Big Catch Angler Recognition Program

FWBigCatchCertificates.pngTo help commemorate your outstanding catches, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will send you a digital full-color certificate illustrating the species of fish you caught, personalized with your name and details about your catch. In addition, if requested, you will receive a colorful angler recognition decal for your car or boat. Although it is not required, we encourage catch-and-release, so we're making it easier than ever to participate. All you need is a total length, documented by photograph, and if you release the fish, a special catch-and-release seal will be added to your certification.

Remember state record fish require special handling to be officially recognized.

TrophyCatch logoNOTE:  If you are submitting a largemouth bass over 8 pounds that was released, you may also be eligible to participate in FWC's exciting new TrophyCatch External Website program! Prizes include lures, rods and reels, gift cards, and even up to $10,000 cash. Reward yourself for releasing your trophy!

 Big Catch poster

How to Enter
There are 33 species of freshwater game fish eligible for "Big Catch" recognition, ranging from 7 inches and a half-pound for a spotted sunfish, to 40 inches and 15 lbs. for a longnose gar. Among the minimum qualifying sizes for the most popular species are the following: largemouth bass—24 inches or 8 pounds; black crappie—14 inches or 2 pounds, and bluegill—10 inches or 1 pound. Minimum qualifying sizes for other species, are listed here and on the applications. Register and apply online External Website for quick and efficient recognition of your catch. You'll have your photo posted on the website and be able to print a custom certificate. Information on how to correctly measure fish is available.

Kids Fishing—It's Catching On, Make Them a Winner Too
Family fishing is an outstanding way to enjoy nature and spend quality time together. To add to the excitement, we have lowered the big catch minimum qualifying sizes by 25 percent for youths under age 16. Register and apply online External Website for quicker and more efficient recognition of your catch; or you can download the hard copy application icon_PDF.gif for printing and mailing.

 Elite Anglers have caught qualifying fish of 10 different species.
Three Challenging Award Levels!

  • SPECIALIST award—shows you caught five or more fish of the same species that qualified as "Big Catches."
  • MASTER ANGLER—shows you caught five or more fish of different species that qualified as "Big Catches."
  • ELITE ANGLER—shows you caught ten or more fish of different species that qualified as "Big Catches."

Check out the award list for anglers who have received these challenging rewards!




A Black Bass Slam.

Also new are several challenging “Slam” certificates: “Bass Slam” (for catching a largemouth bass, spotted bass, shoal bass, and Suwannee bass within one year); “Bream Slam” (for catching any four of bluegill, redear sunfish, spotted sunfish, warmouth, redbreast sunfish, or flier in one day), and a unique south Florida “Exotic Slam” (for catching a butterfly peacock, Mayan cichlid, and oscar in one day). The “Big Catch” Freshwater Slam Program rewards anglers who accomplish this memorable feat by providing qualifying anglers with a colorful citation showing the type of Slam they achieved. In addition, anglers who release all their Slam fish get special recognition on their citation. To qualify, each fish must be legally caught by the applying angler only. Each catch must be photographed, or witnessed by another individual. (Participants are encouraged to submit photographs.) Register and apply online External Website for quicker and more efficient recognition of your catch; or you can download the hard copy "Big Catch" Freshwater Slam application icon_PDF.gif for printing and mailing. There are no minimum sizes for Slam species.

While handling these wonderful fish, be sure to follow effective catch-and-release techniques.


Fish Range Finder

 Not sure which fish species are in your area? Try FWC's Fish Range FinderExternal Website!

FWC Facts:
Flounder begin their lives with eyes on either side of their head. As they grow, one eye migrates so that both eyes are on the same side of the head.

Learn More at AskFWC