FWC biologists are asking anglers to be on the lookout for and report tagged largemouth bass caught in Florida waters.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologists have begun marking largemouth bass greater than 8 pounds with a dart tag that an angler can redeem for a reward. Tag returns will help fisheries biologists to estimate average statewide catch and harvest rates for trophy fish.
Most of these trophy bass will be tagged during regularly-scheduled fall and spring electrofishing. The Long-Term Monitoring program samples a variety of Florida waters of varying sizes, habitat types, fish communities, and angler demographics. Angler catch and harvest rates may vary between lakes, but this sampling approach allows for a more representative estimate of the statewide average by including a large sample of water bodies.
This tagging program is part of FWC’s recently drafted Black Bass Management Plan (BBMP). This long-term Plan was created using input from biologists, anglers, and various other stakeholders. Anglers indicated that greater opportunities for trophy-size fish should be an important component of the plan. Thus, FWC has made trophy largemouth bass management a priority. Our task is evaluating statewide average catch and harvest rates of trophy bass—data that are currently lacking for Florida waters. This information will be used to make informed management decisions to increase anglers’ trophy catches.
Watch the trophy bass tagging video!
If you catch a tagged bass:
1. Cut the tag as close to the base as possible.
2. Call 850-363-6037 with the following information:
- Your contact information
- Tag number
- Catch location
- Fish length and weight
- Date of capture
- Was fish kept or released?
To collect a cash reward, tags must be mailed to FWC:
Attn: LMB Tagging Study
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
7922 NW 71st Street
Gainesville, FL 32653
Please be sure to provide all contact information with tags:
- Phone number
- Email (optional)
Wire tagging is another method of marking largemouth bass for research and fisheries enhancement purposes. You can learn more from the video below.
Watch the wire tagging video.