Additional Information:

Angler Recognition Program Application Form media download(PDF 587.4 KB)


Other Awards

First Fish Award

This award recognizes the first fish caught by an angler of any age. Photos submitted with application may be featured on the Angler Recognition website and in TPWD displays.

Elite Angler

Anglers who catch trophy class fish of five different species will be recognized as Elite Anglers. To be eligible for this one-time award, an angler must earn five freshwater OR five saltwater Big Fish Awards. Anglers who achieve Elite ranking will be listed on the Angler Recognition Program website and will receive a special certificate commemorating their accomplishment. See current list of Elite Anglers.

Submission Rules

  1. Fish caught on or after May 1, 2004 count toward Elite Angler status. The program is not retroactive.
  2. Each catch must meet the requirements for a Big Fish Award (see below).
  3. Weighing is encouraged, but not required.
  4. There's no time limit for catching the five trophy fish.

Big Fish Award

  1. Catch must meet or exceed minimum length requirements indicated in the table below.
  2. Weighing is encouraged, but not required.
  3. For length measurement:
    • 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.
  4. Photos must be submitted with application. See photo guidelines.
Freshwater Fish Saltwater Fish
Species Min Species Min
Bass, Guadalupe 14" Amberjack, Greater 42"
Bass, Hybrid Striped 25" Catfish, Gafftopsail 20"
Bass, Largemouth 21" Croaker, Atlantic 15"
Bass, Smallmouth 18" Cobia (Ling) 40"
Bass, Spotted 16" Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) 30"
Bass, Striped 35" Drum, Black 20"
Bass, White 15" Drum, Red 25"
Bluegill 10" Flounder 17"
Buffalo, Bigmouth 30" Jack, Crevalle 36"
Buffalo, Black 30" Ladyfish 21"
Buffalo, Smallmouth 32" Mackerel, King 40"
Carp, Common 30" Mackerel, Spanish 26"
Catfish, Blue 36" Marlin, Blue 137"
Catfish, Channel 30" Sailfish 84"
Catfish, Flathead 45" Seatrout, Sand 14"
Cichlid, Rio Grande 9" Seatrout, Spotted 20"
Crappie, Black 15" Sheepshead 18"
Crappie, White 15" Snapper, Red 18"
Drum, Freshwater 25" Snook 26"
Gar, Alligator 72" Spadefish, Atlantic 17"
Gar, Longnose 50" Tarpon 80"
Gar, Spotted 42" Tunny, Little 22"
Sunfish 10"    
Trout, Rainbow 15"    
Walleye 25"    

Outstanding Angler Award

A catch that does not qualify for any other type of award may still deserve recognition. The Outstanding Angler Award recognizes these special catches.

General Rules for All Award Categories

  1. The fish must be landed in Texas waters.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Only one person may catch the fish (except for netting or gaffing the fish to bring it into the boat or onto shore).
  5. The fish must not have contained anything (including electronics or other tagging devices) to assist in locating the fish.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

For more information, contact:

Inland Fisheries • (512) 389-4444 •
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department • 4200 Smith School Road • Austin, Texas 78744