The FWC’s TrophyCatch program ended another successful season this past quarter as the final Season 8 submissions were reviewed! The TrophyCatch team was thrilled to recognize the anglers who submitted 22 Hall of Fame bass weighing 13 pounds or more that were caught, documented, and released back into Florida’s waters. Furthermore, Rodman Reservoir had 157 approved trophy bass making it the top producing water body of the season. With the opening of Headwaters Boat Ramp on Fellsmere Reservoir in August of last year, the waterbody was TrophyCatch’s number two top producing waterbody for Season 8 and had 56 approved bass during the year (see photo).
TrophyCatch has awarded prizes for the catch and release of more than 10,000 largemouth bass since the program began in 2012. Through Season 8, a total of 8,530 Lunker Club, 2,086 Trophy Club and 89 Hall of Fame fish contributed to this landmark occasion. TrophyCatch anglers have collectively caught and released over 97,500 pounds of bass.
Others wins for TrophyCatch this season include seven Hall of Fame bass coming from Hillsborough County. Prior to this season, the county had only contributed one other Hall of Fame fish. Additionally, three Hall of Fame fish came from historic Orange Lake (see photo) located in Marion County. It is now in its fishing prime following a natural drawdown in 2011 and subsequent habitat enhancement actions.
“We want to thank Bass Pro Shops and all of our partners and anglers for their commitment to the future of bass conservation,” said Tom Graef, FWC’s Director of the Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management. “The data we receive from TrophyCatch is crucial in making management decisions and will continue to do so. Florida anglers must remain a part of our research team for us to continue being the Bass Fishing Capital of the World.”
The TrophyCatch program rewards anglers who provide documentation of their catch and release of largemouth bass weighing 8 pounds or heavier in Florida. In order to be eligible for prizes, anglers are required to submit photos or videos of their catch to TrophyCatch.com, showing the entire fish and its weight on a scale, before releasing it back into the water. The FWC encourages anglers to join TrophyCatch to become citizen scientists and assist in the management and the conservation of Florida’s freshwater fisheries. The associated TrophyCare program promotes best handling practices for trophy bass to ensure that each TrophyCatch bass is released alive. We look forward to the current Season 9, especially as this quarter is likeliest to produce the season’s best catches.
You can also stay up to date by liking our TrophyCatch Facebook page and FishReelFlorida on Instagram and subscribing to the TrophyCatch YouTube Channel. You might get one of your catches featured on our social media pages!