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Pair of Mack Days anglers have monster weekend

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Two lucky anglers will have plenty to talk about this week.

Bill Brovold and Joe Ferenbach, two of the 860 anglers entered in the 2010 Spring Mack Days, hooked and landed leviathans this past weekend that will be the subject of fish stories for years to come.

Brovold, an Alberton fisherman, was taking a break from working on a dock Saturday, when he caught a 42.5-inch mackinaw. While the length of the shore angler’s trophy was the same as the state record fish caught on Flathead Lake by Ruth Barber in 2004, the weight was nowhere near Barber’s record catch. Brovold’s lake trout weighed in at 25.8 pounds compared to Barber’s 42.69-pound trout.

Polson’s Ferenbach caught and released a 40-inch, 24.5-pound lake trout Saturday.

Brovold’s and Ferenbach’s trophies were two of 6,220 lake trout that have been entered in the first two weekends of the eleven-weekend event. Pablo teenage angler Stephen Naethe has accounted for 276 of the entries as he goes for his third Mack Days’ title. Naethe was one of eight anglers that reached the 50-fish limit Friday.  Naethe also reached the 50-fish cap Sunday to cushion his lead in the top angler division, where he is followed by Arlee angler Charles Forgey. Forgery caught his 50-fish limit Friday and has caught 206 through two weekends. The top angler is determined by the angler’s best 15 days on the lake. Gerald Willet (201) is third. Don Peters (181) and Steven Benson (171) round out the top five.

While Brovold and Ferenbach are battling it out for the largest fish, Jim Auger and Larry Schmill are in a dead heat for the smallest fish, with both of them reeling in an 8.75-inch lake trout.

Brady Weible trails Naethe in the youth angler division. The Moiese angler has turned in 34 lake trout through two weekends. Charlo’s Garett Vaughn (19) and Kobe Cox (16) are also in the hunt for second place in the youth angler division.

It was a good weekend for shore anglers with Ira Edwards catching a $500-tagged fish from the shore. Bob Turner caught a $200-tagged fish and Don Peters, Donovan Muir, Tim Folck and Jason Mahlan all caught $100-tagged fish. The two $5,000 tagged lake trout still elude anglers. There are more than 2,000 tagged fish in the lake.

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 awards.

Check the Web site at for more information on entries, totals, and anglers standings in the event. For questions or comments call 406-883-2888 ex. 7294.  

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