The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Division of Marine Fisheries Management and its saltwater angler recognition program, Catch a Florida Memory, will begin accepting applications for three new record categories starting Jan. 1, 2024. In addition to the current All Tackle and Fly-Fishing Weight categories, the FWC will add a Youth Weight category for anglers aged 15 and under, and Youth and Adult Length categories to allow for catch-and-release records.
The species eligible for records in the Youth and Adult Length categories include red drum, bonefish, permit and snook. To qualify for a Length Record, the fish must be caught on or after Jan. 1, 2024, measure at least 10 inches and be measured using a flat length measuring device with photographs showing measurement increments clearly visible. Once a record is approved, all subsequent records must be at least 0.5 inches (1.27 cm) greater than the previous record.
The species eligible for records in the Youth Weight category include blackfin tuna, cobia, dolphinfish, flounder, gray (mangrove) snapper, gray triggerfish, hardhead catfish, red grouper, sheepshead, Spanish mackerel, spotted seatrout and yellowtail snapper. The FWC is planning to include more species for records in the Youth Weight category in years to come, providing more opportunities for young saltwater anglers to participate in the records program. To qualify for a Youth Weight Record, the fish must be caught on or after Jan. 1, 2024, weigh a minimum of 1 pound (0.0453 kg) and follow the documentation requirements of the Adult Weight category.
To qualify for a record, a completed application form must be submitted with the angler’s signature and a notary stamp. Applications are available here. Applications must be accompanied by digital or print photographs clearly showing the gear used to make the catch, the angler with their catch, various views of the fish for identification purposes, and required weight or length verification photos. Videos will be accepted for Youth and Adult Length record categories. Both youth and adult applications must be submitted within three months of the catch date. Anglers who obtain a new approved state record after January. 1, 2024, receive a certificate, Catch a Florida Memory decal and custom fish metal decor courtesy of The Metal Edge.
The FWC reserves the right to deny any application to the saltwater angler recognition programs for any reason. This includes improper fish handling, which will be especially important in both the Youth and Adult Length categories.
To view best handling practices, visit MyFWC.com/FishHandling. For a complete list of current categories, rules and eligible species, visit CatchaFloridaMemory.com/Records., which will be updated with the new categories on January 1, 2024.
Florida Saltwater Fishing Records are part of the FWC’s Catch a Florida Memory – Saltwater Angler Recognition program, which rewards anglers for their fishing efforts while encouraging them to target a diversity of species. To learn more and view current records, visit CatchaFloridaMemory.com/Records or call 850-487-0554.
Check out the latest catches and see your achievements highlighted by following the Catch a Florida Memory Facebook page, Facebook.com/CatchaFLMemory, follow FWC on Instagram or FishBrain (FWC Saltwater Fishing) to view angler catches and more.
If you have questions about the Catch a Florida Memory program, email AnglerRecognition@MyFWC.com or call 850-487-0554.
Your purchase of fishing equipment, motorboat fuel and a fishing license supports these programs along with aquatic education and outreach efforts. Learn more at MyFWC.com/SFR.