Just under 300 anglers reeled in a Georgia Angler Award last year. Let’s get that number even higher in 2023!
The Angler Award program recognizes individuals who catch fish that meet or exceed a specific weight or length for that particular species, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD).
“The Angler Award program has grown significantly over the last 20 years, going from 25 anglers in 2002 to 298 anglers in 2022, and we love seeing all these great fish that are being caught by Georgia anglers,” says Scott Robinson, Chief of the WRD Fisheries Management Section. “We believe that the Angler Award program helps generate excitement for those that qualify and motivates them to pursue more fish throughout their life.”
Anglers submitting successful applications receive a frameable certificate, a t-shirt and a custom hat!
Angler Award Opportunities:
- Angler Award-Adult: Anglers (age 16 and up) can be rewarded for catching quality size fish (kept fish or catch-and-release) that meet or beat a specific weight or length.
- Angler Award-Youth: Anglers (age 15 and younger) can be rewarded for catching quality size fish (kept fish or catch-and-release) that meet or beat a specific weight or length. Note: weights and lengths reduced for youth Angler Awards.
- Trophy Largemouth Bass: Recognizing catches of largemouth bass weighing 10+ pounds. Catch one that is 13+ pounds? Get a free replica mount for fish that qualify!
- PFA Record: Recognizing the largest fish of each species caught and properly documented at each PFA. Species include Largemouth Bass, Black or White Crappie, Bluegill, Redear Sunfish, and Channel Catfish.
Anglers need to review all Angler Award program rules before submitting applications. Find the need-to-know info, including rules, weights/lengths, photo requirements and more at GeorgiaWildlife.com/fishing/anglerawards.
Other Fishing Recognition Programs:
- State Records: In addition to the angler award program, the division also maintains a freshwater fish state-record program for anglers who land a catch that exceeds the existing record catch weight by one ounce or more. More information at GeorgiaWildlife.com/fishing/recordprogram/rules.
- Kids First Fish Certificate: The division wants to recognize children across the state for catching their first fish with an online kid’s “first fish award” certificate available at GeorgiaWildlife.com/my-first.
- Georgia Bass Slam: Recognizing anglers that catch at least five of the 10 black bass species found in Georgia within a calendar year. Find more info at BassSlam.com.
Looking for a certified scale? Whether applying for an angler award (by weight) or trying to certify a new state record—fish must be weighed on a scale that has been certified accurate by the GA Department of Agriculture. Find a list of certificated scales at GeorgiaWildlife.com/fishing/angler-resources (look under “Angler Recognition Programs”). Can’t find a certified scale near you on the list? Check with your nearby grocery or hardware store, local marina, or reach out to your local WRD Fisheries Office (GeorgiaWildlife.com/about/contact#fish).
There are not many better days than the ones spent on the water with friends and family, but an Angler Award might just make that fishing trip even more special. More info at GeorgiaWildlife.com/fishing/angler-resources.