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How To Reel In a 2023 Angler Award, Georgia Fishing Forecasts Provide Great Info for Anglers

Dereck Fulton with a 2023 Angler Award fish from Clarks Hill Lake / GA DNR

The Angler Award program recognizes individuals who catch fish that meet or exceed a specific weight or length for that particular species, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD).

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“The Angler Award program has grown significantly over the last 20 years, going from 25 anglers in 2002 to 298 anglers in 2022, and we love seeing all these great fish that are being caught by Georgia anglers,” says Scott Robinson, Chief of the WRD Fisheries Management Section. “We believe that the Angler Award program helps generate excitement for those that qualify and motivates them to pursue more fish throughout their life.”

Anglers submitting successful applications receive a frameable certificate, a t-shirt and a custom hat!

Angler Award Opportunities:

  • Angler Award-Adult: Anglers (age 16 and up) can be rewarded for catching quality size fish (kept fish or catch-and-release) that meet or beat a specific weight or length.
  • Angler Award-Youth: Anglers (age 15 and younger) can be rewarded for catching quality size fish (kept fish or catch-and-release) that meet or beat a specific weight or length. Note: weights and lengths reduced for youth Angler Awards.
  • Trophy Largemouth Bass: Recognizing catches of largemouth bass weighing 10+ pounds. Catch one that is 13+ pounds? Get a free replica mount for fish that qualify!
  • PFA Record: Recognizing the largest fish of each species caught and properly documented at each PFA. Species include Largemouth Bass, Black or White Crappie, Bluegill, Redear Sunfish, and Channel Catfish.

Anglers need to review all Angler Award program rules before submitting applications. Find the need-to-know info, including rules, weights/lengths, photo requirements and more at

Other Fishing Recognition Programs:

  • State Records: In addition to the angler award program, the division also maintains a freshwater fish state-record program for anglers who land a catch that exceeds the existing record catch weight by one ounce or more.  More information at
  • Kids First Fish Certificate: The division wants to recognize children across the state for catching their first fish with an online kid’s “first fish award” certificate available at
  • Georgia Bass Slam: Recognizing anglers that catch at least five of the 10 black bass species found in Georgia within a calendar year. Find more info at

Looking for a certified scale? Whether applying for an angler award (by weight) or trying to certify a new state record—fish must be weighed on a scale that has been certified accurate by the GA Department of Agriculture. Find a list of certificated scales at (look under “Angler Recognition Programs”). Can’t find a certified scale near you on the list? Check with your nearby grocery or hardware store, local marina, or reach out to your local WRD Fisheries Office (

There are not many better days than the ones spent on the water with friends and family, but an Angler Award might just make that fishing trip even more special. More info at

Want to better ensure your fishing success at your local waterway? No need to consult a crystal ball to get the fishing outlook, just check the updated Georgia Fishing Forecasts!

Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) fisheries biologists and technicians annually update the fishing forecasts for 31 Georgia reservoirs and 19 rivers, and they are available in one convenient location at

“If you want to find some of the best information about fishing specific water bodies, you need to check out these forecasts,” said Scott Robinson, Chief of the WRD Fisheries Management Section. “These forecasts provide information, such as best bets, technique tips and more and are each connected to an interactive map, which provides an additional layer of information to this already excellent resource.”

Lake forecasts include Allatoona, Andrews, Bartlett’s Ferry, Big Haynes (Randy Poynter), Blackshear, Blue Ridge, Burton, Carters, Chatuge, Chehaw, Clarks Hill, Goat Rock, Hamburg, Hartwell, High Falls, Jackson, Juliette, Lanier, Nottely, Oconee, Oliver, Rabun, Richard B. Russell, Seed, Seminole, Sinclair, Tobesofkee, Tugalo, Varner, Walter F. George, West Point, and Yonah.

Rivers detailed include the Altamaha, Chattahoochee, Chattooga, Conasauga, Coosa, Coosawattee, Etowah, Flint, Ochlockonee, Ocmulgee, Oconee, Ogeechee, Oostanaula, Satilla, Savannah, St. Marys, Suwannee and Toccoa rivers.

For even more fishing tips, be sure to check out the weekly Fishing Blog post at

Georgia anglers support fisheries conservation! Did you know that your license purchase allows the Georgia WRD to continue to do important research, maintain and operate public fishing areas and more? Purchase a Georgia license at

For more information on fishing in Georgia, visit

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