Austin Eidemiller was the winner of the 2022 GREAT Miami Riverway Smallmouth Bass Fishing Challenge in the top category – largest smallmouth bass caught with conventional tackle - coming in at 19.5 inches. In the fly-fishing category, Jesse Sealscott landed the largest smallmouth bass at 17.25 inches. The tournament began June 18 and completed July 10. The full list of winners is below.
The challenge is a catch-and-release virtual fishing tournament sponsored by the Great Miami Riverway, the North American River Anglers Association, ReelFlyrod, Fisherman’s Quarters, and Lock 27 Brewing. Participants use the i-Angler app to register their catches.
Thirty nine anglers competed in both categories, catching a total of 115 smallmouth bass during the tournament. Of the fish caught during the challenge, 11 qualify for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Fish Ohio recognition program, which includes any smallmouth bass measuring eighteen inches or more.
According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, more trophy-size smallmouth bass were pulled from the Great Miami River than any other river in Ohio between 2014 and 2019.
When anglers submit their catches for approval to tournament judges, they also record the nearest Great Miami Riverway city where the fish was caught. More smallmouth were caught in or near the City of Dayton, followed by the City of Troy and the City of Franklin.
Congratulations to Austin Eidemiller who caught the largest smallmouth bass in the Conventional Tackle category.