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For over 50 years MassWildlife has sponsored the Freshwater Sportfishing Awards Program, which recognizes anglers who catch exceptional freshwater fish from waterbodies of the Commonwealth that are open to the public. Over the years, the program has evolved to not only promote fishing, but to reflect the changing interests of anglers.
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In 2015, MassWildlife added a Catch and Release component to the Freshwater Sportfishing Awards Program.


How the Program Works:

Catch & Keep Sportfishing Pin Awards:

  • Adult and youth anglers who catch fish that meet the minimum weight requirements for 22 eligible species receive a bronze pin.
  • Anglers must have their catch weighed on a certified scale and submit an affidavit pdf format of Sportfishing Affidavit Catch & Keep
and photo of their catch to the MassWildlife Sportfishing Awards Coordinator.
  • Anglers who catch the largest fish (by weight) in each category receive a gold pin and plaque in addition to their bronze pin.

Catch & Release Sportfishing Pin Awards:

  • Anglers (adult or youth) who catch and release fish that meet the minimum length requirements for 22 eligible species receive a bronze pin.
  • Anglers must measure, photograph, and immediately release their fish at the site of capture and submit an affidavit pdf format of Sportfishing Affidavit Catch & Release
and photo to the MassWildlife Sportfishing Awards Coordinator.
  • Anglers (adult or youth) who catch and release the largest fish (by length) in each category receive a gold pin and plaque in addition to their bronze pin.

Angler of the Year Categories:

  • Adult Catch & Keep Angler of the Year
  • Youth Catch & Keep Angler of the Year
  • Catch & Release Angler of the Year (adult or youth)

See a list of Angler of the Year recipients.

View the 2014 Gold Pin Winners pdf format of 2014 Gold Pin Winners
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How to Submit Your Pin Fish Catch

Catch & Keep Rules, Eligibility, and Minimum Weights
Catch & Keep Sportfishing Affidavit pdf format of Sportfishing Affidavit Catch & Keep

Catch & Release Rules, Eligibility, and Minimum Lengths
Catch & Release Sportfishing Affidavit pdf format of Sportfishing Affidavit Catch & Release


Record Breaking Catch?

Anglers who believe they have broken a state record must present their fish in its entirety (whole) to a fisheries biologist at MassWildlife Field Headquarters  in Westborough or at any of the five MassWildlife District offices . In keeping with MassWildlife regulations prohibiting the transportation of live fish without a permit, any fish submitted for weighing must be dead.