Skip to main content

Big TrophyCatch Bass

TrophyCatch celebrates second-heaviest bass in the program, caught on Orange Lake

Not only has crappie and panfish fishing been very good, but anglers are catching bass again, including trophy bass like Hammett's Hall of Fame catch.


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) TrophyCatch program celebrates its second-heaviest fish ever approved in the program, a 15 pound, 13 ounce Hall of Fame largemouth bass caught and released in Orange Lake by Brian Hammett.

After producing a large number of trophy bass in 2010 and 2011, Orange Lake went almost dry in the winter of 2011. Following several years of sustained high water, coupled with FWC staff working with local stakeholders to manage the lake, habitat on Orange Lake is once again very good and the fishery has bounced back. Not only has crappie and panfish fishing been very good, but anglers are catching bass again, including trophy bass like Hammett's Hall of Fame catch, as well as nine other TrophyCatch bass weighing at least 8 pounds that were approved in the program since January. Six of the 10 TrophyCatch-approved 2019 Orange Lake bass weighed more than 10 pounds.

FWC staff worked with stakeholders to write the Orange Lake Habitat Management Plan in 2015-2016 and continue to manage the lake's habitat according to the plan. Management activities are discussed at public meetings twice a year, and have included vegetation shredding, tussock harvesting and invasive plant control. These management activities not only enhance habitat for fish but also for other species such as wading birds. In addition to habitat enhancement projects FWC staff also continue to monitor the fish populations through fish sampling, creel surveys (angler interviews) and research projects, such as tagging studies.

FWC biologists have collected nine bass on Orange Lake weighing more than 8 pounds in the past two years. The largest bass weighed 13.5 pounds and was collected this spring—the same week Hammett's Hall of Fame TrophyCatch bass was caught and submitted. The second-largest bass collected by FWC biologists on Orange Lake was collected in March 2017 and weighed 9.75 pounds. That bass was tagged, released and later recaptured by FWC biologists in November 2017, weighing 13 pounds.

TrophyCatch is a partnership between the FWC, anglers and fishing industry leaders, such as Bass Pro Shops, that rewards the catch, documentation and release of largemouth bass weighing 8 pounds or heavier in Florida. In order to be eligible for prizes, anglers are required to submit photos or videos showing the entire fish and its weight on a scale to TrophyCatch.com before releasing it back into the water. FWC biologists use TrophyCatch data for bass research, to make informed decisions about the management of Florida bass fisheries and to promote the catch and release of trophy bass. In the past six seasons, TrophyCatch has awarded prizes for the catch and release of more than 8,000 largemouth bass weighing at least 8 pounds. For more information about the TrophyCatch program, email Amber Nabors at Amber.Nabors@MyFWC.com.

For general waterbody information, fishing forecasts, virtual tours, plant control operation schedules and annual workplans, boat ramp information, and more, visit the “What's Happening on My Lake” website at MyFWC.com/Lake.

For more information about the recent and ongoing management through the Orange Creek Basin Interagency Working Group or to view the Orange Lake Habitat Management Plan, visit: OrangeCreekBasin.wordpress.com.




GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Kaku Kayaks owner/designer Kevin Hawkins in Tarpon Springs, FL, shares personal reflections on the synchronous, symbioti...
Videos

Hobie Mirage Lynx to the Next Level

Kaku Kayaks owner/designer Kevin Hawkins in Tarpon Springs, FL, shares personal reflections on the synchronous, symbioti...
Videos

Hobie Mirage iTrek 9 Ultralight Packed with Features

Kaku Kayaks owner/designer Kevin Hawkins in Tarpon Springs, FL, shares personal reflections on the synchronous, symbioti...
Videos

Extend Your Range in the Salt Marsh

Kaku Kayaks owner/designer Kevin Hawkins in Tarpon Springs, FL, shares personal reflections on the synchronous, symbioti...
Videos

Florida's Capital Fishing

Kaku Kayaks owner/designer Kevin Hawkins in Tarpon Springs, FL, shares personal reflections on the synchronous, symbioti...
Videos

Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 FULLY RIGGED Fishing Machine

Kaku Kayaks owner/designer Kevin Hawkins in Tarpon Springs, FL, shares personal reflections on the synchronous, symbioti...
Videos

Mounting Forward-Facing Sonar on A Kayak: Mounts, Scanning Applications and More!

Kaku Kayaks owner/designer Kevin Hawkins in Tarpon Springs, FL, shares personal reflections on the synchronous, symbioti...
Videos

On The Water with Old Town: Bass Fishing at PRIVATE GEORGIA LAKE

Kaku Kayaks owner/designer Kevin Hawkins in Tarpon Springs, FL, shares personal reflections on the synchronous, symbioti...
Videos

DECKED-OUT Old Town Sportsman BigWater ePDL+ 132 Complete WALK-THROUGH

Kaku Kayaks owner/designer Kevin Hawkins in Tarpon Springs, FL, shares personal reflections on the synchronous, symbioti...
Videos

Dreambuild: Old Town ePDL Gets Rigged to the Hilt

Kaku Kayaks owner/designer Kevin Hawkins in Tarpon Springs, FL, shares personal reflections on the synchronous, symbioti...
Videos

Kaku Zulu

Kaku Kayaks owner/designer Kevin Hawkins in Tarpon Springs, FL, shares personal reflections on the synchronous, symbioti...
Videos

Kayak Hulls

Kaku Kayaks owner/designer Kevin Hawkins in Tarpon Springs, FL, shares personal reflections on the synchronous, symbioti...
Videos

Kayaks and Saltwater Flats

Florida Sportsman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now