One week is all that remains of the 2017 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Up to $225,000 in Cash and Prizes will be awarded on May 14th during the Fish Fry and Awards which begin at 3:00 at the Blue Bay Campground for friends and families. Anglers can fish Tuesday through Sunday with totals from Sunday counting for the bonuses and tagged fish but it is a separate day for prizes. All competition categories will end on Saturday night. Tagged fish and bonus totals continue through Sunday fishing. All fish entries are to be turned in by 3:00.
There is still a $10,000 tagged lake trout out in Flathead Lake somewhere-along with three $5,000, four $1,000 and over 6,000 with values from $100-$500. Turning in $100 tagged entries the past week were: David McDaniel of Polson, Bob Stewart and Matt Guckenberg of Kalispell, Larry Karper of Florence, Sam Cusker of Whitefish X 2, Bob Syrvud of Polson, Jerry Benson of Plains, and Felix Gauci of Stevensville. Danner Shima of Kalispell turned in a $200 tag.
Eighteen year old Danner Shima is leading the anglers with a total of 1,529 entries and a 74.33 eighteen day average. Danner grew up fishing Mack Days and now competes in his own boat fishing by himself and is giving pointers on where to catch the evasive lake trout to his dad and grandfather. Danner caught and turned in 71 on Friday, 66 on Saturday, and 100-the limit on Sunday. That is the third 100 lake trout limit for him. Veteran angler Jason Mahlen is chasing Danner with 1,302 entries and a 65.06 average. Jason has won the past four Spring Events and holds the current high record of 1,818 entries and 85.8 average in the 2016 Spring Event. Mahlen caught 85 on Friday, 42 Saturday, and 68 on Sunday. Jason has two 100 fish limit days during this event. Coming in third is Ryan Shima with 1,246 and catches of 51, 23, and 37. Ryan has caught the limit of 100 lake trout once and also has a 98 fish day in his total. Fourth is Mike Benson of Lonepine with 1,246 and catches of 61, 49, and 31 and average of 59.33. Mike has three 100 limit days along with Danner. David McDaniel of Polson moved into fifth place with 1,097 and an average of 55.39 with catches of 81, 67, and 73. Steven Benson of Four Lakes, WA is in 6th with 1,118 and 55.06 avg., 7th Felix Gauci of Stevensville with 1,044 and 52. , 8th Sam Cusker of Whitefish 986 and 50.9, 9th Scott Bombard of Missoula with 986 and 50.06-Scott has turned in 100 fish twice during this event, and 10th Terry Krogstad of Kalispell with 905 and 45.5 average. Mike Shima, Felix Gauci, Steven Benson, and Terry Krogstad-all limited out once during the event so far. Anglers continue to compete on Friday and Saturday to increase their totals and averages to move up in the category.
Lady angler Julie Vacca of Florence has a total of 302 for 1st in that category. Connie Jones of Kalispell is in 2nd with 161, 3rd Brandy Hilde of Whitefish with 156, 4th Janine Kowalski of Missoula with 153, and 5th Nicole Peters of Missoula with 135.
Larry Karper of Florence totals 792 in the 70 and Over group followed by Bob Christensen of Missoula with 370, Gary Perleberg of Bigfork with 107, Ralph Johnson of Columbia Falls with 61, and Bill Violette of Missoula with 52.
Tyler Varga has 437 in the 13-17 category with Leah Banyai of Kalispell in 2nd with 91, and Abby Hodgson of Kalispell with 75. Matt Guckenberg of Kalispell is leading in the 12 and Under with 89.
Bucket of Fish on Sunday was won by the Mitts/Mitts/ and Rogers boat with 21.45 pounds. Over-all winner for the 3-day Bucket of Fish competition was the boat of Brian Sailer of Missoula with 16 pts. and 50.25 pounds, 2nd place Peterson/Gyles of Stevensville with 41.9 pounds and 16 points and also the most years of experience fishing, 3rd place Mike and Chris Shae of Kalispell with 12 pts. and 34.9 pounds.
Total entries for the event are at 33,842 which if the numbers continue to come in over the next week it could add up to being the second largest event in Spring Mack Days history. The highest number of 38,085 was in the 2012 Spring Event. Friday’s total was 1,376, Saturday-1,187, and Sunday totaled 1,139.
Entry is free and entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. Go to www.mackdays.com for information or telephone 406-270-3386.