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Naethe leads 3 categories in Mack Days

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As if leading the top angler and youth angler wasn’t enough, a Pablo teenager now leads the large fish category too.

Stephen Naethe, a two-time Mack Days’ winner, caught a 41.75-inch, 30.4-pound lake trout Sunday to move ahead of Bill Brovold’s 25.8-pound fish caught last week. 

Even though it took Naethe more than a half hour to bring in the monster from the deep waters, he still released it once the measurements were taken.

Naethe was one of the four anglers to reach the 50-fish limit Friday, and one of only two anglers to reach the 50-fish cap Saturday. 

The 17-year-old also reached the limit Sunday and leads all anglers with 426 entries through three weekends. He is followed by Columbia Falls’ Steven Benson, who along with his brothers Jerry and Michael caught the 50-fish limit Friday. Don Peters (298) is in third just five fish behind Benson. Arlee’s Charles Forgey (279) and Gerald Willet (265) round out the top five.

Nicole Peters’ 203 fish leads all lady anglers and puts her in eighth place in the top angler category. Peters’ leads Charlotte Benson (56) and Terry Biere (52) in the lady angler category.

Bierre is also third in the youth angler division, trailing Moiese’s Brady Weible (54) and Naethe.

Kimberly Biere turned in a $200-tagged fish. Kalispell’s Sid Bitney matched Biere by catching two $100-tagged fish. Justin Lockwood, Jim Auger, Brooks Fickensher, Rusty Hunt, Tony Incashola, Jeff Briggs and Dutch Turner all turned in tagged fish worth $100.

Most anglers are fishing by jigging on anchored and stationary boat in depths from 170-feet to 290-feet of water. Trollers are starting to turn in higher numbers of lake trout from the north end and from around Wild Horse and there is increased activity on the Delta Area up at the mouth of the Flathead River both jigging and trolling.

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. 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 Web site at 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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