A total of 3,576 entries were turned in over the sixth weekend of the nine week long Mack Days Fishing Event bringing the total for six weeks of lake trout fishing to 24,722. Total for Friday fishing was 1,279, Saturday-1,325, and Sunday 972. Eighteen year old Danner Shima of Kalispell continued his fishing run Friday turning in a total of 89, Saturday-76, and Sunday 55 putting him in first place in the Top Ten Category with 1,028, Ryan Shima sits in second with 943-Friday-54, Saturday-39, and Sunday 41. Michael Benson of Lonepine is in 3rd with 921-Friday 33, Saturday-39, and 41 on Sunday, Steven Benson of Four Lakes, WA is 4th with 890-54,24, & 33, 5th Felix Gauci of Stevensville with 864-69,41, & 17, Jason Mahlen of Kalispell 6th with 855-49,65, & 45, 7th Scott Bombard of Missoula with 769-55,44, and 20, 8th Sam Cusker of Whitefish-751-39,44, & 21, 9th David McDaniel of Polson with 713-56,31, & 44, and 10th Travis Banyai of Kalispell with 603-55,33, & 54.
Mack Days Fishing Events are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes with Up to $225,000 in Cash and Prizes awarded at the conclusion of the event. The fisheries management goal is to increase the native bull trout and cutthroat trout numbers in the lake by decreasing the numbers of the non-native lake trout. Mack Days is sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. All it takes is one fish entry to qualify in the lottery style drawing that begins at $1,000. The event continues until May 14th. Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. There is no entry fee. Boat inspections are required of all boats used in the event.
Leading Lady Angler Category is Julie Vacca of Florence with 228, 2nd is Julie Woolley of Manteca, CA with 120, , 3rd Brandy Hilde of Whitefish with 109, 4th Connie Jones of Kalispell with 93, and 5th Janine Kowalski of Florence with 89.
Tyler Varga of Kalispell has a large lead in the 13-17 Category with 331 entries followed by Jack Paul of Kalispell with 65, Leah Banyai of Kalispell is third with 87, Abby Hodgson has 43 for 4th place, and Dylan Hodgson is 5th with 23..
Matt Guckenberg Jr. of Kalispell has 71 in the 12 and Under followed by Rylan Cook of Butte with 33, 3rd place is held by Kayne Kirwan of Polson with 17, Wyatt Thompson of Bigfork is 4th with 15, and, Logan Lang from Kalispell is 5th with 8.
Larry Karper of Florence continues to lead the 70 & Over Category with 386, Bob Christensen is 2nd with 167, 3rd Gary Perleberg of Bigfork with 95, Bernd Albrecht of Polson 4th with 46, and Jim Hoover of Whitefish 5th with 30.
Heaviest Bucket of Fish Category 2nd Day-(anglers four largest fish are put into a bucket and a weight is taken)- went to Shawn Wells of Carmen, CA and Walter Wells of Salmon, ID with a weight of 28.1lbs.-10 points, 2nd place bucket weight of 23.45 went to Brian Sailer of Missoula-8 points, 3rd Ted Petersen and Paul Gyles of Stevensville with a weight of 17.3-6 points, Mike and Chris Shae of Kalispell were 4th with 15.2-4 points, and Jason and Janine Kowalski of Missoula were 5th with 14.3-2 points. Points total with two days in of the three day contest show a tie for the overall winner between Petersen/Gyles, and Sailer with 16 points each. The Wells boat has 10 pts., Bob Christensen with 6 points, Turner and Shae boats each have 4 points, and Banyai and Kowalski boats have 2 points each. The last day of the bucket weights will be Sunday May 7th with the overall winner being decided on the points-10 for the heaviest, 8,6,4, and 2 or in the case of a tie by total weight.
The $10,000 tagged fish, 3-$5,000, 4-$1,000 and over 6,000 with values from $100-$500 are still out in the lake. Lake trout with tags have been turned in from all parts of the lake. Boat and shore anglers catch them. Tagged fish with values of $100 were turned in by David McDaniel x 2, Brian Sailer of Missoula, Chris Shae, Jason Mahlen, Bob Turner, & Ryan Shima-Kalispell, and Steven Benson. Ken Varga of Kalispell turned in a $200 entry.
There is still no entry in the largest lake trout category. The largest has to weigh over 24 pounds and be at least 36 inches. There is one $500 prize for the largest lake trout entry.
Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. Go to www.mackdays.com for information about the event, prizes, rules, etc. or telephone 406-270-3386.
(Report via Cynthia Benson; photo via mackdays.com)