Photo courtesy of Gavin Hart
Summer fishing season is heating up and you’re invited to Catch a Florida Memory with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) by participating in any of three fun and exciting Saltwater Angler Recognition Programs. See if you can catch all 71 species in the Saltwater Fish Life List. Caught a big fish that warrants bragging rights? Submit it to the Saltwater Reel Big Fish program. And be sure to check out the nine categories of Saltwater Grand Slams that challenge anglers to catch three specific fish in a 24-hour period.
Anglers of all ages and skill levels can earn various prizes such as certificates, shirts, hats, rods and reels, dehooking tools, rubber-coated nets and more. Successful anglers receive recognition in Florida Saltwater Recreational Fishing Regulations booklets and on the Club Members page of CatchaFloridaMemory.com, plus the chance to win monthly raffle prizes courtesy of generous program partners.
Catch a Florida Memory programs are not only fun and rewarding, but they also promote fisheries conservation. Anglers are encouraged to target a diversity of species to help decrease fishing pressure on the most sought-after fishes. Catch-and-release fishing and responsible fish handling practices are emphasized, and anglers do not have to harvest their catches to qualify. Photos of the angler with each catch are required and could even be featured in FWC publications or on social media.
Saltwater Fish Life List
Can you catch them all? Similar to a birding life list, this program allows anglers to track their progress at catching 71 different species of saltwater fish. Anglers who catch at least 10 different Life List species can join the Saltwater Fish Life List 10-Fish Club and receive a prize pack including a certificate of accomplishment and a colorful shirt, plus be eligible for additional prizes as they catch 30, 50 and all 71 fish on the list. Anglers who complete their Life List by submitting all 71 fish will be awarded a grand prize! Get started today and print your Saltwater Fish Life List or request to receive one by mail at CatchaFloridaMemory.com.
Saltwater Reel Big Fish
Don’t let that whopper of a fish turn into just a whopper of a story. Memorialize your Saltwater Reel Big Fish by submitting a photo of you with your catch and a photo of the fish over a measuring device. This program includes 30 different species in both adult and youth (15 and younger) categories. Successful participants receive a prize pack including a certificate of accomplishment and a colorful shirt, and are eligible for additional prizes as they catch five, 10, 15 or all 30 different Saltwater Reel Big Fish species. Plus, anglers who submit all 30 species will get a grand prize!
Saltwater Grand Slams
Can you meet the challenge? FWC has nine different Saltwater Grand Slams that award anglers for catching three specified fish within a 24-hour period, and the categories may surprise and challenge you. From the Inshore Grand Slam consisting of red drum, spotted seatrout and flounder to the Florida Grand Slam of permit, tarpon and bonefish, these challenges will make you work to increase your fishing skills. The program even includes a Small Fry Grand Slam for anglers 15 and under who catch a pinfish, catfish and grunt. Successful anglers receive a prize pack with a certificate of accomplishment and a colorful shirt showing the fish from their Grand Slam, and can win additional prizes when they catch three, six, or all eligible Grand Slams. Plus, a grand prize will be given to anglers who complete all eligible slams!
For more information
Learn more about Catch a Florida Memory programs and submit catches today at CatchaFloridaMemory.com. Keep track of who’s catching what on the Catch a Florida Memory Facebook page, Facebook.com/CatchaFLMemory. Want to learn more about saltwater fishing? View how-to videos at MyFWC.com/SaltwaterFishing. And brush up on your saltwater fish identification skills at MyFWC.com/FishingLines.
Have questions? Are you a business or organization that would like to partner with Catch a Florida Memory? Email AnglerRecognition@MyFWC.com or call 850-487-0554.0