of Kalispell for several years and the expertise he has gained while fishing with his dad Ryan and his grandfather Mike Shima of Polson is paying off for the young adult angler who now fishes independently from his own fishing boat. He has found his footing the past week and is reeling the lake trout in. There is now a tie for 1st place in 2017 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event. Michael Benson of Lonepine and the young eighteen year old angler Shima are good friends and are now tied with 808 lake trout entries with fifteen days of fishing completed. Danner turned in a total of 209 entries compared to Bensons 93 over the weekend moving him up in the Top Ten standings. Ryan Shima is sitting in a strong 3rd place with 800 entries with a weekend total of 163. Fourth place angler is Steven Benson of Four Lakes, WA with a total of 777-152 for the weekend. Felix Gauci of Stevensville is in 5th with 737-81 for the weekend, Jason Mahlen of Kalispell moved to 6th with 696-185 for the weekend, 7th Scott Bombard with 653 and 83 for the weekend, 8th Sam Cusker of Whitefish with 647-49 for one day over the weekend, 9th David McDaniel of Polson with 582-146 for two days, and 10th Mike Shima of Polson with 500-125 for the weekend.
Mack Days Fishing Events are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes with Up to $225,000 in Cash and Prizes awarded. The events are used as a management tool to reduce non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake. Anglers fish every day of the event or may choose to fish one day. They receive one ticket for every lake trout entered in the event. Entries are taken until the last day. Prizes are awarded in several different categories-Top Ten Anglers, Ladies, Youth, Smallest and Largest Lake Trout, etc. go to www.mackdays.com for information or call 406-270-3386 for information.
A total of 20,462 lake trout entries have been turned in over the first five weeks. Friday’s total was 844, Saturday-509, and Sunday 1,164. The Tuesday-Thursday fish total is 2,517 entries. There are four weekends left in the nine week-long event. Fifty one total days are in the event with 27 being Friday through Sunday fishing days and 24 Tuesday through Thursday. Mack Days ends on May 14th with a 3:00 deadline for fish entries. The annual fish fry begins at 3:00 and the awards at 4:00 for the anglers, families, and friends.
Julie Vacca of Florence has a total of 192 for 1st in the Ladies Category, 2nd is Julie Woolley of Manetca, CA with 120, Brandy Hilde of Whitefish is 3rd with 101, Connie Jones of Kalispell 4th with 66, and Janine Kowalski of Florence is 5th with 61.
Larry Karper of Florence is in 1st in the 70 and Over group with 473, 2nd Bob Christensen of Missoula with 214, 3rd Gary Perelberg of Bigfork with 95, Bill Violette of Missoula is 4th with 52, and Bernd Albrecht of Polson is 5th with 46.
Tyler Varga leads the 13-17 Category with 257, 2nd Leah Banyai of Kalispell with 79, 3rd Jack Paul of Whitefish with 65, 4th Dylan Hodgson of Kalispell with 17, and 5th Abby Hodgson of Kalispell with 16.
Matt Guckenberg Jr. of Kalispell is in 1st in the 12 & Under Category with 51, Rylan Koch of Butte is 2nd with 33, Wyatt Thompson of Bigfork is 3rd with 15, Kane Kirwan of Polson is 4th with 12, and Logan Lang of Kalispell is 5th with 8.
A new entry in the Smallest Lake Trout category was turned in on Sunday by Sam Cusker. Measuring 173mm or 6 ¾” it is now the smallest lake trout entered in the event. Second place in that category is a tie between Jim Kirwan and Felix Gauci with lake trout entries of183mm.
There is still no large lake trout entry. To qualify it has to be over 36 inches and 24 pounds which is a pretty large lake trout.
Turning in tagged lake trout the past week were: Kalispell anglers Chris Steen and Terry Krogstad, Scott Bombard X 2, Sam Cusker, and David McDaniel X 2.
The $10,000 tagged lake trout is still out there along with 3-$5,000, and 4-$1,000 plus over 6,000 with values from $100-$500. Lake trout have been tagged and released throughout the lake. Anglers are asked to mark a suspected tagged fish with yarn, rubber bands, or electrical ties so they are spotted when counting in. As weather warms be sure and properly ice, ice, ice, fish using layers of ice.
Be on the alert for sudden spring storms, have your boat and equipment in good shape, wear your PFD’s, and stay safe out there.