Annual Fall Trout Derby Returns to Lake McSwain

Fall Fish Derby

Following the immensely successful Spring Trout Derby, Lake McSwain will once again host a Trout Derby over two days this fall with the help of the FishDonkey app.

The derby will begin at 6 a.m. on Saturday October 2, and conclude at 6 p.m. on Sunday October 3. Camping sites are still available for reservations at Lake McSwain and nearby Lake McClure.

Based on the popularity and success of the Spring Trout Derby, the Fall Trout Derby will again rely on the smart phone app FishDonkey. The app allows participants to photograph, measure and record their entries. The app does not require live wifi or cellular access to work. However, anglers must have the app downloaded on to their phone and available on the day of the derby. Participants must also have a commercial non-expandable “bump board” to measure and obtain a photograph of their fish and upload into the FishDonkey app. No measuring tapes will be permitted for measuring.

The entry fee will be $25. Kids under 16 fish free with an adult entry. Anglers must additionally pay the parks entry fee of $8 per day or $30-$40 for overnight camping. Some limited campsites are still available at the lake, as well as nearby Lake McClure. For reservations click here.

Aside from any camping reservations, all derby registrations and fees 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.

Awards for the Fall Derby include:

$2,000 Largest Fish – (measured by length)

$2,000 Stringer – total length of three longest trout

$500 Wild Card – A winner will be randomly selected from all adult entries.

Fishing Pole and Tackle Box Prize – Kids under 16, a winner is randomly selected  

Watch the video:  Kid’s Fish Entries


Anglers are encouraged to access the app and become familiar with its use before the event. There’s a feature on FishDonkey that allows participants to practice uploading their fish for the derby. A tutorial for the app can be viewed on the FishDonkey Youtube Channel.

Once the app is loaded onto a smart phone, select “Fish in a Tournament.” Then a search window will appear. Participants can then enter “Lake McSwain.” This will take anglers to the Lake McSwain Derby page with all the required registration and information. The app also includes a feature allowing participants to practice uploading their photos and videos prior to the derby.

Anglers will be required to submit all of the following:

  1. A photo of themselves holding their fish.
  2. A photo of the fish on the bump board measuring board (tail closed).

Additionally, participants are invited – but not required – to submit a video showing themselves holding, catching or measuring the fish – or just capturing their general excitement.

For additional information and support, please visit the following:

A short tutorial explaining how to practice uploading an entry: click here.

A simple step-by-step walk through of the app: click here.