Trophy Catch Research Highlights
Anglers participating in FWC's TrophyCatch program recently reached a new milestone, surpassing 100 approved Hall of Fame (HOF) catches weighing 13 pounds or more! To celebrate this incredible achievement, Hall of Fame anglers were asked to participate in a special survey to gather unique information about pursuing and catching Florida’s largest bass. Here is what we learned.
Catches of HOF bass in February and March well exceeded catches during the rest of the year (above). It’s also interesting how much more seasonal the HOF catches are compared to overall tallies of TrophyCatch bass (green bars). This springtime boom corresponds to peak bass spawning season in Florida.
How many times have you set an alarm to wake up in the middle of the night to ensure that you are on the water at first light? When it comes to HOF bass, maybe you don’t have to try so hard (left). Periods of morning, midday, and afternoon accounted for the large majority of HOF catches, and anglers caught the most during afternoon. These times may reflect when the most anglers are on the water, and keep in mind this was also mostly during cooler winter and spring weather.
Anglers indicated that 59% of HOF catches were caught by artificial lure and 41% were caught on natural bait (shiners). For HOF bass caught on bait, a large majority were caught on wild golden shiners (92%) compared to commercially raised shiners (8%). When it came to breaking down the types of artificial lures that HOF bass were caught on, the tried-and-true plastic worm came out on top, accounting for 41% of the catches. All soft plastics combined accounted for 71% of the catches.