Tennessee Angler Recognition Program


Brenton Athins, 10.50” Rock Bass - Little Swan Creek

The Tennessee Angler Recognition Program (TARP) gives anglers an opportunity to have their trophy fish recognized by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).   Anglers of any age, who catch any of the 27 qualifying fish species and lengths may apply.  See the "Qualifying Species and Length Chart".

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 Tennessee State Record Fish program that recognizes anglers who catch a new Tennessee 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. 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. 


TARP features six levels of angler recognition.

  1. Any angler catching one of any of the 27 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 "gift card " courtesy of 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.

6.    The newest level, Master Angler V, will be awarded to anglers submitting twenty different trophy fish, and will receive a certificate, patch, and engraved plaque.


How Do You Qualify?

  • The fish must meet or exceed the minimum lengths listed in the table on this page (Qualifying Species and Length)
  • 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.  Note that a picture of the fish may be requested/required for any submitted application at the discretion of TWRA.

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.

Cameron Hall, 25.5” Rainbow Trout - Little Pigeon River

Qualifying  Species and Minimum Length 

Species Minimum 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 28
Blue Catfish 36
Flathead Catfish 36
Common Carp 34
Freshwater Drum 28
Bowfin  26
Longnose Gar   45

Tennessee's Angler Recognition Program Entries

SPECIES QUALIFYING LENGTH (inches) TOTAL SUBMITTED LARGEST (inches) WATERBODY COUNTY
BLACK CRAPPIE 14 528 19.75 MELTON HILL KNOX
BLUE CATFISH 36 859 61.00 NICKAJACK MARION
BLUEGILL 10 233 14.25 CENTER HILL DeKALB
BOWFIN 26 4 28.00 HATCHIE RIVER  HARDEMAN
BROOK TROUT 10 498 19.00 OBEY RIVER CLAY
BROWN TROUT 26 151 35.00 S. F. HOLSTON RIVER SULLIVAN
CHANNEL CATFISH 28 111 44.25 LAKE BARKLEY STEWART
CHEROKEE BASS 28 98 38.75 FT. LOUDOUN BLOUNT
COMMON CARP 34 148 51.10 PRIVATE LAKE WASHINGTON
FLATHEAD CATFISH 36 277 54.75 CHICKAMAUGA HAMILTON
FRESHWATER DRUM 28 239 39.00 GUNTERSVILLE MARION
      39.00 NICKAJACK HAMILTON
LAKE TROUT 28 43 34.75 WATAUGA LAKE CARTER
LARGEMOUTH BASS 22 721 29.00 PRIVATE LAKE HAYWOOD
      29.00 LAKE SHERWOOD CUMBERLAND
      29.00 PARKSVILLE  LAKE POLK
LONGNOSE GAR 45 5 56.50 KENTUCKY RESERVOIR HARDIN
MUSKELLUNGE 40 108 53.40 MELTON HILL ANDERSON
RAINBOW TROUT 24 109 34.50 WATAUGA RIVER CARTER
REDEAR SUNFISH 11 416 14.50 CENTER HILL DeKALB
      14.50 OCOEE LAKE POLK
ROCK BASS 10 243 14.50 DUCK RIVER BEDFORD
SAUGER 20 51 24.00 WATTS BAR LOUDON
SMALLMOUTH BASS 20 1310 28.00 CHEROKEE JEFFERSON
SPOTTED BASS 18 144 23.25 PARKSVILLE  POLK
STRIPED BASS 40 368 50.00 MELTON HILL ANDERSON
WALLEYE 28 74 34.00 CORDELL HULL JACKSON
WHITE BASS 18 68 24.00 MISSISSIPPI RIVER SHELBY
WHITE CRAPPIE 14 899 18.75 CHICKAMAUGA HAMILTON
YELLLOW BASS 11 35 13 (2) TIMS FORD COFFEE/FRANKLIN
      13.00 MELTON HILL LOUDON
YELLOW PERCH 11 220 16 CHILHOWEE LAKE BLOUNT

TARP Certificates & Patches

Master Angler I

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

Master Angler 1 Certificate

Master Angler 1 certificate

Master Angler 1  Patch

Master Angler 1 patch  

Master Angler II

Anglers submitting five (5) different fish species

Master Angler 2 Certificate

Master Angler 2 certificate 

Master Angler 2 patch

Master Angler 2 patch

Master Angler III

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

Master Angler 3 Certificate

Master Angler 3 certificate  

Master Angler III  Patch

Master Angler 1 patch  

Master Angler IV

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

Master Angler 4 Certificate

Master Angler 4 certificate  

Master Angler IV  Patch

Master Angler 1 patch  

Master Angler  V

Master Angler V is forthcoming and will be awarded to anglers submitting twenty different trophy fish, and will receive a certificate, patch, and engraved plaque.

