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TrophyCatch Program Wrapping Up Successful Second Year



Florida is now wrapping up the second year of what has turned out to be a highly successful effort to encourage anglers to release trophy-quality largemouth bass, thus allowing them to grow even larger while at the same time growing the state's reputation as a destination for bass anglers. Here's an update from the FFWCC:

Many of our readers already know that in 2012 the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) launched TrophyCatch, a new incentive-based conservation program designed for anglers who catch-and-release largemouth bass heavier than eight pounds, in Florida. Goals of this new initiative include providing verified catch data about trophy bass to guide conservation-management strategies, encouraging live release, and recognizing and rewarding anglers for participating in this citizen-science effort. This will ultimately increase trophy bass fishing opportunities and add to our knowledge of these valued fish.

Check out TrophyCatchFlorida now to register for free for the 3rd year's boat drawing and to learn how to submit your catch, so the data can contribute to the future of bass fishing in Florida and you can earn great rewards from our sponsors. While there, check out the Gallery of Catches, or do a search to find where trophy bass have been caught near you. Meanwhile, be sure to "like" us on Facebook.com/TrophyCatchFlorida to keep up with the latest developments.

The first year of TrophyCatch (Oct. 1, 2012 - Sep. 30, 2013) wrapped up a year ago. Here were some highlights from TrophyCatch year one:

- 1,941 registrants.

- Almost 200 verified largemouth bass Lunker, Trophy, and Hall of Fame Club winners.

- Phoenix bass boat powered by Mercury awarded to random-drawing finalist Frank Ay from N Lauderdale

- $10,000 from Experience Kissimmee awarded to Peter Perez for the largest bass caught in Osceola County

- TrophyCatch Champion Ring awarded to Bob Williams from Alloway, NJ for the largest entered TrophyCatch bass, 13 lbs., 14 oz.

- Over $70,000 total in prizes awarded.

As TrophyCatch continued into its second year, FWC announced simplified submission requirements and increased prizes. The largest change in submitting a bass is that only one photo, of the entire fish on a scale with the weight clearly legible, is required. However, photos of the length, girth, angler holding fish, and release are encouraged. Phoenix and Mercury again provided a bass boat package for year two, this time including a Power-Pole anchor. The big winners of this year's major prizes haven't been announced at time of writing, but will be included in the next issue. In the meantime, here are the latest TrophyCatch statistics as of September 2014:

- Over 8,000 total registrants.

- Nearly 1,000 verified largemouth bass Lunker, Trophy, and Hall of Fame Club winners.

- More than $102,000 in prizes awarded during Year 2.

Stay tuned for the 2013-14 winners, and for exciting prizing updates for the new 2014-15 TrophyCatch year! For more information, and to register or submit fish, visit TrophyCatchFlorida.com.

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