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Arizona HAWG Bass and Fat-Cat Challenges Underway

Anglers are encouraged to participate in the 2021 Arizona HAWG Bass and Fat Cat challenges. These incentive-based, citizen-science conservation rewards programs are designed to encourage anglers to learn about and pursue large bass or catfish while emphasizing immediate live release of individual fish that exceed a designated weight or length.

Goals of the program include: conservation through catch-and-release of the largest, oldest fish; generation of excitement among anglers about Arizona fishing opportunities; collection of valuable information through citizen-science that can help inform bass and catfish conservation efforts; and sharing of information about fishing opportunities and destinations to make fishing more enjoyable.


So far, for 2021 there have been only six participants in the Hawg Bass Challenge. Two of those are in the 10-pound club, Anglers who catch a 10-pound-bass in the Hawg Bass Challenge will be entered into a drawing to be held in February for a prize valued at over $1,000.


After a record 10 participants in in last year’s Fat Cat Challenge, there have been only three thus far this year. So get out, enjoy the outdoors, and fish!

Submissions for the challenges sent in after Dec. 31, 2021, will be entered for 2022. For details on how to participate, including the official rules, visit


Anglers can also participate in the 2021 Trout challenge. This program was developed to encourage anglers to learn more about fishing opportunities in the state. AZGFD manages many waters statewide to provide anglers the opportunity to catch several different species of trout, including two found only in the Southwest, Gila trout and Apache trout. Submissions sent in after Dec. 31, 2021, will be entered for 2022. For details on how to participate in the trout challenge, including rules for the challenge, visit

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