Lake McSwain Spring Trout Derby is planned for April 2nd and 3rd

March 2, 2022

The Lake McSwain Spring Trout Derby will be held this year on April 2nd and 3rd. Anglers can begin fishing at 6 a.m. the first day and the derby ends at noon the following day.

As have other recent McSwain derbies, the Spring Derby will rely on the smartphone app FishDonkey.

“Our anglers always have a great time at the spring derby,” said Brooke Gutierrez, Director of MID Parks and Recreation. “The weather tends to be good and the scenery that time of year around the lake is incredible.”

The campgrounds at Lake McSwain are currently full for the weekend. However, additional campsites can be booked at nearby Lake McClure. A new feature on the website allows visitors to virtually travel through the campgrounds and then select the site they want. For reservations, click here or visit and select camping or reservations.

All registration for the Trout Derby and payments must be made through the FishDonkey app.

Participants are strongly encouraged to access the app early and become familiar with it before the Derby. All photos, videos, and judging will be managed through the app. On the day of the Derby, participants will need to have both their smartphone – with the app available – as well as a measuring board used to photograph their catch.

Anglers can practice using the FishDonkey app ahead of the tournament by joining a tournament in the app called “Practice Entering a Fish.”

The app will work without an internet connection at the lake during the derby. Participants will need to join in advance and should open the app before heading out. They will need to tap on the name of the tournament (Spring 2022 Lake McSwain Trout Derby), followed by 'Leaderboard/Enter a Fish.’ This will have the tournament fully loaded on a phone, even in poor internet areas. 

Fish should be entered in accordance with the app’s instructions while at the lake. Tapping on the fish icon will open the Digital Livewell and show any fish awaiting an internet connection to be moved to the leaderboard. After returning to an area with internet or WiFI, participants can then open their Digital Livewell and leave it open until the fish are moved to the leaderboard.

To watch a tutorial video for FishDonkey, please click here.

This year’s categories will include the following: 

  • Longest trout for $2,000.
  • Stringer with three longest fish combined: $2,000.
  • Wild card – one adult winner is randomly selected for $500 prize.
  • Kids Wild Card – a winner under 16 will be randomly selected to receive a fishing pole and tackle box. (Sponsored by Splash N Dash and the Reel Deal Market and Café at Lake McSwain).

The Reel Deal Market & Café at Lake McSwain will be open 6am-7pm for the derby. Breakfast burritos and hot coffee will be offered, as will gear, tackle and bait – and the bump board needed to measure anglers’ entries.

“This is a popular event and we want to let anglers know as early as possible so they can make their plans,” said Gutierrez. “It’s going to be a great weekend.”



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