Catch of the Year

This program is intended to promote the practice of catch and release fishing in Nebraska. Catch and release fishing aids in the conservation of our fisheries, and creates quality fishing opportunities by encouraging the release of trophy sized fish across the state.

Current Records:

Species: Length: Caught By: Date Caught:
Largemouth Bass 20.75 James Reed 06/05/2019
Smallmouth Bass 15 Eric Einspahr 07/03/2019
Bluegill 10 Taylor Sonnenfelt 07/20/2019
Green Sunfish 5.25 Andrew Svoboda 04/28/2019
Hybrid Sunfish 10.5 Eric Einspahr 04/19/2019
Green Sunfish x Bluegill Hybrid 7.5 Andrew Svoboda 05/05/2019
Redear x Bluegill Hybrid 10.5 Eric Einspahr 04/19/2019
Channel Catfish 35 Carrie Brown 04/28/2019
Black Crappie 15 Eric Einspahr 04/19/2019
White Crappie 15.25 Carrie Brown 04/24/2019
Flathead Catfish 18.75 John Vrtiska 04/20/2019
Freshwater Drum 11.25 John Vrtiska 04/22/2019
Fathead Minnow 2.5 John Vrtiska 04/15/2019
Shovelnose Sturgeon 23 John Vrtiska 04/19/2019
Brown Trout 14.5 Eric Einspahr 05/06/2019
Walleye 22.25 Frank Coughlin 08/04/2019

To view photos of submitted fish, click the species name.

To submit a fish for NEFGA Catch of the Year consideration, please follow the required guidelines:

  • Fish must be taken by hook and line from Nebraska waters. Fish caught on banklines are not eligible. Fish must be hooked, played and landed by the applicant.
  • The fish MUST be released alive in the same body of water where it was caught.
  • Fish must be measured on a rigid "store bought" measuring device, clearly showing 1/4 inch increments. (i.e. Stanley extending tape measure, yard stick, bump board). Keep measuring devices straight with no bends or twists. No homemade measuring devices will be accepted.
  • A minimum of two pictures are required. One picture of the fish’s length, and a second picture of you with the fish. Additional pictures may be required to clearly show the length of the fish if it's too long for one photo (see example below).
  • The pictures must clearly identify the species of fish, the length measurements, and the angler. Additional pictures may be required for hybrids or fish not as easily identifiable by color patterns alone (i.e. tooth patches, fins, tails, etc.)
  • The mouth of the fish should be shut, or it may not be considered, unless the mouth is on the underside of the fish (i.e. Catfish, Sucker, Sturgeon).
  • New records must beat the current record by 1/4 inch.
  • We will not accept applications for Pallid Sturgeon, Lake Sturgeon, or Paddlefish.
  • NEFGA staff will be reviewing submissions. Applications will be rejected if there is any uncertainty of fish identification or length. TAKE GOOD PICTURES!
  • Fish may not be entered if caught prior to 4/15/2019.
  • Email us the Application Form below. All fields must be complete.

Suggestions for good measurements:

  • Keep the fish’s head on your left and tail on your right with the belly towards you.
  • Shovelnose Sturgeon must be measured from the tip of the snout, to the natural fork in the tail.
  • Measure the total length from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail, with lobes of tail squeezed together.
  • Bump Boards are the preferred method of measuring but not required.

Examples of how fish should be measured:

Example of fish with mouth open and closed, the mouth must be closed to be considered:

Application Form

Copy the text application below, and paste it to an email. Make sure to attach photos of your fish to the email. Send email to: [email protected]

- NEFGA Catch of the Year Application -

First Name:

Last Name:

Email Address:

Fishing Permit Number:

Species of Fish:

Length of Fish:

Date Caught:

County where located:

Fish Identification

This link, from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, will help you learn to identify and explore the fish that may be found in Nebraska.

Click Here to learn about Nebraska Fish