Florida’s newest incentive-based conservation program–TrophyCatch provides valuable rewards to anglers who document and release largemouth bass over eight pounds. Bass legally caught from any public or private waters within Florida are eligible. Go to TrophyCatchFlorida.com for details on how to register and submit your catches. While you don’t have to register before you catch a trophy bass, visiting the website is a great way to learn how to submit your trophy bass catches to earn rewards.
TrophyCatch Reward Levels
Typical entries require a photo of the entire fish (head to tail) on a scale with the weight legible, or published results verifying a tournament documented catch. To learn more and register, visit TrophyCatchFlorida.com. Be sure to “like” us on FaceBook.com/TrophyCatchFlorida and at YouTube.com/TrophyCatchFlorida.
The “Big Catch” Angler Recognition Program rewards anglers who catch a memorable-sized fish. Big Catch includes 33 species of freshwater fishes. Florida Freshwater Fish illustrates the species included and qualifying sizes. Anglers receive a colorful citation and their photo will be posted on the website.
An angler catching five “Big” fish of the same species will be recognized as a “Specialist,” fish of five different species makes a “Master Angler,” and 10 different species an “Elite Angler.” A youth citation is given to an angler under age 16 for catching slightly smaller fish (see MyFWC.com/BigCatch, for specific sizes).
Also available are several challenging “Slam” certificates: “Bass Slam” (for catching a largemouth bass, spotted bass, shoal bass, and Suwannee bass within one year); “Bream Slam” (for catching any four of bluegill, redear sunfish, spotted sunfish, warmouth, redbreast sunfish, or flier in one day), and a unique south Florida “Exotic Slam” (for catching a butterfly peacock, Mayan cichlid, and oscar in one day).
33 Freshwater Fishes
To be listed as a state record, there are several requirements. The same 33 species recognized as Big Catch are eligible. Florida Freshwater Fish illustrates the species and state record as of May 2014. First, the fish must be weighed on a certified scale. Second, the fish must be identified to species by an FWC biologist. Third, the fish must have been legally caught by a licensed, or legally exempt, angler in waters where access and fishing gear were legal. Fourth, the signed documents must be notarized.
If you catch a possible state record call your nearest regional office.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.