Trophy Fish Program - Master Angler Award

Any angler who catches, by pole or line, any of the eligible fish species that meets the length requirements may qualify for the Kentucky Trophy Fish Program. All applications must be received by February 1 of the following year. Species must be caught in Kentucky waters but can not be taken from pay lakes, hatcheries or commercial propagation facilities. Each qualified angler will receive a collectable Kentucky Trophy Fish lapel pin. The pin the angler receives may not have the same fish on it as the qualifying fish caught. An angler can only receive one pin per year but each trophy fish caught may count toward the Master Angler award. Each year’s pin will have a different species of fish on it, along with the year.

There is also a Master Angler category for anglers who catch three different qualifying Kentucky Trophy Fish species. Species submitted for a Master Angler collector’s pin may not be duplicated. The Master Angler collector’s pin is the same as the Trophy Fish collector’s pin except it will have “Master Angler” written across it.

Pins will be bulk mailed to all qualifying anglers after February 1st of the following year.


Entering the Kentucky Trophy Fish Program

An angler who wishes to submit their catch to receive a collectable pin and certificate will need to register online here. A picture of your catch must be submitted with the application. For those anglers without internet access, options are still available. Ask a friend, relative or neighbor with internet access for help in registering your catch. You can also visit a public library that offers internet access for public use. Questions about the procedure can be addressed by calling 502-892-4527.

The KDFWR reserves the privilege of adding/deleting species or changing minimum size requirements at any time to improve the quality or equitability of the program.

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Applications must be submitted within 60 days after each catch.  Applications can be submitted by logging into your profile.
  2. A clear, identifiable photograph of the fish (side view) taken with the angler is required with each application.
  3. The KDFWR retains the right to make final decisions regarding authenticity, qualifications and acceptance of an application for award.
  4. Angler must possess a valid resident or non-resident Kentucky fishing license. Persons exempt from license must give SSN.
  5. Fish must be taken by sportfishing methods using handheld pole and hook & line only. Catches using trot lines, set lines, and jug lines are not eligible.
  6. Fish from pay lakes, hatcheries or taken from commercial propagation facilities are not eligible.
  7. Species of fish and their respective minimum lengths are listed in the eligible species list.


A certificate of merit and a Trophy Fish lapel pin will be awarded to each angler meeting the above requirements. There is no limit on the number of Trophy Fish Awards an angler may receive but an angler can only receive one Trophy Fish lapel pin per year.


Master Angler Award processing is temporarily suspended while we update our database and order new pins. Thank you for your patience!

  1. Any three (3) different species of trophy status caught by the same angler makes the angler eligible for the Master Angler Award.
  2. Upon verification of the third trophy species, the angler will receive a Master Angler Award certificate of merit, and a Master Angler lapel pin. The certificate will state what three species were caught, size of each fish and designate the individual as a Master Angler in Kentucky. Species submitted for any Master Angler Award may not be duplicated.
  3. There is no time limit in which the three different species must be caught, provided each catch has been documented/registered as a trophy fish with the KDFWR.

Pins will be bulk mailed to all qualifying anglers after February 1st of the following year.

Trophy Fish/Master Angler Award Program

Anglers who catch exceptional fish by pole and line methods may qualify for the Trophy Fish/Master Angler Awards Program.

Eligible Species and Minimum Lengths in Inches:

  • Blue Catfish: 35
  • Bluegill: 10
  • Bowfin: 25
  • Brook Trout: 15
  • Brown Trout: 20
  • Bullhead Catfish: 14
  • Common Carp: 35
  • Chain Pickerel: 24
  • Channel Catfish: 28
  • Crappie: 15
  • Flathead Catfish: 35
  • Freshwater Drum: 25
  • Gar: 40
  • Hybrid Striped Bass: 23
  • Kentucky Bass: 16
  • Largemouth Bass: 23
  • Muskellunge: 40
  • Rainbow Trout: 20
  • Redbreast Sunfish: 10
  • Redear Sunfish: 10
  • Rock Bass: 10
  • Sauger: 18
  • Saugeye: 23
  • Smallmouth Bass: 20
  • Striped Bass: 36
  • Walleye: 25
  • White Bass: 16
  • Yellow Perch: 10​

Kentucky Trophy Fish Collector Pins

Once all anglers who submitted an application for the Kentucky Trophy Fish Program receive their collector’s pin, the excess will be available for $5.00 each after February 1st of the following year. If you would like to purchase a collector’s pin, please send a check or money order for $5.00 to Kentucky Trophy Fish Program, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, #1 Sportsman’s Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601.

The young angler pictured caught this 12-inch “trophy” sunfish at Meadowview Lake in Spencer County. 
The young angler pictured caught this 12-inch “trophy” sunfish at Meadowview Lake in Spencer County.