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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:

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 . 
  2. After anglers catch five trophy size fish in any combination, a Master Angler level I certificate and patch will be awarded at no cost to the angler.
  3. Anglers submitting five trophy size fish of different species receive a Master Angler level II certificate and patch. 
  4. The Master Angler III 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.
  5. The Master Angler IV will be awarded to anglers submitting fifteen different trophy species.  The award will consist of a certificate, patch, and a trophy.
Master Angler III Tackle Package awarded by Bass Pro Shop,  Kodak Tennessee

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  


Length (inches)

Largemouth Bass


Spotted Bass


Smallmouth Bass


Striped Bass


Cherokee Bass (Hybrid)


White Bass


Yellow Bass  


Crappie (Black or White)




Redear Sunfish


Rock Bass






Yellow Perch




Brook Trout


Brown Trout


Rainbow Trout


Lake Trout


Channel Catfish


Blue Catfish


Flathead Catfish


Common Carp


Freshwater Drum


Summary of Tennessee's Angler Recognition Program Entries

Master Angler I

Master Angler 1 Certificate

Maser Angler 1 certificate

Master Angler 1  Patch

Master Angler 1 patch  

Master Angler II

Master Angler 2 Certificate

Master Angler 2 certificate 

Master Angler 2 patch

Master Angler 2 patch

Master Angler III

Master Angler 3 Certificate

Master Angler 3 certificate  

Master Angler 3 patch

Master Angler 3 patch  

Master Angler IV

Master Angler 4 Certificate

Master Angler 4 certificate  

Master Angler 4 patch

Master Angler 4 patch  

Photo Gallery of TARP Fish