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Master angler and state record
About the Master Angler program
The Master Angler program includes more than 45 species for which you can compete for honors. The Master Angler Patch is awarded to all entries meeting the established minimum length for each species.
Rules and requirements
It is your responsibility to review the rules and requirements prior to submitting an application:
- Master Angler application submissions will only be available via the online form above.
- At least one photo clearly showing the entire fish measured on a legible standard measuring device is required.
- No more than one entry per species of the same size fish will be accepted.
- 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.
- No more than one patch per species will be awarded to each angler per year.
- 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 nearest 1/8 inch.
Master Angler Program Map
Looking for your next big fish adventure? Check out the Master Angler Program map; this user-friendly, interactive tool displays information on all state-record and Master Angler catches – showing you where thousands of other anglers have had success.
The map offers clear instructions for navigation, but here are a few things to keep in mind:
- When choosing fish species in the left-hand list to turn on different map layers, click the corresponding fish icon rather than the species name.
- The individual points on the map show catch locations that were provided by anglers, and some are generalized to river drainage or lake center.
Master Angler database
The database contains information on all the Master Angler final reports. This 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.
Here are the most recent annual reports (these can also be found in the Master Angler Database)
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 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.
How to submit an entry
To apply for a state record, fill out the state record application form and send it to Cheryl Benson at BensonC1@Michigan.gov.