|April 10, 2014
2014 Spring Mack Days enters fourth weekend
POLSON ó 2014 Spring Mack Days with Up to $150,000 in cash and prizes sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes has twelve days of fishing on Flathead Lake in the books. One hundred seventy five anglers have entered a total of 10,190 lake trout entries in the event which concludes on May 18 after a total of thirty four days of lake trout fishing on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays-except the last 10 days from May 9-18 it is ten straight days of fishing. There are currently 607 anglers who have signed up for the event. All are hoping to be the lucky angler to catch the $10,000 tagged lake trout or maybe even one of the two with tag values of $5,000, or one of five $1,000 tagged lakers. There are over 5,000 tagged lake trout with values from $100-$500.
Jason Mahlen of Kalispell continues his lead in the 2014 Spring Mack Days Fishing Event on Flathead Lake. Jason posted weekend totals of 58, 55, and 50 to increase his expanding lead to 133 lake trout entries over second place angler Mike Benson of Lonepine with 511-weekend days of 43, 35, and 45. Third place angler Scott Bombard of Missoula posted days of 37, 30, & 33 over the fourth weekend to put his total at 503. Kevin Burns-Kalispell angler put in 27, 31, & 45 for his fourth place total of 449 and Terry Krogstad another Kalispell angler turned in two days of 34 and 40 fish to place him in fifth. Others in the top ten are 6th-Steven Benson-Four Lakes, Wa.-383, 7th-Jerry Benson-Plains-366, 8th-Robert Turner-Kalispell-313, 9th-Ryan Shima-Kalispell-293, and 10th-Danny Smith of Hot Springs with 269. Top anglers are placed by their best 18 day average at the end of the event so placings can change once they reach 18 days of fishing.
There are several ways to win. All it takes is getting one ticket for one fish to get you entered in the lottery drawing for prizes that start at $1,000 and go down plus lots of merchandise prizes. There are categories for youth, ladies, over 70, weekend prizes, smallest fish, largest fish, etc. Go to the www.mackdays.com website for more information and entry form or telephone 406-883-2888, ext. 7294.
Several young men from the age of 13-17 are having fun in the competition in their category. Leaders are Danner Shima of Kalispell in the lead with 173, 2nd Garett Vaughan-Charlo-164, Roger Guillory of Kalispell 3rd with 134, Keaton Turner of Kalispell and Kobe Cox of Charlo-tied for 4th and 5th with 76. The 12 and under category has Matthew Guckenberg of Kalispell leading with 73 and lady anglers Abby Hodgson-Kalispell with 16 and Leah Banyai of Kalispell with 12. Several older gentlemen (Over 70) are also having a good time. Larry Karper of Florence is in the lead with 251. Larry also sits in eleventh place over all. Conn Hodgson of Kalispell is second with 88, and Roger Smart of Ronan is third with 54. Ladies are led by Julie Vacca of Florence with 50, 2nd is Amber Lang of Kalispell with 13, and third Connie Jones of Kalispell has seven entries.
Tagged lake trout with $100 values were turned in by Steven Benson, Kalispell anglers-Kevin Guillory, Chris Steen, Jason Mahlen, Mark Lang, Robert Turner, and Kevin Burns, Josh Jacobs-Somers, Tony Martin-Whitefish, Todd Morigeau-Polson, and Jerry Benson-Plains.
Fishing deep in depths of 180-260 feet seems to be working well. Most anglers use cut bait on their jigs also with some of the artificial scents available. Some anglers have a fly tied above their jigs. By watching the fishing video you can find several tips to use. There are a few anglers who troll in the spring and-they catch some nice lake trout. There is a video that gives tips on trolling for lake trout also. Saturday is the second day of the Heaviest Bucket of Fish Competition. Have your four heaviest lake trout identified before coming in or turning them in and they will be weighed in a bucket. Heaviest bucket wins $200. There will be overall winners at the end of the third day of the completion, which is Sunday May 11. Heaviest bucket on the first day was Missoula angler Bob Christensenís bucket which weighed in at 28lbs. 13ozs. Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event and there is no fee to enter. Mack Days are used as a management tool to reduce numbers of non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake and increase the numbers of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout.
The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have educational lake trout fishing videos available and maps of Flathead Lake that show depths and areas where anglers have been known to frequent when fishing for lake trout. You can view the video information online on the website or telephone the office 406-883-2888, ext. 7294 for copies of the lake trout fishing information.