Eligible Fish Species and
Minimum Qualifying Lengths And Weights (Effective 1 July 2012)

To determine length of fish, measure from the tip of the snout to the back of the tail fin with the fin squeezed together and the mouth closed. To determine girth, measure around the widest part of the fish. A Big Catch Poster icon_PDF.gif (2 MB) with these minimum qualifying sizes is also available, with illustrations of each fish to help you identify them.

SpeciesTotal LengthTotal Weight
AdultYouthAdultYouth
Largemouth bass 24" 18" 8.00 lbs. 6.00 lbs.
Shoal or Spotted bass 16" 12" 2.00 lbs. 1.50 lbs.
Suwannee Bass 14" 11" 1.50 lbs. 1.00 lbs.
Striped bass 30" 22" 12.00 lbs. 9.00 lbs.
Sunshine bass 20" 15" 5.00 lbs. 3.50 lbs
White bass 15" 11" 2.50 lbs. 1.75 lbs.
Black crappie 14" 10" 2.00 lbs. 1.50 lbs.
Bluegill 10" 8" 1.00 lbs. 0.75 lb.
Redbreast sunfish 9" 7" 0.50 lb. 0.40 lb.
Redear sunfish 11" 8" 1.25 lbs. 1.00 lbs.
Spotted sunfish 7" 5" 0.50 lb. 0.40 lb.
Warmouth 9" 7" 0.50 lb. 0.40 lb.
Flier 8" 6" 0.50 lb. 0.40 lb.
Yellow perch 12" 9" 0.75 lb. 0.50 lb.
Channel catfish 25" 19" 12.00 lbs. 9.00 lbs.
Flathead catfish 36" 27" 25.00 lbs. 18.75 lbs.
White catfish 22" 16" 5.00 lbs. 3.75 lbs.
Blue catfish 36" 27" 25.00 lbs. 18.75 lbs.
Brown bullhead 16" 12" 2.00 lbs. 1.50 lbs.
Yellow Bullhead 14" 10" 1.50 lbs. 1.00 lb.
Longnose gar 40" 30" 15.00 lbs. 11.00 lbs.
Florida or Spotted gar 28" 21" 4.00 lbs. 3.00 lbs.
Chain pickerel 22" 17" 3.00 lbs. 2.25 lbs.
Common carp 30" 22" 20.00 lbs. 15.00 lbs.
Butterfly peacock bass 18" 13" 4.00 lbs. 3.00 lbs.
Oscar 11" 8" 1.25 lbs. 0.75 lb.
Mayan cichlid 11" 8" 1.00 lbs. 0.75 lb.
Jaguar Guapote 13" 10" 1.50 lbs. 1.00 lbs.
Blue tilapia 18" 13" 5.00 lbs. 3.75 lbs.
Bowfin 28" 21" 8.00 lbs. 6.00 lbs.
American shad 18" 13" 3.00 lbs. 2.25 lbs.

FW_FishRangeFinder.png Not sure where to find the different species? Try FWC's Fish Range FinderExternal Website!


Big Catch And Angler Recognition Program

The Big Catch Angler Recognition Program rewards anglers who catch a memorable-sized fish. Qualifying anglers receive a colorful citation showing the type fish they caught and a window sticker to proudly display their prowess.

In addition, anglers who release their fish get special recognition. An angler catching five "Big" fish of the same species will be recognized as a "Specialist," fish of five different species qualifies as a "Master Angler," and 10 different species as an "Elite Angler." A special youth citation and pin is given to an angler under age 16 for catching a fish that is at least 75 percent of the qualifying size (see above for specific sizes).

Results  for Specialists, Masters and Elite Anglers will be published. To qualify, the fish must be legally caught and exceed the minimum length or weight specified above. The catch must be documented by photograph and a BIG CATCH form completed.

NOTE: To certify a state-record fish, it must be legally caught and inspected by a FWC biologist and weighed on a certified scale. If you believe you have caught a record fish, keep it alive or place it in ice water. Do not freeze the fish because it will lose weight when thawed. As soon as possible, call the nearest FWC office to arrange to have a fisheries biologist meet with you.



FWC Facts:
The largest lake in Florida is Lake Okeechobee.

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