Angler Award Program

The Georgia Angler Award

Catching a big fish is always a thrill, and usually requires exceptional fishing skill. Each year WRD recognizes the achievement of anglers that catch "trophy" fish (by weight or length) by presenting the angler with an Angler Award. The fish does not have to be a new state record to qualify.

Application Information

  • Print a copy of the Angler Award Application
  • Submit application to: Georgia WRD Angler Awards, 2067 US Hwy. 278, SE, Social Circle, GA 30025

Official Rules

The Angler Award Program runs from Jan. 1 - Dec. 31. Applications must be received no later than Jan. 15 of the year following the catch. Rewards are awarded in February/March of the year following the catch.  For example, a fish meeting angler award requirements that is caught in April 2017 will be recognized in early 2018.  To qualify for an Angler Award, the fish must meet the minimum weight or length requirements listed below.

View a list of 2016 Angler Award winners here!

All game fish, in addition to carp, catfish, bowfin, gar, and yellow perch are eligible for an Angler Award. Both resident and non-resident anglers are eligible.

Fish must be caught in Georgia during the legal angling season for the species taken, in accordance with all fishing laws and regulations. Fish must be caught on sporting tackle and be hooked and landed by the entrant. Bush hooks, trot lines, jugs, baskets, nets, etc., are not considered sporting tackle. 

To enter the Angler Award Program, the angler must submit an application and photographs of the fish. Kept fish must be weighed on a certified scale (see below). Catch-and-release fish must have a total length (TL) measurement using a ruler or tape measure (see below). 

For Angler Award Fish, a WRD Fisheries Section biologist or technician must identify the actual fish or a photo. No mounted fish will be accepted. Please contact the nearest WRD Fisheries Office for help in finding someone to identify a fish.

The names and addresses of individuals who receive Angler Awards may be released to the media and other interested parties.

The Wildlife Resources Division reserves the right to refuse any questionable entry.

Kept Fish Requested Information

  1. Weigh the fish (as soon as possible) on certified scales. A "certified scale" means one that has been certified accurate to the nearest ounce, or lesser weight, by the Georgia Department of Agriculture within the last year. Fish may be weighed in pounds and ounces or in metric; however, metric weights will be converted to pounds and ounces. Estimated weights will not be accepted. The weight of the sling, platform or rope (if one is used when weighing the fish) must be determined and deducted from the total weight. Certified scales may sometimes be found at WRD offices, marinas, grocery stores or the post office.
  2. Weighing must take place in the presence of two witnesses over the age of 18. Witnesses cannot be members of the immediate family.
  3. The fish must meet the minimum weight length requirement for that species.
  4. Only one-ounce graduations will be recognized. Visual fractionizing of graduations is not allowed. Weights that fall between two graduations of the scale must be rounded to the lower of the two.
  5. Photograph the fish to permit proper identification. Requested images include a photo of the angler with the fish, and a good, clear side-view photograph of the fish.
  6. Complete an application form and submit it to the address listed above. 

Catch-and-Release Requested Information

For fish being submitted for an Angler Award based on length, and which have not been weighed on certified scales:

  1. Measure the fish to the nearest inch using a standard, English-unit ruler or measuring tape. Measure the fish as shown in the diagram on the application form.
  2. Photograph the fish to permit proper identification and verification of length. Tips:
    1. Photographs showing the entire length of the fish, the rod and reel used to make the catch and the ruler or tape used to measure the fish are helpful for faster application processing.
    2. At a minimum, photograph the fish lying on its side on a flat surface with the ruler or marked tape placed beside the fish.
    3. For proper species identification, the clearest possible photographs should be submitted. This is important in the case of hybrids and fishes that may be confused with similar species.
    4. The fish should be broadside to the camera and no part of the fish should be obscured.
    5. Photographs from various angles are helpful.
    6. A photograph of the angler with the fish is also required.
  3. Complete an application form and submit it to the address listed above. 

Minimum Weights/Lengths Eligible for a Georgia Angler Award

Fish Species

Minimum Weight/Length

Largemouth Bass

10 lb / 26 in

Shoal Bass

4 lb / 20 in

Spotted Bass

5 lb / 23 in

Smallmouth Bass

3 lb / 19 in

Suwannee Bass

2 lb / 16 in

Redeye Bass

1 lb / 13 in

Striped Bass

25 lb / 36 in

Hybrid Bass

8 lb / 25 in

White Bass

2.5 lb / 17 in


1.5 lb / 13 in

Redear Sunfish (Shellcracker)

1.5 lb / 14 in

Redbreast Sunfish

1 lb / 11 in

Rock Bass

1 lb / 11 in


1 lb / 11 in

Shadow Bass

1 lb / 11 in


0.5 lb / 9 in

Spotted Sunfish

0.5 lb / 9 in


4 lb / 23 in

Chain Pickerel

3.5 lb / 24 in

Redfin Pickerel

1 lb / 18 in

Brook Trout

0.5 lb / 10 in

Brown Trout

4 lb / 20 in

Rainbow Trout

4 lb / 20 in

Black Crappie

2 lbs. / 15 in

White Crappie

2 lb / 15 in

Blue and Flathead Catfish

20 lb / 33 in

Channel Catfish

12 lb / 32 in

American Shad

4 lb / 24 in

Hickory Shad

1.5 lb / 18 in

White Catfish

2.5 lb / 17 in

Brown Bullhead

2 lb / 17 in

Yellow Bullhead

2 lb / 17 in

Spotted and Flat Bullhead

2 lb / 15 in

Common Carp & Grass Carp

15 lb / 31 in


10 lb / 30 in

Longnose Gar

10 lb / 43 in

Spotted and Florida Gar

5 lb / 28 in

Yellow Perch

1 lb / 15 in

White Perch

1 lb / 13 in

Anglers can receive recognition for catching a fish that meets or beats a specific weight or length.