Record Fish

Important Information Regarding Potential State Record Fish

  1. The angler must have a valid Florida freshwater fishing license or be exempt pursuant to s. 379.353, F.S.
  2. The fish must be caught legally using an active hook-and-line method (bush hooks, snatch hooks, set lines, trotlines, etc. are excluded) in fresh waters of Florida.
  3. If possible, keep the fish alive. If it is not possible to keep the fish alive, place it in ice water. Avoid freezing the fish because it will dehydrate causing it to lose weight. More information on how to handle and care for fish can be found at:
  4. Before contacting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), weigh the fish to determine if a possible state record exists and if possible, take a photograph of the fish on a scale with the weight clearly visible.


How to Certify a State Record Freshwater Fish

  1. Contact FWC to notify of a potential state record catch and arrange to have an FWC employee witness the official weighing, on a certified scale, and take measurements. When certifying a state record Largemouth Bass, an FWC fisheries biologist does not have to be physically present, and the species can be certified by photograph or video, so long as an FWC employee witnesses official weighing and documentation. For any species other than Largemouth Bass, an FWC fisheries biologist must certify the species by physically witnessing and inspecting the fish.
    1. The preferred method for contacting FWC regarding a potential state record catch is by clicking here ( At waterbodies where possession of a potential state record Largemouth would be over the length or bag limit, this method of contact is required.
    2. Alternatively, FWC staff can be contacted by telephone.

FWC Regional Offices:

Northwest Region (850) 265-3676
Northeast Region (352) 732-1225
North Central Region (386) 758-0525
Southwest Region (863) 648-3200
South Region (561) 625-5122

  1. Fill out a Freshwater State Record Fish application and have the application signed by an FWC fisheries biologist. Applications can be obtained from local FWC offices or on the internet at
  2. Mail the completed application to: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Record Fish Program, 620 South Meridian Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600.


Measurement Standards

State Record measurement
  1. Measure the fish’s total length and girth to the nearest one-quarter inch. Total length is measured with the mouth closed and tail fin pinched together. Girth is the measurement around the widest part of the fish (see illustration).
  2. Weight shall be determined on a scale certified by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. A certified scale must meet the requirements of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and is approved by the National Type Evaluation Program. Weighing shall be done by an FWC employee and recorded to two decimal places.
  3. To replace an existing record, versus tying one, the weight difference must EXCEED the following: (i) nearest one-quarter ounce (0.02 pounds) for fish up to five pounds, (ii) to the nearest one-half ounce (0.03 pounds) for fish more than five pounds and up to 10 pounds, and (iii) to the nearest one ounce (0.06 pounds) for fish more than 10 pounds.


If your fish does not qualify as a state record, the Big Catch Angler Recognition Program rewards anglers who catch a memorable-sized fish.  Qualifying anglers receive a colorful citation showing the type of fish caught and a window sticker to proudly display their prowess.  To qualify, the fish must be legally caught and exceed the specified minimum length or weight.  The catch must be witnessed, and a Big Catch form completed.  Details can be found on applications available at many tackle stores, FWC offices, in the Freshwater Regulations Summary, or on the internet at


More information is provided about the various species on our Freshwater Fishes of Florida pages.

* Uncertified record. Strong evidence exists, but not all the reporting requirements were met.
** Following genetic and other analyses, it is now believed that redeye bass do not exist in Florida. This record was certified prior to those studies being conducted.


Species Weight Length(in.) Girth Date Angler Water Body County Notes Image
Largemouth Bass 17.27 pounds unavailable 7/6/1986 Billy O'Berry Polk County Largemouth Bass
*Largemouth Bass 20.13 unavailable 5/19/1923 Frederick Friebel Big Fish Lake, Pasco County

This fish was weighed on a postal scale and witnessed, but an FWC (or GFC) biologist did not document it at the time to establish an official record.

Largemouth Bass
**Redeye Bass 7.83 pounds unavailable 2/18/1989 William Johnston Apalachicola River, Gadsden County

At one time it was believed redeye bass existed in panhandle Florida. It is now recognized that these fish were misidentified by the public and likely one of the other black bass species.

