The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and its saltwater angler recognition program, Catch a Florida Memory will see the addition of two new qualifying Reel Big Fish. Effective March 1, anglers will be able to earn Reel Big Fish recognition for vermilion snapper and saltwater catfish.
To qualify for a Reel Big Fish achievement, a fish must reach or exceed the qualifying length listed for each species in youth (under age 16) or adult categories. The qualifying length for vermilion snapper is 17 inches for adults and 13 inches for youth, while the qualifying length for saltwater catfish (gafftopsail or hardhead) is 22 inches for adults and 16 inches for youth. All Reel Big Fish catches must be photographed over a qualifying measuring device clearly showing the exact full length of the fish. A photo of the fish with the angler submitting the catch is also required.
These new Reel Big Fish additions give both inshore and offshore anglers new goals to keep them on the water targeting a variety of fish species. Vermilion snapper and saltwater catfish are also great table fare and are worth taking home to try out a new fish recipe.
Successful anglers who submit an approved Reel Big Fish receive a colorful certificate, custom-designed T-shirt by Tony Ivory Art and Apparel, Tervis tumbler from Discover Martin County, monthly raffle entry to win great prizes from partners like Mount This! Fish Company and SeaDek Marine Products, and other goodies in recognition of their achievement. New Reel Big Fish recipients will also be listed in the Saltwater Recreational Fishing Regulations booklet and on the Club Members page. Anglers who are missing a photograph of their fish over a measuring device can be awarded a Reel Big Fish Honorable Mention digital certificate instead (emailed to the angler).
Looking to catch even bigger fish? The FWC maintains state records in conventional tackle and fly-fishing categories for 81 species caught in Florida state waters or in federal waters extending directly outward of Florida state waters. Saltwater record-holders receive a certificate of accomplishment, prize pack, recognition in various publications and a custom ink fish print to memorialize their catch courtesy of Fish Print Shop. There are currently vacancies in white grunt, blueline tilefish and schoolmaster snapper categories, giving anglers an opportunity to get their name on the record listing for these species. For more information and to view current records, visit CatchaFloridaMemory.com and click “Records.”
Are you interested in signing up for Catch a Florida Memory? Participate today by visiting CatchaFloridaMemory.com.
Check out the latest catches and see your achievements highlighted by following the Catch a Florida Memory Facebook page, Facebook.com/CatchaFLMemory, and view angler catches and much more on Instagram by following @MyFWC.