TrophyCatch is the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) freshwater, citizen-science, angler recognition program. TrophyCatch began in 2012 as a direct response to FWC’s Black Bass Management Plan, which placed an emphasis on establishing trophy bass fishing opportunities throughout the state. TrophyCatch was established to collect data on trophy bass 8 pounds or larger while promoting bass conservation by rewarding catch-and-release fishing.
Like and follow the TrophyCatch Facebook page to see featured submissions and to keep up to date on TrophyCatch news, events, and new prizing.
Visit TrophyCatch.com to participate!
To help commemorate your outstanding catches, Big Catch is Florida's family-friendly, freshwater angler recognition program with 33 different fish to choose from. Simply catch a fish that exceeds the qualifying length OR weight, take a photo and submit. Special youth sizes invite their participation. Qualifiers receive a digital full-color certificate illustrating the species of fish you caught, personalized with your name and details about your catch. Advanced anglers can continue the challenge by seeking Specialist, Master and Elite Angler recognition.
A Big Catch Poster showing fish species and Big Catch minimum sizes is available.
Visit BigCatchFlorida.com to participate!
Freshwater State Record
Anglers can check the current state records at BigCatchFlorida.com by clicking on the “State Record” tab. If an angler believes they have caught a state record fish, they should weigh the fish on a scale, take clear photos of the fish with the scale weight legible, and be prepared to text or email the photos for initial verification. Keep native species in a well-aerated livewell. This is encouraged to promote conservation of these large, rare individuals. If the fish is no longer alive, the angler can keep the fish in a cooler on ice and remove the drain plug. These methods will ensure the fish maintains a weight similar to the time of the catch.
Next, the angler should notify the nearest FWC regional office. To properly certify a new Florida state record, an FWC biologist must identify the fish species, and an FWC employee — usually but not necessarily the same individual — must witness its weighing on a certified scale. Contact information for FWC regional offices can be found at MyFWC.com/contact by clicking on “Contact Regional offices.”
Certified state record fish must be legally caught using an active hook-and-line method (including a proper license or exemption) by sport fishing methods. To set a new record, you need to exceed the certified record. The Freshwater Record Fish Application is available online in PDF format.