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FWC approves new rules to support trophy bass management

Media contact: Michelle Kerr, or 850-510-4776 Release Date: 02-21-2024   All Articles Tags:

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved new regulations to support trophy bass conservation during its February meeting.

The approved rules include largemouth bass fishing regulations changes for specific waterbodies, including Lochloosa and Orange lakes in Alachua County.

Specific freshwater fishing regulations approved for these waterbodies prohibit killing or possessing any black bass that is 20 inches or more in total length. Also, the new rule requires circle hooks when fishing with natural baits greater than 3 inches in length. A circle hook is a fishing hook designed and manufactured so that the point is not offset and is turned perpendicularly back to the shank to form a general circular or oval shape.

“Florida bass need to have the right genetics and waterbody conditions to grow for a long time,” said FWC Commissioner Gary Lester. “Orange Lake is unique, like in its fluctuations in water levels, that makes ideal conditions for bass to reach record sizes.”

These freshwater fishing regulations changes support the agency’s concerted efforts to grow larger trophy bass across the state and allow bass in these lakes to reach their maximum growth potential. The goal of the FWC’s Florida Trophy Bass Project is to make Florida the undisputed Trophy Bass Capital of the World. FWC staff are focused on producing, documenting and promoting trophy bass as well as increasing opportunities to catch Florida’s heaviest trophies.

To learn more about the Florida Trophy Bass Project, visit