Master Angler

  • 2019 master angler patch, walleye swimming on blue backgroundPLEASE NOTE: Due to the high volume of applications received for the Master Angler program, anglers should expect an 8+ week turnaround for processing.

    The Master Angler program includes more than 50 species for which you can compete for honors. The Master Angler Patch is awarded to all entries meeting the established minimum length for Catch-and-Keep and Catch-and-Immediate-Release entries. Recognition certificates are awarded to anglers entering the top five fish in each category. Please note there is no longer a weight requirement for Catch-and-Keep entries.

    All fish must be taken by legal Michigan sportfishing methods, during the open season, and in Michigan waters OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. We reserve the right to reject any application if the entry does not meet the established criteria. Only 1 patch will be awarded for both Catch-and-Keep AND Catch-and-Immediate-Release entries. No more than 1 patch per species will be awarded to each angler per year.

  • Minimum Entry Lengths/Weights and Current State Records
  • Fill out 2020 application

    Measuring your catch

    Measure your fish from the tip of the nose (or lower jaw) to tip of the tail in a straight line. Do NOT measure in a curve around the body from nose to tail. Measure to the closest 1/8 inch.

    The Master Angler database (Catch and Keep, Catch and Release Final Reports)

    We maintain an on-line database that contains information on all the Master Angler final reports. This database can be a valuable source of information, allowing you to investigate where big fish are caught in the state, the times of year during which catch rates are highest, and techniques useful in pursuing trophy fish.

    Master Angler Database

    Here are the 2018-2019 final reports - these can also be found in the Master Angler Database above:

    How it benefits our state

    The Master Angler Program helps promote fishing as a popular sport in Michigan and provides anglers with valuable information on where the big fish in our state can be found, when is the best time to fish for them and what's the most successful fishing method, bait and/or lure.

    Thanks to the Master Angler Program, not only does Michigan serve as an angling mecca for the dedicated angler, people come from across the globe to fish in our state and try to catch a big fish.

State Record

  • State records are recognized by weight only. To qualify for a state record, your fish must exceed the current listed state record weight and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist. If you think you've caught a state record fish, please contact a DNR fisheries biologist as soon as possible. All potential state record fish must be weighed on a commercial scale (grocery store, meat market, etc.) and record the business name where scale is located. If possible, attach weight slip.

    Current State Record Fish

    How to Submit an Entry

    State Record Fish Application

    To apply for a state record, fill out the State Record application form and send it to: Fisheries Division, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, PO Box 30446, Lansing MI 48909.