The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) TrophyCatch program, now in Season 8, has awarded prizes for the catch and release of more than 10,000 largemouth bass since the program began in 2012. Thus far, 8,006 Lunker Club, 1,966 Trophy Club and 78 Hall of Fame fish comprise this landmark occasion.
“If Florida is to remain the big bass capitol of the world, Florida anglers need to be part of our research team. The FWC receives valuable data from TrophyCatch anglers and this information will continue playing a crucial role in management decisions,” said FWC Commissioner Gary Lester. “Their participation is vital in keeping bass fishing in Florida great!”
The TrophyCatch program rewards anglers who provide documentation of their catch and release of largemouth bass weighing 8 pounds or heavier in Florida. In order to be eligible for prizes, anglers are required to submit photos or videos of their catch to TrophyCatch.com, showing the entire fish and its weight on a scale, before releasing it back into the water. FWC biologists use TrophyCatch data for bass research to make informed decisions about the management of Florida bass fisheries and to promote the catch and release of trophy bass.
“We want to thank Bass Pro Shops and all of our partners and anglers for their continued commitment to the conservation of Florida’s trophy bass fishery,” said Jon Fury, FWC’s Director of the Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management. “TrophyCatch would not be possible without our anglers’ participation in this program. It is truly a unique collaboration between anglers, partners and the FWC to ensure that future generations will experience the same excitement that these anglers did when they reeled in their trophy bass.”
The FWC encourages anglers to join TrophyCatch to become citizen scientists and assist in the management and the conservation of Florida’s freshwater fisheries. The associated TrophyCare program promotes best handling practices for trophy bass to ensure that each TrophyCatch bass is released alive. For more information about the TrophyCatch program, email Laura Rambo at Laura.Rambo@MyFWC.com.