2022 Photo Gallery of TARP Fish

Click on the image to see a larger photo

Daniel Timbs, 26.50” Brown Trout - South Holston River
Jesse White, 48.5” Muskellunge - Caney Fork River
Andrew Schumacher, 49” Flathead Catfish - Chickamauga Reservoir
Ashlynn Baxter, 20” Smallmouth Bass - Indian Creek
Brady Spires, 49” Blue Catfish - Nickajack Reservoir
Joe Qualls, 37” Flathead Catfish - Kentucky Reservoir
Michael Liske, 20.50” Smallmouth Bass - Holston River
Brenton Athins, 10.50” Rock Bass - Little Swan Creek
Michael Rich, 28” Lake Trout - Watauga Reservoir
James DeLoach, 50” Muskellunge - Great Falls Reservoir
Alan Collette, 30” Lake Trout – Watauga Reservoir
Rick Dempsey, 24” Rainbow Trout - Ft. Patrick Henry Reservoir
Don Helton, 47.5” Longnose Gar - Cheatham Reservoir
Tim Nguyen, 56” Longnose Gar - Wolf River
Maggie Rider, 20” Smallmouth Bass - South Harpeth River
Ace Shaeffer; 10.25” Rock Bass - Duck River
Jesse White, 23” Smallmouth Bass - Caney Fork River
Jeff Miller, 22” Spotted Bass - Watauga Reservoir
Jeff Miller, 28.5” Channel Catfish - Watauga Reservoir
Keeton Susong, 20.50” Smallmouth Bass - Collins River
Hendrick Ruck, 29” Lake Trout - Watauga Reservoir
Doug Steffe, 45” Flathead Catfish - Norris Reservoir
Darrell Owen, 22” Smallmouth Bass - Cherokee Reservoir
Judy McCluskey, 11.75” Redear Sunfish - Kentucky Resevoir
Wesley Snell, 21” Smallmouth Bass - Nolichucky River
Cameron Hall, 25.5” Rainbow Trout - Little Pigeon River
Michael Ernst, 54” Longnose Gar - Stones River
Ashlynn Baxter, 10” Rock Bass - Swan Creek
Jacob Smyth, 29.75” Freshwater Drum - Clinch River
Rick Dempsey, 36.5” Cherokee Bass - Ft. Patrick Henry Reservoir
Brandon Simcox, 28” Lake Trout - Watauga Reservoir
Ashlynn Baxter, 10” Rock Bass - Richland Creek
Julie Matheson, 24” Largemouth Bass - Watauga Reservoir
William Pyle, 15.50” Black Crappie - Kelly Lake (Standing Stone SP)
Nathan Robison, 20.25” Smallmouth Bass - Woods Reservoir
James Clark, 37.25” Flathead Catfish - Center Hill Reservoir
Patrick Scott Kelley, 46.25” Blue Catfish- Chickamauga Reservoir
Reed Dowlen, 16.25” White Crappie - Barkley Reservoir
James Rudolph, Walleye – 33.5” – Holstson River
Daniel Minnich, 36” Blue Catfish - Watts Bar Reservoir
Joe Qualls, 28.25” Channel Catfish - Kentucky Reservoir
Christopher Smith, 32” Walleye - Powell River
Christopher Smith, 32” Walleye - Powell River
Darrell Owen, 22” Largemouth Bass - Cherokee Reservoir
Levi Binegar, 14.25” Black Crappie - Chickamauga Reservoir
Robert Patton, 32 inch Brown Trout -  Boone Reservoir
Robert Patton, 32 inch Brown Trout - Boone Reservoir
Stephen Pearmain, 35” Common Carp - Private Lake
Stephen Pearmain, 35” Common Carp - Private Lake
Rick Dempsey, 20.25” Smallmouth Bass - Boone Reservoir
Rick Dempsey, 20.25” Smallmouth Bass - Boone Reservoir
Ted Robinette, 35.50” Common Carp - Douglas Reservoir
Ted Robinette, 35.50” Common Carp - Douglas Reservoir
Tim Nguyen, 27” Bowfin - Rossville City Park
Tim Nguyen, 27” Bowfin - Rossville City Park
Russell Davenport, 20” Smallmouth Bass – Kentucky Reservoir
Russell Davenport, 20” Smallmouth Bass – Kentucky Reservoir
Joseph E. Willard, Jr. - 21.75” Smallmouth Bass - Nickajack Reservoir
Joseph E. Willard, Jr. - 21.75” Smallmouth Bass - Nickajack Reservoir
Robert Black, 27.5” Brown Trout - South Holston River
Robert Black, 27.5” Brown Trout - South Holston River
Ricky Banks, 27” Brown Trout- S. F. Holston River
Ricky Banks, 27” Brown Trout- S. F. Holston River