Florida Fish Busters' Bulletin - June 2010

Florida largemouth bass - Million dollars for a record?

Many of you know about the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) Florida Black Bass Management plan. In fact many of you have taken the opportunity to provide input via surveys at fishing shows, fishing club meetings or other venues. That information, along with scientific information about bass fish populations and anglers' use, is now being reviewed by a citizen's technical advisory committee and FWC biologists to create the first full working draft of a long-term, holistic plan.

To encourage bass anglers to catch and properly report the next Florida state record bass, BountyFishing is hosting a Million Dollar Bass Bounty. The contest is open to all anglers legally fishing in any public body of water in Florida from July 5 to Aug. 1. Sign-up costs $7 per day or $19 for one week. However, the first 1,000 entrants will receive a 50 percent discount and only pay $38 for all four weeks.

BountyFishing.com provides anglers an opportunity to compete in fishing contests to win cash and prizes from their favorite fishing spots. Using FBI-strength image analysis software to validate winners based on photos, helps promote catch-and-release fishing. They also host an online fishing community that allows you to post photos, share stories, and discuss fishing topics. For a free trial offer of an Internet-managed fishing tournament, visit www.bountyfishing.com/FL. A part of your tournament fees goes to the Wildlife Foundation of Florida, Inc, a non-profit, public support organization that enhances FWC's conservation efforts.

BountyFishing will share information with the FWC as part of the Black Bass Management Plan initiative, which requires a variety of innovative data sources to document current and future conditions. FWC biologists are certain a largemouth bass exceeding the current official record of 17 pounds, 4 ounces (set in July 1986) is waiting to be caught. They are sure, because in 2008, an 18 pound, 8 ounce bass was caught and released in Florida that exceeded the record but was not certified by an FWC biologist (nor was a 20-pound, 2-ounce hawg hooked in 1923), or several other bass reported to our "Big Catch" angler recognition program.

Instant licenses are available at MyFWC.com/License or by calling 888-FISH-FLORIDA (347-4356). Report violators by calling *FWC or #FWC on your cell phone, or 888-404-3922. Visit //www.myfwc.com/Fishing/ for more Fish Busters' columns.

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