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FWC Approves Rule Amendment for Largemouth Bass Possession

by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

At their May 2024 meeting in Daytona Beach, Commissioners with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a rule amendment to clarify the possession of largemouth bass over applicable legal bag or length limits when participating in FWC documentation programs. 

The amendment clarifies possession rules when documenting largemouth bass for TrophyCatch, FWC’s bass fishing and citizen science program. It also allows for possession for the certification of a potential state record largemouth bass. 

An angler is in possession of a fish once the fish is placed in a live well or any other container. While current statewide regulations permit a five-fish bag limit for largemouth bass with one exceeding 16 inches, some specific waterbodies have regulations that prohibit possession of bigger largemouth bass, such as catch-and-release or maximum length limits. However, temporary possession is necessary for TrophyCatch submissions or state record certification. 

The new regulations will allow an angler to temporarily possess, in live condition, one largemouth bass over the legal length and bag limit for that waterbody in two situations.

  • 1

    The bass weighs more than 8 pounds and the angler is in the process of obtaining photographic or video documentation of the fish for submission to TrophyCatch.

  • 2

    The bass weighs more than 16.5 pounds, the angler is participating in the certification of a potential state record, and the angler has notified the FWC of their catch by following directions on the state record web page ( In both situations, the bass can only be released alive in the same waterbody from which it was caught. 

These rule changes provide a pathway for anglers to submit a TrophyCatch largemouth bass or to certify a potential state record, especially on waterbodies with catch and release or maximum size limits. 

To learn more about the Florida Trophy Bass Project, visit 

For more information about the May Commission meeting, visit, pull down “About Us” at the top of the page and select “Commission Meetings.”

2024-06-14T09:39:23-04:00June 14, 2024|Fishing|

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