Angler Award Program

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.

View a list of 2017 Angler Award winners!

General Rules & Requirements

The Angler Award Program runs from January 1–December 31. Applications must be received no later than January 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.

Eligible Fish

See listing below or on Application Form.

Who Can Apply?

Both resident and non-resident anglers are eligible. WRD reserves the right to refuse any questionable entry.

Application & Photos

The angler must submit an application form with a clear, side view photo of the fish, and a photo of the angler with the fish. Submit application to:

Georgia WRD Angler Awards
2067 US Highway 278 SE
Social Circle, GA 30025

Legal Season, Sporting Tackle & Other Information

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. Fish caught from hatcheries or intensive fish culture facilities are not eligible. Freshwater fish caught from private waters in which adults of the species in question are stocked are not eligible.

Certified Scale

Fish must be weighed on a scale that has been certified accurate to the nearest ounce, or lesser weight, by the 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 deducted from the total weight. Only one-ounce graduation 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. The owner of the scale must provide an address and telephone number.


Names and photos of Angler Award recipients may be posted on the WRD website, and may be used in social media posts, or released to media or other interested parties.


Email: OR deliver to a local WRD Fisheries Management Office OR mail to:

Melissa Cummings
Angler Award Program
2067 US Highway 278 SE
Social Circle, GA 30025

Angler Award Program Official Rules

Angler Awards are awarded for kept fish and for catch-and-release fish. Review the following information for each (kept OR catch-and-release) before applying:

  • Weight and/or Length: Fish must meet the listed minimum weight or length requirements. See listing of eligible weights and lengths below or on the Application Form
  • Measurements: Fish total length (TL) must be measured with a ruler or tape measure. To determine TL, measure the fish from the tip of the snout to the back of the tail fin with the fin squeezed together.
  • Certified Scale: For kept Angler Award submissions, fish must be weighed on a certified scale. See “Certified Scale” under “General Rules And Requirements.”
  • Identification: A WRD Fisheries Management biologist or technician must identify the actual fish or a photo of fish. 
  • Catch and Release: For recognition of catch-and-release fish, include an unobscured, broadside quality photo of the entire fish (for positive fish identification) AND one of the entire fish lying on its side on a flat surface next to a ruler or marked tape. Note—these may be the same photo, provided species and length verifications can be made.

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 lb/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.