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Trophy Fish Award Program
Connecticut Trophy Fish Award logo

The Trophy Fish Award Program recognizes and rewards angling skill.

  • A certificate of merit
  • A bronze pin for your first fish of merit
  • A silver pin for your fifth fish of merit
  • A gold pin for your tenth fish of merit or a new state record fish

State Record Fish: Defined as the largest fish (by weight determined using a certified scale) either captured legally in Connecticut waters or landed in Connecticut.  

For all potential State Record Fish, a print-out of weight from a certified scale must accompany the affidavit.

State Record Freshwater Fish
State Record Marine Fish

Trophy Fish Award:  Awarded for each fish captured and appropriately submitted per affidavit requirements and species criteria listed below (weight for harvest or length for catch-and-release).

Top Angler: Awarded to the angler who caught (during the current calendar year) the largest fish of a species listed in the minimum measurement table below (inland and marine species).

  • Male and Female  (Harvest)

  • Male and Female  (Catch and Release)

  • Youth Male and Youth Female  (Harvest)

  • Youth Male and Youth Female (Catch and Release)

Angler of the Year: Awarded to the person who received at least 3 largest fish trophy fish awards and had the greatest number of species (diversity). In the case of a tie, the designation goes to the angler with the greatest number (quantity of awards) within the species division (inland or marine).

Up to 8 angler of the year awards may be designated annually at the Trophy Fish Award Ceremony to:

  • Inland, Male, Adult

  • Inland, Female, Adult

  • Inland, Male, Youth

  • Inland, Female, Youth

  • Marine, Male, Adult

  • Marine, Female, Adult

  • Marine, Male, Youth

  • Marine, Female, Youth

General Rules for Freshwater and Saltwater Fish:
  • Top Angler Awards are given to Marine and Inland anglers who catch and keep, catch and release the largest fish of each species categories.
  • Angler of the Year is awarded to the angler with the most species categories. Awards are provided at the annual Trophy Fish Award Ceremony.
  • Youth Category is defined as anyone 15 years of age and under.
  • Saltwater entries by boats leaving and returning to Connecticut ports. No overnight stays in another state prior to day(s) of fishing.
  • Entries must be filed on the official Trophy Fish Award Affidavit Form.
  • Fish must be caught by legal methods by only one person.
  • Fish must be entered within 30 days of capture.
  • Fish caught in hatchery ponds are not eligible.
  • Fish must be caught during Connecticut's legal open season.
  • A clear photograph of the fish must accompany the Affidavit Form.
  • Fish can be weighed on certified scales at Connecticut bait and tackle shops, local markets, or deli's) or other state certified scales.
  • For species not listed below:  trophy fish awards subject to Fisheries staff identification and review.
  • Please Note: for all potential State Record Fish, a print-out of weight from a certified scale must accompany affidavit.

Trophy Fish Award Affidavit Form

Rules for Catch and Release Category:
  • All of the General Rules apply except that the fish do not need to be weighed.
  • A witness must be present when the fish's length is measured.
  • A Clear photo must accompany the affidavit. This photo must include the angler holding the fish and also included the fish next to a measuring (yardstick, ruler, or tape measure) device to clearly show length of fish.
  • The accompanying photo must be taken at the location where the fish was caught and released.
  • Fish cannot be taken from site and then transported back.
  • BLE = Best Length Estimate for highly migratory species.
  • Minimum Length = Tip of snout to end of tail.
  • Marlin and Swordfish - measure from lower jaw to fork in tail.
  • Shark species - minimum length is fork length.
  • Fish must be released alive.
In order to qualify for a Trophy Fish Award, the following minimum measurements are required:

Note: Minimum Lengths apply to the Catch and Release category only!
The minimum lengths listed below do not apply to the traditional weighed category.

