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2019-20 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide Now Available

Tennessee Angler Recognition Program

The Tennessee Angler Recognition Program (TARP) allows anglers to have their trophy fish recognized by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).   Anglers of any age, who catch any of the 25 qualifying fish species and lengths may apply.  See "Qualifying  Lengths and Species" chart below.

The TWRA Fisheries Management Division sends those accomplished anglers certificates featuring color ©copyrighted  reproductions of fish artwork by renowned wildlife artist Joseph R. Tomelleri. You can view and purchase Tomelleri's artwork by visiting his website at:  http://www.americanfishes.com/

The program is designed to acknowledge anglers for outstanding sport fishing accomplishments, encourage catch-and-release of trophy size fish, and provide the TWRA with information on large fish caught throughout the state.

TARP should not be confused with the Tenessee State Record Fish program that recognizes anglers who catch a new state record fish (largest fish recorded, by weight, for that species in the state.) Instead, TARP recognizes anglers who catch trophy-size fish, by length, that are not necessarily state records. 


Trophy Fish/Master Angler Certificates

TARP features five levels of angler recognition.

  1. Any angler catching one of any of the 25 qualifying fish species that meets or exceeds the minimum "trophy" length requirements (see chart below), will receive a Trophy Fish Certificate, depicting the species. 
  2. Anglers submitting five (5) fish species in any combination receive a Master Angler level I certificate and patch at no cost (See examples below).
  3. Anglers submitting five trophy size fish of different species receive a Master Angler level II certificate and patch. 
  4. The Master Angler III level will be awarded to anglers submitting ten different trophy species. In addition to a certificate and patch, the angler will receive a "tackle package" courtesy of Bass Pro Shops-Kodak, Tennessee.
Bass Pro Shops-Kodak, Tennessee

5.    The Master Angler IV certificate will be awarded to anglers submitting fifteen different trophy species.  The award will consist of a certificate, patch, and a trophy.

Master Angler Certificate Example


How Do You Qualify?

  • The fish must meet or exceed the minimum lengths listed in the table on this page (Qualifying Lengths and Species)
  • Persons 13 years of age or older must be licensed anglers and must provide their license number (TWRA#) on the application.
  • The fish must be caught legally (in accordance with Tennessee Sportfishing Regulations) in Tennessee waters, by sportfishing methods only (rod and reel or cane pole).
  • The length of the fish must be verified by either a witness or a photograph. The witness must complete the section on the application and/or the photo must be of the fish lying flat on top of or beside a flat measuring rule or tape and included with the application. Note that photographs of the angler holding their catch may be used in TWRA publications, including the Agency's website.  See the award winning pictures by clicking here.  See the list of TARP Entries by clicking here.

If you believe your catch exceeds the current state record for that species, you should immediately contact a TWRA Fisheries Biologist for positive identification of the fish and the appropriate application. 

How Do You Apply

An application form may be obtained by clicking this link (Adobe Acrobat Reader required) or by contacting the TWRA Fisheries Management Division at (615) 781-6575. Complete one application for each fish you are registering. You may include more than one application form per envelope. If the fish length is being verified by photo, the picture must be enclosed with the application. For each Trophy Fish application, a $5.00 processing fee, must be enclosed and mailed within 90 days from the date of catch. Make check or money order payable to TWRA and mail, with the application(s), to the address at the bottom of the application. The processing fee is non-refundable for non-qualifying applications.


Qualifying  Lengths and Species  

Species

Length (inches)

Largemouth Bass

22

Spotted Bass

18

Smallmouth Bass

20

Striped Bass

40

Cherokee Bass (Hybrid Striped Bass)

28

White Bass

18

Yellow Bass  

11

Crappie (Black or White)

14

Bluegill

10

Redear Sunfish

11

Rock Bass

10

Sauger

20

Walleye

28

Yellow Perch

11

Muskellunge

40

Brook Trout

10

Brown Trout

26

Rainbow Trout

24

Lake Trout

28

Channel Catfish

30

Blue Catfish

34

Flathead Catfish

34

Common Carp

34

Freshwater Drum

28

Summary of Tennessee's Angler Recognition Program Entries

SPECIES QUALIFYING LENGTH (inches) TOTAL SUBMITTED LARGEST (inches) WATERBODY COUNTY
BLACK CRAPPIE 14 404 19.75 MELTON HILL KNOX
BLUE CATFISH 34 720 61.00 NICKAJACK MARION
BLUEGILL 10 192 14.25 CENTER HILL DeKALB
BROOK TROUT 10 472 19.00 OBEY RIVER CLAY
BROWN TROUT 26 127 35.00 S. F. HOLSTON RIVER SULLIVAN
CHANNEL CATFISH 30 86 44.25 LAKE BARKLEY STEWART
CHEROKEE BASS 28 77 38.75 FT. LOUDOUN BLOUNT
COMMON CARP 34 139 51.10 PRIVATE LAKE WASHINGTON
FLATHEAD CATFISH 34 205 54.75 CHICKAMAUGA HAMILTON
FRESHWATER DRUM 28 202 39.00 GUNTERSVILLE MARION
      39.00 NICKAJACK HAMILTON
LAKE TROUT 28 38 34.75 WATAUGA LAKE CARTER
LARGEMOUTH BASS 22 600 29.00 PRIVATE LAKE HAYWOOD
      29.00 LAKE SHERWOOD CUMBERLAND
      29.00 PARKSVILLE  LAKE POLK
MUSKELLUNGE 40 97 53.40 MELTON HILL ANDERSON
RAINBOW TROUT 24 95 34.50 WATAUGA RIVER CARTER
REDEAR SUNFISH 11 322 14.50 CENTER HILL DeKALB
      14.50 OCOEE LAKE POLK
ROCK BASS 10 184 14.50 DUCK RIVER BEDFORD
SAUGER 20 43 24.00 WATTS BAR LOUDON
SMALLMOUTH BASS 20 1062 28.00 CHEROKEE JEFFERSON
SPOTTED BASS 18 118 23.25 PARKSVILLE  POLK
STRIPED BASS 40 300 50.00 MELTON HILL ANDERSON
WALLEYE 28 59 34.00 CORDELL HULL JACKSON
WHITE BASS 18 59 24.00 MISSISSIPPE RIVER SHELBY
WHITE CRAPPIE 14 739 18.75 CHICKAMAUGA HAMILTON
YELLLOW BASS 11 8 13.00 TIMS FORD COFFEE/FRANKLIN
YELLOW PERCH 11 153 16.00 CHILHOWEE LAKE BLOUNT

Master Angler I

Master Angler 1 Certificate

Master Angler 1 certificate

Anglers submitting five (5) fish species in any combination.

Master Angler 1  Patch

Master Angler 1 patch  

Master Angler II

Master Angler 2 Certificate

Master Angler 2 certificate 

Anglers submitting five (5) different fish species

Master Angler 2 patch

Master Angler 2 patch

Master Angler III

Master Angler 3 Certificate

Master Angler 3 certificate  

The Master Angler III level will be awarded to anglers submitting ten different trophy species. 

Master Angler 3 patch

Master Angler 3 patch  

Master Angler IV

Master Angler 4 Certificate

Master Angler 4 certificate  

The Master Angler IV certificate will be awarded to anglers submitting fifteen different trophy species.  

Master Angler 4 patch

Master Angler 4 patch  


Photo Gallery of TARP Fish