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Trophy Fish Award Program

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The Trophy Fish Award Program recognizes and rewards angling skill. Successful anglers will receive a:

  • Certificate of Merit
  • Bronze pin for your first fish of merit
  • Silver pin for your fifth fish of merit
  • Gold pin for your tenth fish of merit or a new state record fish.

General Rules: Saltwater/Freshwater Fish

  • Saltwater entries must be caught by boats leaving and returning to Connecticut ports. No overnight stays in another state prior to day(s) of fishing.
  • Entries must be filed on the Official Affidavit Form, page 56.
  • Fish must be caught by legal methods, played by only one person.
  • Fish must be entered within 30 days of capture.
  • Fish caught in hatchery ponds are not eligible.
  • Fish must be caught during Connecticut’s legal open season.
  • A clear photograph of the fish must accompany the Affidavit Form.
  • Fish must be weighed on scales certified in Connecticut (tackle shops, local markets or delis) or other state certified scales.
  • Please note: for all potential State Record Fish, a print out of weight from a certified scale must accompany affidavit.

Marine Qualifying Area Categories

  • Nearshore: Inside Long Island/Fisher’s Island Sound
  • Offshore: Outside Long Island/Fisher’s Island Sound
  • Exotic: Rare strays to Connecticut caught inside Long Island/Fisher’s Island Sound & Offshore Waters.
  • Freshwater: Caught in freshwater

Catch and Release Category Rules

  • All of the General Rules apply except that the fish do not need to be weighed. A witness must be present.
  • A clear photo must accompany the affidavit. This photo must include the angler holding the fish and also include the fish next to a measuring (yardstick, ruler, or tape measure) device to clearly show the length of the fish.
  • The accompanying photo must be taken at the location where the fish was caught and released.
  • Fish can not be taken from the site and then transported back.
  • Catch and Release fish are not eligible for State Records.
  • BLE = best length estimate for highly migratory species.
  • Minimum Length = Tip of snout to end of tail.
  • Marlin & swordfish—measure from lower jaw to fork in tail.
  • Shark species—minimum length is fork length.

To qualify for a Trophy Fish Award, please see table below for minimum measurements required.

Trophy Fish Award Minimum Weights

Note: Minimum Lengths apply to the catch-and-release category only! The minimum lengths listed below do not apply to the traditional weighed category.

Category

Species

Minimum Weight

Minimum Length

Freshwater

American Eel

3 lbs

35"

American Shad

5 lbs

25"

Atlantic Salmon

15 lbs

31"

Bluegill

12 oz

10"

Brook Trout

2 lbs

17"

Brown Bullhead

2 lbs

15"

Brown Trout

5 lbs

22"

Calico Bass (Black Crappie)

2 lbs

15"

Common Carp

20 lbs

34"

Chain Pickerel

5 lbs

27"

Channel Catfish

4 lbs

22"

Kokanee

1.75 lbs

16"

Largemouth Bass

6 lbs

22"

Northern Pike

10 lbs

35"

Pumpkinseed

8 oz

9"

Rainbow Trout

4 lbs

21"

Rock Bass

12 oz

11"

Smallmouth Bass

4 lbs

21"

Walleye

5 lbs

23"

White Catfish

4 lbs

20"

White Perch

2 lbs

15"

Yellow Perch

1.5 lbs

15"

Saltwater

Albacore

30 lbs

40"

American Eel

3 lbs

35"

Atlantic Bonito

4 lbs

20"

Atlantic Cod

20 lbs

40"

Atlantic Mackerel

2 lbs

14"

Black Sea Bass

3 lbs

18"

Blackfish (Tautog)

8 lbs

22"

Blue Marlin

100 lbs

BLE (99")

Blue Shark

175 lbs

BLE (54")

Bluefin Tuna

400 lbs

60"

Bluefish

14 lbs

34"

Cunner

1.5 lbs

12"

Dolphin Fish (Dorado)

45 lbs

48”

Hickory Shad

1.75 lbs

20"

Little Tunny (False Albacore)

5 lbs

24"

Mako Shark

175 lbs

BLE (54")

Oyster Toadfish

1 lb

10"

Pollock

15 lbs

34"

Scup (Porgy)

2 lbs

17"

Striped Bass

40 lbs

45"

Summer Flounder (Fluke)

6 lbs

25"

Swordfish

100 lbs

BLE (47")

Thresher Shark

200 lbs

BLE (54")

Weakfish

7 lbs

30"

White Marlin

80 lbs

BLE (66")

White Perch

1.5 lbs

14"

Winter Flounder

2.5 lbs

17"

Yellowfin Tuna

150 lbs

60"

Blue Crab

8"

8"

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