Freshwater

Common Name

Minimum Weight

Minimum Length

American Eel

3 pounds

35 inches

American Shad

5 pounds

25 inches

Atlantic Salmon

15 pounds

31 inches

Bluegill

12 ounces

10 inches

Bowfin

2 pounds

24 inches

Brook Trout

2 pounds

17 inches

Brown Bullhead

2 pounds

15 inches

Brown Trout

5 pounds

22 inches

Calico Bass (Black Crappie)

2 pounds

15 inches

Common Carp

20 pounds

34 inches

Chain Pickerel

5 pounds

27 inches

Channel Catfish

4 pounds

22 inches

Fallfish

1.5 pounds

14 inches

Kokanee

1.75 pounds

16 inches

Largemouth Bass

6 pounds

22 inches

Northern Pike

10 pounds

35 inches

Pumpkinseed

8 ounces

9 inches

Rainbow Trout

4 pounds

21 inches

Redbreast Sunfish

8 ounces

9 inches

Rock Bass

12 ounces

11 inches

Smallmouth Bass

4 pounds

21 inches

Sunfish Hybrids

12 ounces

10 inches

Tench

4 pounds

18 inches

Tiger Musky (hybrid of Pike and Muskellunge) 12 pounds 40 inches

Tiger Trout

2 pounds

17 inches

Walleye

5 pounds

23 inches

White Catfish

4 pounds

20 inches

White Perch

2 pounds

15 inches

White Sucker

3 pounds

15 inches

Yellow Bullhead

2 pounds

15 inches

Yellow Perch

1 pound

13 inches

Saltwater

Common Name

Minimum Weight

Minimum Length

Albacore

30 lbs

40 inches

American Eel

3 lbs

35 inches

Atlantic Bonito

4 lbs

20 inches

Atlantic Cod

20 lbs

40 inches

Atlantic Mackerel

2 lbs

14 inches

Black Sea Bass

4 lbs

20 inches

Blackfish (Tautog)

8 lbs

22 inches

Blue Marlin

100 lbs

BLE (99")

Blue Shark

175 lbs

BLE (54")

Bluefin Tuna

400 lbs

60 inches

Bluefish

12 lbs

32 inches

Cunner

1.5 lbs

12 inches

Dolphin Fish

45 lbs

48 inches

Hickory Shad

1.75 lbs

18 inches

Little Tunny (False Albacore)

5 lbs

24 inches

Mako Shark

175 lbs

BLE (83")

Oyster Toadfish

1 lb

10 inches

Pollock

15 lbs

34 inches

Sandbar (Brown) Shark

prohibited

prohibited

Scup (Porgy)

2.5 lbs

16 inches

Squid

---

10" mantle

Striped Bass

35 lbs

45 inches

Summer Flounder (Fluke)

6 lbs

25 inches

Swordfish

100 lbs

BLE (47")

Thresher Shark

200 lbs

BLE (54")

Weakfish

5 lbs

24 inches

White Marlin

80 lbs

BLE (66")

Whiter Perch

1.5 lbs

14 inches

Winter Flounder

2.5 lbs

17 inches

Winter Skate

10 lbs

36 inches

Yellowfin Tuna

150 lbs

60 inches

Blue Crab

8 inches

8 inches


Past Trophy Fish Award Information:

Marine Trophy Fish Award Brochure

Inland Trophy Fish Award Brochure

Youth and Womens Marine Trophy Fish Records

Catch and Release Marine Trophy Fish Records

2019 Saltwater Trophy Fish Award Annual Report

2018 Saltwater Trophy Fish Award Annual Report

2017 Saltwater Trophy Fish Award Annual Report

2016 Freshwater Trophy Fish Award Annual Report

2015 Freshwater Trophy Fish Award Annual Report

2014 Freshwater Trophy Fish Award Annual Report

2014 Saltwater Trophy Fish Award Annual Report

2013 Freshwater Trophy Fish Award Annual Report

2013 Saltwater Trophy Fish Award Annual Report

2012 Freshwater Trophy Fish Award Annual Report

2012 Saltwater Trophy Fish Award Annual Report

2011 Freshwater Trophy Fish Award Annual Report

2011 Saltwater Trophy Fish Award Annual Report

2010 Freshwater Trophy Fish Award Annual Report

2010 Saltwater Trophy Fish Award Annual Report

2002-2009 Marine Fisheries Trophy Fish Program Award Summary

2009 Freshwater Trophy Fish Award Annual Report

2009 Saltwater Trophy Fish Award Annual Report

 

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Please contact the Fisheries Division with any questions. 

 

Phone: 860-424-FISH (3474)
E-mail: deep.inland.fisheries@ct.gov

Content last updated August 2020