Win Awards for Trophy Fish Caught in Pennsylvania (PA).
Did you know you get rewarded for trophy fish?
Most fisherman in Pennsylvania are totally unaware of a program that the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has. This program is their "Angler Award Program." The PFBC will issue you a really nice certificate and give you a nice patch for each species of fish that you catch that exceeds a certain length or weight.
They also issue first time fisherman a nice certificate for their very first fish caught in Commonwealth waters. Junior fisherman, those fisherman under 16 years old, can also receive certificates and patches for smaller trophies than Senior fisherman.
Recently, I was lucky enough to catch a whopper of a yellow perch through the ice in Presque Isle Bay, just north of Erie PA. I have enclosed a picture of this perch to show you one of my recent trophy fish that qualify for the Angler Award Program. In order for a fish to qualify, it must be officially weighed and measured by fishing license agents, official weighing stations, tackle stores, or authorized employees of the PFBC. In my example, a yellow perch needs to be 1 pound 4 ounces to receive the certificate and patch. The perch I caught was very large and weighed 1 pound 8 ounces.
The PFBC gives out certificates and patches for most species of fish targeted in Commonwealth waters. Some examples include: Largemouth Bass over 5 pounds for Senior fisherman and 4 pounds for Junior fisherman. Crappie over 1 pound 4 ounces will qualify for Senior anglers and 1 pound even for Juniors. You can even get a certificate and patch for large suckers! Suckers over 2 pounds 12 ounces will net Seniors a certificate while a junior needs only catch a 2 pound sucker.
For the complete list of species covered by the PA Angler Award Program, please visit the PFBC website at http://www.fish.state.pa.us The list is very large so you can fish for many different species and accumulate quite a few certificates and patches if you are lucky enough to catch big fish.
The Pennsylvania Angler Award Program also gives out certificates and patches for trophy fish that are caught and released. In order to qualify for these awards, your catch must be witnessed by another person and your fish must be measured from the tip of the nose (closed mouth) to tip of the tail. An example would be a brown trout that measured over 21 inches. Steelhead trout over 24 inches that are caught and released also qualify. Fish that are caught and released must have sideview photos taken at the catch site and the fish cannot show any signs of mishandling or else the application will be rejected.
Remember to qualify for an award your fish must be caught by legal methods during their open season. This program is open to both residents and non-residents of PA. All fish must be caught in Pennsylvania waters that are open to the public without charges or fees.
One more award that you can get is to become qualified as a member of the "Husky Musky Club." In order to receive your award your musky has to be at least 50 inches long.
A fishing license is a bargain considering you can go out and fish every single day of the year. Why not even make it more of a bargain by obtaining awards for those big fish you catch in the many fishable waters of Pennsylvania?