Rules for Establishing Arkansas Sportfishing Records

  1. The fish must have been legally caught in Arkansas waters where a sport fishing license is required. This rules out fish taken from hatcheries and pay lakes.
  2. The fish must be caught on rod or pole using hook and line. Fish caught on hand-held snagging equipment will be considered if taken from waters where snagging is legal. Exception: A fish caught using other legal sport tackle (trotline, limbline, jug, yo-yo, etc.) can be submitted for consideration in the "unrestricted tackle" category if it exceeds the record weight established for that species by an angler using rod or pole. However, only catches made by an angler possessing a valid sport fishing license using legal sport fishing methods will be considered. Commercial fish catches do not qualify. Regardless of what type of tackle is used, only one person may be involved in subduing the fish, except for helping net or gaff the fish.
  3. To apply for a state record, the angler must submit a completed State Record Fish Application which is available from Game and Fish Commission offices and field employees.
  4. On all record claims, witnesses to the catch are desirable. An unwitnessed catch may be disallowed if questions arise regarding its authenticity.
  5. A fisheries professional must identify the species of the fish. The identification need not be made at the time of the weigh-in, but the professional's name, address, phone number, signature, and title (or qualifications) must appear on the application form or on a separate document confirming the species identification. When possible, a good photograph of the fish should accompany the application.
  6. The fish must be weighed on a certified scale legal for trade. Certified scales can be found in stores, post offices, feed mills, etc. An employee of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must witness the weigh-in and sign the application or a separate document confirming the fish's weight. Only that weight witnessed at the official weigh-in will be accepted, regardless of the fish's weight when it was caught. Any fish establishing a new record weight will be considered, regardless of the size and species. One-ounce gradations are used for record purposes. Fractions of an ounce will be dropped. The fish cannot be altered by any means to induce additional weight beyond its normal weight.
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