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Mack Days anglers net record catch

The record-breaking number of anglers entered in the 2010 Spring Mack Days took advantage of the beautiful spring weather and caught 3,679 lake trout.

The 3,679 mackinaw caught in this weekend was the most in the 11-week event and pushed the number of lake trout caught through six weekends to 17,292, which is the most ever in the Mack Days’ eight-year history. 

Pablo teenager Stephen Naethe, who leads all anglers with 765 fish, has caught fish from both ends of the size spectrum. Naethe, who is in first in the large fish category with 30.4-pound fish he caught in the first weekends, caught an 8.1-inch fish and leads the small fish category.

Naethe was also one of eight anglers to catch a $100-tagged fish. Charlo’s Jason Furhman, Jim Hoover, Glee Bratt, Arlee’s Mark Hagen, Ronan’s Jim Gollehon, St. Ignatius’ Daniel Hunt and Alvin Haase all caught a fish worth $100.

Columbia Falls’ Steven Benson had three perfect 50-fish days and sits in second in the top angler division with 653 mackinaw. He is followed by Hot Springs’ Michael Benson (545), who had one 50-fish day. Arlee’s Charles Forgey had two 50-fish days and moved into fourth place with 526 fish through six weekends. Polson’s David McDaniels (507) rounds out the top five. 

Nicole Peters (209) leads the lady anglers. She is followed by Debbie O’Hara (90) and Charlotte Benson (72).

Charlo’s Brady Wieble is inching toward the century mark and is in second place in the youth division with 96 mackinaw. He leads Terry Biere by 44 fish.

Mack Days is sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks as part of the Flathead Lake Co-Management Plan to balance the fishery of Flathead Lake by slowly reducing non-native lake trout and increasing numbers of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout. Anglers are competing for $100,000 in cash and prizes to be given away at the conclusion of the event.

As their totals go up anglers receive more in bonus amounts at the end of the event but all it takes is one ticket in the drawing to win one of the cash prizes that will be drawn for. The cash prizes begin at $1,000 and go to $200. There are several ways to win – smallest fish, largest fish, most fish. The event ends May 23 with a fish fry and the awards.

Check the website at www.mackdays.com for more information on entries, totals, and anglers standings in the event. For questions or comments call 883-2888, ext. 7294.

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