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A blog about sports in Montana, with an emphasis on Flathead Valley High Schools.
Montana Sidelines - Sports Around The Flathead ValleyMontana Sidelines - Sports Around The Flathead Valley
Anglers on Record-Breaking Pace at Mack Days
Through four weekends, anglers on Flathead Lake have caught 12,143 lake trout
Anglers are on a record-breaking pace at this year’s Spring Mack Days event.

Through four weekends, 12,143 lake trout have been caught. With 22 days remaining, competitors are on pace to break the Mack Days record set in 2010, when 34,350 fish were caught. Anglers had landed 11,850 by the fourth weekend that year.

Friday, April 6, saw the second most fish caught in one day this spring. Competitors hauled in 1,375. The record this year came on March 31 when a total of 1,535 fish were caught. On Saturday, the total was 1,141 and on Easter Sunday, when rolling waves were reported despite sunny skies, the total dropped to 589.

Craig Morigeau of Polson had a successful weekend on the water, landing 125 fish on Friday and Saturday. Morigeau is currently third on the men’s leaderboard with 381 total lake trout. Mike Benson of Lonepine is in first with 478. Don Beville from Lakeside caught 120 fish in three days and is currently second with 413.

Polson’s Susan Martin leads the women with 96 fish. Tracy Powers of Missoula is runner-up with 79.

Connor Kowalski from Florence holds his impressive lead with 148 lake trout. Columbia Falls’ Tanner Murry is second with 102.

Most of the prized tagged trout dodged the bait this week. Steve Thompson from Columbia Falls and Roger Dilts from Polson scored $200 catches. Four others caught $100 fish.

As the tournament passes the halfway point, Mack Days officials are offering a few tips. Fishing reports are showing the lake trout are hanging out deep down around 220-260 feet. The use of a map that shows the depths and contours of the lake or a good fish finder is essential, Mack Days officials are saying. The lake trout seem to be concentrated on steep drop-off areas and off of the steep points. Some anglers are saying that following the contours, where the depths go down but not too steep, also produces some lake trout. Changing bait often is recommended before it gets too water logged.

Officials are reminding anglers to keep fish on ice if they’re planning to donate to food banks.

The tournament continues on weekends until May 11 when the final 10 days straight are open.

Spring Mack Days Leaderboard
Through Four Weekends
Men
Mike Benson, Lonepine, 478
Don Beville, Lakeside, 413
Steven Benson, Four Lakes, Wash., 394
Craig Morigeau, Polson, 381
Scott Bombard, Missoula, 370
Jason Mahlen, Kalispell, 349
Danny Smith, Hot Springs, 324
David McDaniel, Polson, 321
Chuck Forgey, Arlee, 321
Jerry Benson, Plains, 300

Women
Susan Martin, Polson, 96
Tracy Powers, Missoula, 79
Terry Biere, Butte, 37
Kathryn Cox, Rollins, 36
Deana Knipe, Polson, 36

Youth 13-17
Connor Kowalski, Florence, 148
Tanner Murry, Columbia Falls, 102
Brady Wieble, Charlo, 24
Kobe Cox, Charlo, 23
Roger Guillory, Kalispell, 19

Youth 12 and under
Garett Vaughan, Charlo, 88
Dylan Hodgson, Kalispell, 21
Autumn Powers, Missoula, 18
Carson McDaniel, Polson, 13
Kailey Schrader, Kalispell, 13
Adam Schrader, Kalispell, 13
 
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