What to Do When You Catch a Big One!
By angelamontana

Posted: December 7, 2016
So, you’re out fishing, and you spend 20 minutes reeling in a big one…and it is REALLY big.  Now, what do you do?  Montana FWP has some info below for you:

2016 smallmouth bass

(2016 Smallmouth Bass pictured)

I caught a record-breaker! What now?

  • To prevent loss of weight, do not clean or freeze the fish. Keep the fish cool—preferably on ice.
  • Take a picture of the fish.
  • Weigh the fish on a certified scale (found in grocery store or hardware store, etc.), witnessed by a store employee or other observer. Obtain a weight receipt and an affidavit from the store personnel if no FWP official is present. Measure the length and girth.
  • Contact the nearest FWP office to have the fish positively identified by a Fisheries Biologist or Manager.
  • Fill out the Fish Record Form 25 KB and send it to:
    • Beth Giddings
    • Fisheries Division
    • Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
    • PO Box 200701
    • Helena, MT 59620-0701

For Montana Fish Records, CLICK HERE.

  • To view the girth and bait tackle columns, please download the Montana Fish Records 87 KB.
  • For more information contact the FWP Fisheries Division at: (406) 444-7815 or e-mail Beth Giddings
  • The * denotes Montana native fish.
(information provided by Montana FWP)