State and Water Body Records
TPWD recognizes water body records for all public water bodies. State record applications are accepted from both public and private waters. If an angler is under 17 years of age, the catch will automatically be entered in the Junior Angler division.
Check the current record list before applying for a state or water body record and follow the submission rules below.
- State record applications must be notarized.
- Fish must be at least 8 ounces (0.5 pounds) to be eligible for a weight record. Exception: For Junior Rod & Reel records, minimum weight is 2 ounces (0.125 pounds).
- Fish must be weighed on certified or legal-for-trade
scales within 3 days of the catch date. Certified scales are scales (either
electronic or spring-based) that have been, on an annual basis, certified as accurate by a Texas
Department of Agriculture Licensed Service Provider or the International Game Fish Association (IGFA.) TPWD maintains a list of Official Weigh Stations that have certified scales and have agreed to participate in this program.
- One or more disinterested witnesses must observe the weighing.
- The fish must not contain anything or have anything attached which artificially increases weight.
- If a non-certified scale is used, the applicant will have 30 days from the weighing date to have the scale certified.
- For length measurement (see diagram):
- Place fish on its side with the jaw closed.
- Squeeze the tail fin together or turn it in a way to obtain the maximum overall length.
- Measure a straight line from the tip of the snout to the extreme tip of the tail fin.
- Photographs are required for all weight records, Catch and Release Records, and Big Fish Awards. TPWD biologists will use the photos to identify the species for all records, and to verify length measurement for Big Fish Awards and Catch and Release Records. Video recordings will not be accepted in lieu of photographs.
- Take clear, color, side view photographs from several different angles. One must clearly show the fish lying on its side with a ruler or other measuring device placed beside the fish. Another photo must show the angler with the fish.
- Get close enough so that the image fills the frame. Make sure anal and dorsal fins are spread out and visible.
- If the fish is a shark, photos of the teeth as well as photos of the head and back taken from above must be submitted along with the side view photographs. The photo of head and back should clearly show whether a shark does or does not have a ridge between the dorsal fins.
- Photos may be submitted by e-mail or mailed with the application. Submitted photos become the property of TPWD with publication and television rights, and will not be returned.
- TPWD will not certify a State Record, Water Body Record, Catch and Release Record or Big Fish Award until the fish species is verified. If biologists are unable to make a conclusive identification from the photographs submitted, the angler will be asked to provide the fish for examination, and an affidavit of fish authenticity may be required.
For Fly Fishing Awards
- The lure must be a recognized type of artificial fly.
- A fly may be dressed on a single or double hook or two single hooks in tandem. Treble hooks are prohibited. The use of any other type of lure or natural or preserved bait, either singularly or attached to the fly, is prohibited.
- No scent, either natural or artificial, is allowed on flies. The use of scented material in a fly is prohibited.
- The rod, reel, line, and leader equipment used must be designed for fly fishing.
- Casting and retrieving must be carried out in accordance with normal customs and generally accepted practices. The major criterion in casting is that the weight of the line must carry the lure rather than the weight of the lure carrying the line.
General Rules for All Award Categories
- The fish must be landed in Texas waters.
- An Angler Recognition Award Application form (PWD BR T3200-349B) completed by the angler must be received by TPWD within 60 days of the date of catch. The 60-day limit will be waived for catches recognized as world records by the International Game Fish Association.
- The fish must be caught while obeying all laws or regulations governing the fish species and the waters in which it was caught. Check license requirements and fishing regulations before going fishing.
- Only one person may catch the fish (except for netting or gaffing the fish to bring it into the boat or onto shore).
- The fish must not have contained anything (including electronics or other tagging devices) to assist in locating the fish.
- Deliberate falsification of any application will result in disqualification. All existing records will be removed and future applications from the angler will not be considered.
- TPWD reserves the right to review, investigate, reject, disqualify, or accept any application submitted or any award granted. In case of disputes, the decision of the Angler Recognition Awards Program Committee will be final.
Ron Smith–Inland Fisheries • (512) 389-8302 •
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department • 4200 Smith School Road • Austin, Texas 78744