Imagine this: It’s another typical day enjoying Florida’s abundant saltwater fishing opportunities and then WHAM! The line screams and you’ve just hooked the big one! You reel the fish in quickly, and what is fighting on the other end of the line is huge and worthy of recognition. You go to MyFWC.com and Congratulations! You’ve caught a Reel Big Fish!
The Reel Big Fish program is just one of three saltwater angler recognition programs the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has developed. These programs are a great way to get recognized for your fishing success and can even serve as proof for all those doubting friends who claim the story of your monster catch is just another fisherman’s tale.
Reel Big Fish and the Florida Saltwater Fish Life List are two new programs that will be unveiled this spring. They allow you to keep track of all the species you catch and reward you for your achievements. The third program, called the Grand Slam Program, was revamped last fall and challenges anglers to catch three different species in a 24-hour period. Now there’s a reason to stay out on the water one more hour.
These recognition programs inspire experienced anglers to prove and improve their skills while enticing those new to the sport with worthy and exciting goals. They also encourage ethical angling habits such as targeting more than one species and using proper handling techniques to ensure fish that are released have the best chance of survival.
We want you to be a part of the excitement! Turn to page 9 to learn more about the Grand Slam program or, for questions about any of the saltwater angler recognition programs, email AnglerRecognition@MyFWC.com. Become a part of the FWC team of anglers recognized not only for their amazing catches, but their ethical angling and conservation efforts.
Jessica McCawley | Director, Marine Fisheries Management,
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.