How to Qualify
Eligible Fish Species and Minimum Qualifying Lengths And Weights (Effective 1 July 2012)
To determine length of fish, measure from the tip of the snout to the back of the tail fin with the fin squeezed together and the mouth closed. To determine girth, measure around the widest part of the fish. A Big Catch Poster (2 MB) with these minimum qualifying sizes is also available, with illustrations of each fish to help you identify them.
|Species||Adult Weight||Youth Weight||Adult Length||Youth Length|
|Largemouth Bass||8.00 lbs||6 lbs||24 inches||18 inches|
|Shoal Bass||2.00 lbs||1.50 lbs||16 inches||12 inches|
|Spotted Bass||2.00 lbs||1.50 lbs||16 inches||12 inches|
|Suwannee Bass||1.50 lbs||1.00 lbs||14 inches||11 inches|
|Blue Catfish||25 lbs||18.75 lbs||36 inches||27 inches|
|Brown Bullhead||2.00 lbs||1.50 lbs||16 inches||12 inches|
|Channel Catfish||12.00 lbs||9 lbs||25 inches||19 inches|
|Flathead Catfish||25 lbs||18.75 lbs||36 inches||27 inches|
|White Catfish||5.00 lbs||3.75 lbs||22 inches||16 inches|
|Yellow Bullhead||1.50 lbs||1.00 lbs||14 inches||10 inches|
|Striped Bass||12.00 lbs.||9.00 lbs||30 inches||22 inches|
|Sunshine Bass||5.00 lbs||3.50 lbs||20 inches||15 inches|
|White Bass||2.50 lbs.||1.75 lbs||15 inches||11 inches|
|Blue Tilapia||5.00 lbs.||3.75 inches||18 inches||13 inches|
|Butterfly Peacock Bass||4.00 lbs.||3.00 lbs||18 inches||13 inches|
|Common Carp||20 lbs.||15.00 lbs||30 inches||22 inches|
|Jaguar Guapote||1.50 lbs.||1.00 lbs||13 inches||10 inches|
|Mayan Cichlid||1.00 lb.||0.75 lbs||11 inches||8 inches|
|Black Crappie||2.00 lbs.||1.50 lbs||14 inches||10 inches|
|Bluegill||1.00 lb.||0.75 lbs||10 inches||8 inches|
|Flier||0.50 lbs.||0.40 lbs||8 inches||6 inches|
|Redbreast Sunfish||0.50 lbs.||0.40 lbs||9 inches||7 inches|
|Redear Sunfish||1.25 lbs.||1.00 lbs||11 inches||8 inches|
|Spotted Sunfish||0.50 lbs.||0.40 inches||7 inches||5 inches|
|Warmouth Sunfish||0.50 lbs||0.40 lbs||9 inches||7 inches|
|American Shad||3.00 lbs.||2.25 lbs||18 inches||13 inches|
|Bowfin or Mudfish||8.00 lbs.||6.00 lbs||28 inches||21 inches|
|Chain Pickerel||3.00 lbs.||2.25 lbs||22 inches||17 inches|
|Florida gar||4.00 lbs.||3.00 lbs||28 inches||21 inches|
|Longnose Gar||15.00 lbs.||11.00 lbs||40 inches||30 inches|
|Oscar||1.25 lbs.||0.75 lbs||11 inches||8 inches|
|Yellow Perch||0.75 lbs.||0.50 lbs||12 inches||9 inches|
|Spotted Gar||4 lbs.||3 lbs.||28"||21"|
Not sure where to find the different species? Try FWC's Fish Range Finder!
Big Catch And Angler Recognition Program
The Big Catch Angler Recognition Program rewards anglers who catch a memorable-sized fish. Qualifying anglers receive a colorful citation showing the type fish they caught and a window sticker to proudly display their prowess.
In addition, anglers who release their fish get special recognition. An angler catching five "Big" fish of the same species will be recognized as a "Specialist," fish of five different species qualifies as a "Master Angler," and 10 different species as an "Elite Angler." A special youth citation and pin is given to an angler under age 16 for catching a fish that is at least 75 percent of the qualifying size (see above for specific sizes).
Results for Specialists, Masters and Elite Anglers will be published. To qualify, the fish must be legally caught and exceed the minimum length or weight specified above. The catch must be documented by photograph and a BIG CATCH form completed.
NOTE: To certify a state-record fish, it must be legally caught and inspected by a FWC biologist and weighed on a certified scale. If you believe you have caught a record fish, keep it alive or place it in ice water. Do not freeze the fish because it will lose weight when thawed. As soon as possible, call the nearest FWC office to arrange to have a fisheries biologist meet with you.