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Tagged fish liven up Mack Days

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Tagged fish were the excitement of the Spring Mack Days Fishing Event during the ninth weekend. May 10 was a winning day for Steven Benson of Four Lakes, Wash. He is one of 850 anglers competing in the 2013 spring fishing event. Benson turned in 43 lake trout, which was the high number for the day, and one of them was a $1,000 tagged lake trout. The high dollar tagged fish was the third tagged fish he has caught since the beginning of the event. The other two were $100 valued fish. 

Saturday was another banner day for the tagged fish entries. David McDaniel and Susan Martin had four on their boat when they docked at the end of the day — each of them worth $100, but it made an exciting day for them. Other $100 tagged fish were turned in by Chad Cottet, Polson; Jeff Cox and Don Beville, Lakeside; Jerry Benson, Plains; Doug Hodgson and Kevin Burns, Kalispell. Turning in a $200 tagged fish was Mike Benson of Lonepine. Somewhere in the lake is the $10,000 tagged lake trout; five tagged $5,000; and 10 worth $1,000, along with more than 4,000 with values from $100 to $500.  

Mack Days is sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Up to $150,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded on May 19 at a fish fry and awards ceremony beginning at 4 p.m. at the Blue Bay Campground.  

Jason Mahlen of Kalispell continues to lead with 1,403 entries and a 63.67 average; second is Mike Benson of Lonepine with 971 and 44.17; third is Steven Benson of Four Lakes, Wash., with 884 and 40.5; fourth is Craig Morigeau of Polson with 804 and 40.67; fifth is Danny Smith of Hot Springs with 745 and 36.89; sixth is Scott Mahlen of Kalispell, 742 and 35.06; seventh is Jerry Benson of Plains with 593 and 29.06; eighth is David McDaniel of Polson with 567 and 27.16; ninth is Bryan Long of Kalispell with 565 and 31.39; and 10th is Dean Vaughan of Charlo with 548 and 30.44.

Ladies category leader is Susan Martin of Polson with 267; second is Julie Vacca of Florence with 202; and third is Nicole Peters of Missoula with 196.

The 13-17 age group leader is Danner Shima of Kalispell with 303; Connor Kowalski-Florence with 178; Roger Guillory of Kalispell with 171; Tanner Murry of Columbia Falls with 139; and Kobe Cox of Charlo with 135. The 12 and under leader is Garett Vaughan of Charlo with 331; Matt Guckenburg of Kalispell with 37; Cole Gilleard of St. Ignatius with 35; Abby Hodgson of Kalispell with 25; and Dylan Hodgson with 14.

Jim Hoover of Whitefish leads the 70-and-over group with 147; he is followed by Ralph Johnson of Columbia Falls with 103; Bill McIntyre of Conrad with 40; Dutch Turner of Kalispell with 35; and Jens Gran of Polson with 32.

A new smallest lake trout was turned in by Dan Long of Columbia Falls with a 158-mm laker. Jason Mahlen continues to hold the other smallest entry with a 160-mm lake trout.

Anglers are fishing the last 10 days of the event and will finish on May 19. Entries continue to be taken up until the last day of the event. Go to for information or call the tribal Blue Bay headquarters at (406) 982-3142. 


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