GREAT Smallmouth Bass Fishing Challenge coming in June

Staff Report

The Great Miami Riverway and the National Association of Professional River Anglers (NAPRA) have announced the first GREAT Smallmouth Bass Fishing Challenge to be held on the Great Miami River from June 1-30. This fishing event is a family-friendly, catch-and-release virtual tournament where anglers will utilize the I-Angler app to register and send in their catches.

“Fishing is a great social distancing activity during this time of coronavirus,” said Pete Ziehler, NAPRA’s president. “We hope people take advantage of this family-friendly activity to get out on the Great Miami River, whether they’re fishing from a bank, wading, or on a watercraft.”

The tournament is open to all ages. Registration is $25, but only $15 if you enter on or before May 31. Prizes will be awarded in three categories:

• Top Slam — the total length of your five largest smallmouth bass.

• Biggest smallmouth bass (in length).

• Biggest smallmouth bass (in length) for kids 12 and under (angler’s age on or before June 30).

The “top slam” winner will receive a $100 gift card while the other two winners will receive $50 gift cards.

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

“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 Miami County 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.”

For complete rules and to register for the tournament, visit www.greatmiamiriverway.com.