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Freshwater Sportfishing Awards Program

Hunting Regulations Icon Massachusetts Hunting & Fishing

Awards for freshwater fish are offered in 22 categories. Each qualified entry receives a bronze pin. The largest fish in each category each year also receives a gold pin and plaque. There are also Youth (17 and under) and Adult “Angler of the Year” awards given to anglers who have taken the greatest variety of “pinfish” during the calendar year. Fish must meet minimum weight or length requirements. Catch and Keep entries must be weighed on a scale certified by the State. Go to mass.gov/dfw/sportfishing-awards for a list of weigh stations and to download an affidavit. This information is also available at MassWildlife offices.

Submit Your Awards Entry Online!

Save time and a stamp by submitting your Sportfishing Awards Program entry using the online affidavit. Find the form at
mass.gov/dfw/sportfishing-awards. It’s easy—just enter information about you and your catch, upload a photo of your fish, and submit! Online forms are processed faster than paper forms, allowing us to award pins and update the leader board more quickly.

Minimum Weights and Lengths

Species

Catch and Keep (Weight)

Catch and Release Length (inches)

Adult

Youth

Bowfin

6 lb. 0 oz.

4 lb. 0 oz.

26

Brook Trout

2 lb. 0 oz.

1 lb. 0 oz.

16

Brown Trout

4 lb. 0 oz.

2 lb. 0 oz.

22

Bullhead

2 lb. 0 oz.

1 lb. 0 oz.

15

Carp

15 lb. 0 oz.

10 lb. 0 oz.

31

Chain Pickerel

4 lb. 8 oz.

3 lb. 0 oz.

25

Channel Catfish

6 lb. 0 oz.

5 lb. 0 oz.

25

Crappie

1 lb. 8 oz.

1 lb. 0 oz.

14

Lake Trout

7 lb. 0 oz.

5 lb. 0 oz.

30

Landlocked Salmon1

4 lb. 0 oz.

3 lb. 0 oz.

22

Largemouth Bass

7 lb. 0 oz.

4 lb. 0 oz.

21

Northern Pike

15 lb. 0 oz.

10 lb. 0 oz.

36

Rainbow Trout

3 lb. 0 oz.

2 lb. 0 oz.

20

Shad

5 lb. 0 oz.

3 lb. 0 oz.

22

Smallmouth Bass

4 lb. 8 oz.

3 lb. 0 oz.

20

Sunfish2

0 lb. 12 oz.

0 lb. 8 oz.

10

Tiger Muskellunge

10 lb. 0 oz.

7 lb. 0 oz.

34

Tiger Trout

2 lb. 0 oz.

1 lb. 0 oz.

16

Walleye

4 lb. 0 oz.

2 lb. 0 oz.

24

White Catfish

4 lb. 0 oz.

2 lb. 0 oz.

19

White Perch

1 lb. 8 oz.

1 lb. 0 oz.

14

Yellow Perch

1 lb. 8 oz.

1 lb. 0 oz.

14

Freshwater Sportfishing Awards

Catch and Release Anglers: Remember to take a picture before releasing the fish at the site of capture. This photograph shows the proper method for measuring and photographing a Catch and Release awards entry.

Catch and Release Anglers:
Tips for Minimizing Fish Stress

  • If using bait, the use of circle hooks dramatically reduces the likelihood of gut-hooking a fish.
  • Be attentive and set the hook immediately to prevent the fish from swallowing the hook (setting the hook is not necessary with circle hooks).
  • Reduce the fight time. The longer the fish fights, the higher the stress level for the fish. This is particularly important when fishing for trout in periods of warmer water temperatures. If it takes you a long time to land a fish, your drag may be set too loosely or your gear may be too light for the fish you are catching.
  • Use a fine-mesh landing net to reduce the amount of time required to land a fish.
  • If the hook is swallowed, do not forcefully remove it. Cut the line as close to the mouth as possible and then release the fish.
  • Wet your hands before touching the fish so you don’t damage the protective mucous layer on the outside of the fish.
  • Don’t use the gills or eyes as a handhold. Support the belly of larger fish. Bass can be safely handled by holding the lower jaw, thumb in the mouth and forefinger under the chin.
  • Quickly return fish to the water. Revive a fatigued fish by supporting it in a swimming position in the water; gently move it back and forth until it can swim off.