In the Freshwater Sport Fishing Awards Programs, anglers receive bronze pins for catching fish of certain minimum weight requirements for 22 species. Anglers must have their catch weighed at a certified weigh station and submit an affidavit and photo of their catch to the Sportfishing Awards Coordinator. Beginning in 2005, a youth category was added to recognize anglers 17 years and younger for their accomplishments.

Anglers who catch the largest fish in each category in a calendar year receive a gold pin and plaque commemorating their accomplishment. Traditionally, the "Gold Pin Winners" are honored every February at the annual Freshwater Sportfishing Awards Ceremony held in February at a sportfishing show. The Angler of the Year is also honored at this event.

Below are the Gold Pin Winners for the past several years. The winners names and home towns are noted as well as the size and waterbody where they caught the big one!