Mack Days anglers haul over 20,000 fish

mack days mike shima

Mike Shima with 27-pound  lake trout on Flathead Lake.

Four anglers in the spring Mack Days fishing tournament on Flathead Lake caught their limits of 100 lake trout Friday.

Over 200 anglers are competing in the $225,000 tournament. Total harvest this spring is 20,650. The tournament is designed to help reduce populations of nonnative lake trout in Flathead Lake.

Jason Mahlen of Kalispell caught his limit and is leading the tournament.  

Danner Shima moved into second place which was held by his father, Ryan.

Friday saw Ryan Shima catch his third limit of 100 lake trout, a feat matched by Travis Banyai of Kalispell.

Mahlen has caught over 1,000 trout this spring witht 1,063.

Mahlen is after his fourth consecutive Spring Mack Days title.

After the Shimas both landed 100 on Friday, Danner caught 67 on Saturday and 57 on Sunday, while Ryan went 56-46.

Mike Benson, a veteran Mack Days angler, was 59-56-46 during the weekend and is in fourth place with 760 fish. Scott Mahlen is next at 649.

Mike Shima of Polson, who is Ryan Shima’s father and Danner Shima’s grandfather, caught a 27-pound lake trout Friday.

Shima's total harvest is 646.

He’s followed by Banyai (638), Felix Gauci of Stevensville (564), Steven Benson of Four Lakes, Washington (537) and Jerry Benson of Plains (519).

Larry Karper of Florence tops the 70-and-older age division with 459, and Bob Christensen of Missoula is second at 194.

The women’s leader is Julie Vacca of Florence at 140. Brandy Hilde of Missoula didn’t fish this weekend, and remained at 130.

Danner Shima has a huge lead in the 13-17 age category, but if he finished in the top 10 overall, other teens will battle for the prize money there. Tyler Varga of Kalispell is next at 175.

In the 12-and-younger division, Matt Guckenberg Jr. of Kalispell has a 97-90 lead over Leah Banyai of Kalispell.

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