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Enter your catch in the Freshwater Sportfishing Awards Program

For more than 50 years, MassWildlife’s Freshwater Sportfishing Awards Program has recognized anglers who catch exceptional freshwater fish across Massachusetts.
The Program runs for the calendar year. All entries must be submitted within 30 days of the date of the catch. December affidavits must be submitted no later than January 10th of the following year. We encourage online submissions for faster processing.

MassWildlife

The Details of Enter your catch in the Freshwater Sportfishing Awards Program

What you need for Enter your catch in the Freshwater Sportfishing Awards Program

large mouth bass

NOTE:  Catch-and-keep affidavits for fish caught when this category was closed (March 16, 2020 - July 6, 2020 due to COVID-19) that meet the requirements will be issued bronze pins; however, these entries will not be eligible for a gold pin.

To enter your catch in the Freshwater Sportfishing Awards Program, you'll need a freshwater fishing license. Kids 17 or younger can get in on the fun by entering their catch in the Youth Sportfishing Awards Program.

All fish must be caught on a hook and line (except for carp, which can be caught with spears or bow and arrow) in Massachusetts waters that are open to the public. Fish caught in private or sporting club ponds aren’t eligible for awards. The only exception to this rule is public waters that are closed on a seasonal basis, like the Wachusett and Quabbin Reservoirs.

When you think you've caught a trophy fish, follow these steps:

1. Take a photo of your catch

Take a clear, close-up, side-view photo of your fish. If you plan to release your fish, take this photo right away. If you’re submitting a catfish or bullhead, you should also take a full body dorsal (back) photo of the fish.

2. Weigh or measure your fish

If you’re keeping your fish, you need to weigh it. If you want to release it, you need to measure its length and then release it immediately.

Weighing your fish

You can weigh your fish anywhere that has a certified scale. No matter where you weigh your fish, someone else must see you weigh it. Many bait and tackle shops have certified scales and will weigh your fish for free. Find a certified scale

Measuring your fish

Photograph your fish against a standard measuring device. The fish’s entire body and its measurements should be clear in the photo. All measurements will be rounded to the nearest ¼ inch.

3. Submit your catch

Once you’ve weighed or measured and photographed your fish, submit the photo of your fish with the correct form.

All entries must be submitted within 30 days of the date of the catch.

How to enter Enter your catch in the Freshwater Sportfishing Awards Program

Complete either the online Catch-and-Keep Affidavit or the online Catch-and-Release Affidavit. The online form allows you to upload the photo of your fish.

All entries must be submitted within 30 days of the date of the catch.

Fill out the catch and keep affidavit or the catch and release affidavit, print a photo of your fish, and mail the documents to:

Sportfishing Awards Program
Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife
1 Rabbit Hill Road
Westborough, MA, 01581

All entries must be submitted within 30 days of the date of the catch.

More info for Enter your catch in the Freshwater Sportfishing Awards Program

  • Bronze pins—If you submit a fish that meets the minimum weight or minimum length requirements for an eligible species, you’ll get a bronze pin for that species.
  • Gold pins—If you submit the largest or longest fish in an eligible species category, you’ll get a gold pin and a plaque. You’ll also be honored in a MassWildlife awards event.
  • Angler of the Year awards are given to anglers who catch the most species that meet either length or weight requirements. You’ll also be honored in a MassWildlife awards event. The categories are:
    • Adult Catch & Keep Angler of the Year
    • Youth Catch & Keep Angler of the Year
    • Catch & Release Angler of the Year

Want to scope out the competition?

MassWildlife updates their list of current sportfishing leaders March 1 each year so you can see what the biggest catches are so far.

Think you have a record-breaking catch?

If you think your trophy fish may have broken a Massachusetts freshwater fish record, it  needs to be weighed by a MassWildlife Fisheries Biologist. While our offices remain closed to the public due to COVID-19, please email rebecca.quinones@mass.gov to make an appointment to bring your fish into one of our office locations. The fish must be presented in its entirety (whole). In keeping with MassWildlife regulations prohibiting the transportation of live fish without a permit, any fish submitted for weighing must be dead.

Contact for Enter your catch in the Freshwater Sportfishing Awards Program

Address
MassWildlife Field Headquarters
1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581
Phone

Building is currently closed to the public; please call for assistance.

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