Redeye Bass
Spotted Bass 3.75 pounds unavailable 6/24/1985 Dow Gilmore Apalachicola River, Gulf County Spotted Bass
Suwannee Bass 3.89 pounds unavailable 3/2/1985 Ronnie Everett Suwannee River, Gilchrist County Suwannee Bass
Shoal Bass 5.95 pounds 22.4 11/18/2017 Sheldon Grace Chipola River Calhoun Shoal Bass
Striped Bass 42.24 pounds unavailable 12/14/1993 Alphonso Barnes Apalachicola River, Gadsden Striped Bass
White Bass 4.69 pounds unavailable 4/9/1982 Richard Davis Apalachicola River, Gadsden County White Bass
Sunshine Bass 16.31 pounds unavailable 5/9/1985 Thomas Elder Lake Seminole, Jackson County Sunshine Bass
Black Crappie 3.83 pounds unavailable 1/21/1992 Ben Curry, Sr. Lake Talquin, Gadsden County Black Crappie
Flier 1.35 pounds 12 Inches 5/9/2015 Twila Gates A Cypress Pond in Jackson County Flier
Bluegill 2.95 pounds unavailable 4/19/1989 John LeMaster Crystal Lake, Washington County Bluegill
Redbreast Sunfish 2.08 pounds unavailable 4/29/1988 Jerrel Dewees, Jr. Suwannee River, Gilchrist County Redbreast Sunfish
Redear Sunfish 4.86 pounds unavailable 3/13/1986 Joseph Floyd Merritts Mill Pond, Jackson County Redear Sunfish
Spotted Sunfish 0.83 pounds unavailable 5/12/1984 Coy Dotson Suwannee River, Columbia County Spotted Sunfish
Warmouth 2.44 pounds unavailable 10/19/1985 Tony Dempsey Yellow River, Okaloosa County Warmouth
Chain Pickerel 6.96 pounds unavailable 6/11/2004 Jep Dove Lake Talquin, Gadsden County Chain Pickerel
*Chain Pickerel 8.00 pounds unavailable 7/5/1971 Jimmy James Lake Talquin, Gadsden County Chain Pickerel
Redfin Pickerel 1.06 pounds unavailable 6/6/1993 Mike Milkerson New River, Bradford County Redfin Pickerel
Common Carp 35 pounds to qualify 1/1/0001 VACANT Common Carp
*Common Carp 40.56 pounds unavailable 5/24/1981 Bernard Rowan Apalachicola River, Gadsden County Common Carp
Channel Catfish 44.50 pounds unavailable 5/19/1985 Joe Purvis Lake Bluff, Lake County Channel Catfish
Flathead Catfish 69.9 pounds 48.5 inches 38.25 inches 8/26/2020 Lavon Nowling Yellow River Santa Rosa County Flathead Catfish
White Catfish 18.88 pounds unavailable 9/21/1991 Jim Miller Withlacoochee River, Marion County White Catfish
Blue Catfish 69.5 pounds 48.5" 31.75" 5/30/2015 William Stewart III Choctawhatchee River Washington County Blue Catfish
Brown Bullhead 7.02 pounds unavailable 2/12/2014 Richard A. Clinton Lake Iola, Pasco County Brown Bullhead
Yellow Bullhead 5.05 pounds unavailable 12/17/2010 Tom Flynn Crystal River, Citrus County Yellow Bullhead
Bowfin 19.00 pounds unavailable 10/5/1984 Jim Brown Lake Kissimmee, Osceola county Bowfin
American Shad 5.19 pounds unavailable 2/15/1990 Bud Dankert St. Johns River, Seminole County American Shad
American Shad 5.19 pounds unavailable 3/18/1992 Albert Judy St. Johns River, Volusia County American Shad
Longnose Gar 41.00 pounds unavailable 4/14/1985 Evan Merritt Lake Panasoffkee, Sumter County Longnose Gar
Alligator Gar 123.00 pounds unavailable 7/8/1995 Zachary Phillips Choctawhatchee River, Walton County Alligator Gar
Florida Gar 9.44 pounds unavailable 3/25/2001 Patric A. McDaniel Lake Lawne, Orange County Florida Gar
Butterfly Peacock Bass 9.11 pounds 23 - 5/16 inches 10/8/2021 Felipe Prieto Broward County Lake Broward County

Note: Larger butterfly peacock bass have been documented by FWC biologists, but not all state record reporting requirements were met.

Butterfly Peacock Bass
Oscar 2.34 pounds unavailable 3/16/1994 Jimmy Cook Lake Okeechobee Oscar
Mayan Cichlid 2.37 pounds 13.6" 13.1" 11/28/2016 Jonathan Johnson Golden Gate Canal Collier Mayan Cichlid
Jaguar Guapote 2.78 unavailable 6/29/2017 Jerry Martin Snapper Creek (C-2) Canal Miami-Dade Jaguar Guapote
Blue Tilapia 9.57 pounds unavailable 8/31/2010 Pamela Henry St. Lucie River, Martin County Blue Tilapia
Yellow Perch 1.47 pounds unavailable 10/23/2005 David Thomas Dead Lake, Gulf County Yellow Perch