When I was knee-high to a grasshopper, my grandfather got me hooked on freshwater fishing for bass and bluegill. Just the thought of reeling in a trophy bass has me shaking from excitement to this very day. That said, I suppose it makes sense that my love of freshwater fishing led me to learn more about an incentive-based Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission program that launched in October of 2012 known as the TrophyCatch program.
What is the TrophyCatch Program?
The TrophyCatch program promotes citizen science in order to enhance our state’s fisheries and generate excitement for freshwater bass fishing. Through the program, anglers are encouraged to report and document trophy bass catches of over eight pounds for rewards.
Since Florida anglers spend over 24 million recreational fishing days on fresh water, the amount of data that has been gained from this program to date has been significant in helping to manage our natural resources.
Who Supports the Program?
Among the sponsors making the TrophyCatch program possible are: Bass Pro Shops, USFWS Sportfish Restoration Program, Phoenix Boats, Mercury Marine, American Outdoors Fund, Rapala, Power-Pole, SpiderWire, Glen Lau, New Wave Taxidermy, Under the Bridge Productions, ODUMagazine, Navionics, The American Registry, Fitzgerald Rods, and the Sport Fish Restoration Program.
Helping to maintain Florida’s freshwater fisheries along with the feelings of accomplishment that come with landing a trophy bass over eight pounds are pretty good rewards to start with. However, if a few added incentives help, you can earn gift cards from Bass Pro Shops or Rapala, SpiderWire braided fishing line, a discount from Fitzgerald Rods, a TrophyCatch Certificate, and extra entries in an annual drawing for a Phoenix bass boat. Get more details on prizes and sponsors by visiting the TrophyCatch website.
Where Can You Register?
You just never know when you might have a shot at catching the bass of a lifetime in Florida. Be sure you have a valid Florida freshwater fishing license, register for the TrophyCatch program, read the official program rules, and then get out on the water.