Kalispell’s Mahlen leads Mack Days at halfway point
Anglers are at the halfway point of the 2020 Spring Mack Days Extended Fishing Event. Blustery winds and rain were hampering even the hardiest of the lake trout anglers Saturday and Sunday. Friday was the calmest day of the weekend with a total of 1,564 lake trout entries. Saturday anglers pulled in their lines and headed for shore early. The total for Saturday was 1,281 entries. Sunday quitting time was an even earlier as stronger winds blew across huge white capping waves. The winds brought an end to Jason Mahlen’s perfect 100 fish days.
Jason’s total on Sunday was 47 when he had to head to shore early knowing it is better to be safe than sorry. Sometimes it is just better to reel up your lines. Total for Sunday came to 536. Total for the event so far is at 16,929 with 2,672 of those from Monday to Thursday fishing. The Friday to Sunday fishing total is 14,257. We caution all anglers to pay attention to weather and be prepared with proper PFD’s and safety equipment.
Up to $225,000 in cash and prizes sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes will be awarded to anglers at the conclusion of the event. Sunday, June 28 will be the last day lake trout entries will be taken. There are several ways to win — one fish is all it takes to have a chance to win one of the lottery drawings that begin at $1,000 and go to $450. Other category prizes include Top Ten Anglers, Ladies, Youth, Weekend Prizes, Largest Lake Trout, Smallest Lake Trout. Go to the website www.mackdays.com for information and the entry form. Entries will continue to be taken until the last day of the event.
There is still an elusive $10,000 tagged lake trout, three $5,000, five $1,000 and over 6,000 with values from $500-$100 lurking in the lake just waiting for any angler.
Bob Turner of Kalispell turned in a $500 tagged lake trout on Saturday making his rough ride across the water seem a little less stressful. Matt Guckenberg Sr. of Kalispell was a $200 winner during the weekend. Turning in $100 tagged fish were Kalispell anglers Ken Varga, Terry Krogstad X 3, Colton Marron, and Julie Perkins. Also Mike Benson-Lonepine, Will Best-Florence, Peter Dayton and Scott Bombard-Missoula, and Brad Ivanoff of Arlee with $100 tagged lakers.
Saturday was the second of three days of the Heaviest Bucket of Fish category. Anglers put their four heaviest lake trout in a bucket and a weight is taken. Winner was Jens Gran of Polson with a 24.7 pound bucket. There was a tie for second and third with 16.5 pounds — the T. Krogstad boat and Paul Soukup of Polson coming in with two exact weights. Same scenario for fourth and fifth places with 16.45 pounds-Varga boat and Ludahl’s of Kalispell tied. The last day of Bucket Fish will be the 21st. Points are given for places for each day. Winners are boats with the most points or in case of a tie-heaviest weight is used.
Jason Mahlen of Kalispell leads the Top Ten Anglers with 947 entries, 2nd Kolton Turner of Kalispell, 3rd Mike Benson of Lonepine 755, 4th Bob Turner with 733, 5th Sam Cusker of Bigfork-669, 6th Larry Karper of Florence 462, Scott Bombard of Missoula 7th with 409, 8th John Gauci of Florence with 396, 9th Larry Ashwell of Missoula with 394, and 10th Ken Varga of Kalispell with 378.
Larry Karper is in the lead in the 70 & Over category with 462, 2nd John Gauci-396, 3rd Larry Ashwell-394. Anglers can win in just one category and these three are in the Top Ten group also. The next two weeks will tell the story with these anglers.
Julie Perkins has 254 to pace the Ladies, 2nd Connie Jones of Kalispell with 54, 3rd Debbie Paine of Polson with 49, Nicole Peters of Missoula 4th with 28, and Savannah Popper of Kalispell has 20 for 5th.
Youth angler Matt Guckenberg Jr. of Kalispell is 1st in the 12-17 group with 258, Leah Banyai of Kalispell has 23, Madison Mahlen of Kalispell is 3rd with 17, 4th Allison Hotchkiss of Missoula 11, and 5th John Ross Jr. of Missoula has 6. Brodie Smith of Kalispell is 1st in the 12 & Under group with 103.
Hope to see warmer calmer weather for the remainder of the two weekends left. Come out and join in the fun. Tight lines everyone! Entries continue to be taken until the last day of the event. Go to www.mackdays.com and click on the events tab for the drop down boxes or enter when your fish are turned in. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Cindy Benson at (406) 270-3386 or 883-2888, extension 7294.