Register for the GREAT Smallmouth Bass Fishing Challenge


DAYTON — The Great Miami Riverway is announcing that registration is now open for the third annual GREAT Smallmouth Bass Fishing Challenge to be held on the Great Miami River from June 18 to July 10. This family-friendly event is a catch-and-release, virtual fishing tournament, where anglers use the I-Angler app to register and send in their catches. This year there are two separate gear divisions – one for spin (conventional) and fly fishing.

Major sponsors include ReelFlyRod of Bellbrook, home to the nation’s largest inventory of premium fly fishing gear in the US; the North American Professional River Angler’s Association; and Dayton-based bait and fishing supply store Fishermen’s Headquarters.

The Great Miami River is Ohio’s best river for catching smallmouth bass, according to the number of smallmouth trophy-sized fish registered on the Fish Ohio database, the Ohio Department of Natural Resource program for recognizing significant catches for all species caught in Ohio waters.

“The Great Miami is one of the best waterways to hunt for trophy-sized smallmouth bass in the region,” said Barry Puskas, chief of engineering and technical services for the Miami Conservancy District, and an avid angler.

“The largest smallmouth bass caught in the Great Miami River in the last five years measured out at 24.3 inches,” said Donnie Knight, a Troy resident and biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. “Smallmouth bass are plentiful in the Great Miami River from March through October, so it’s a great time to encourage anglers to get out on the water.”

This year, we’re opening up the tournament to the fly-fishing community as well as conventional spin anglers. We welcome all anglers to join our fishing challenge and catch some smallmouth bass on the Great Miami River, Ohio’s first federally-designated Water Trail.

Tournament rules and information include:

• The fishing challenge is open to all ages for both spin (conventional) fishing and fly-fishing divisions.

• Registration fee is only $25.

• Prizes will be awarded for five categories for both spin and fly fishing:

• Largest Smallmouth Bass (first, second, third place)

• Random drawings for both spin (conventional) and fly-fishing participants who catch smallmouth bass in the following lengths: 12-13.75 inches; 14-15.75 inches; 16-17.75 inches; and 18 inches and greater

For complete rules and to register for the tournament, visit

To download the I-Angler app to register for the Great Miami Riverway fishing challenge and record catches, on a device, available on the App Store or Google Play, .

An awards ceremony, sponsored by Lock 27 Brewing, will be held on Tuesday, July 19, at 5 p.m. at their downtown Dayton Brewpub.

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