Specimen Sizes

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Amia Calva
Amia Calva's picture
How to measure

Another interesting thing to look at is how are we measuring the fish? Lots of anglers measure from the tip of the snout to the outer edge of the caudal fin for total length, but the its also possible to measure from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail, before the caudal fin begins. I like measuring to the end of the tail, since the caudal fin could be destroyed without changing the mass of the fish. I've also heard of people measuring from snout to the midline of the caudal fin.

Which measurement system would we be using?


2018 Goals: Silver Redhorse (x), Big Channel Cat, Fallfish (x), Black Crappie (x), Sauger (X), Muskellunge (X)

2019 Goals: Golden Redhorse, White Bass, Spotted Sucker, Northern Sunfish

FP4LifesDad's picture
I just found this too,

I just found this too, interesting read and great idea, hopefully you guys go thru with it.  It can always be adjusted if something seems way to high or low.  MN has the Master Angler program similar to this, if you haven't seen it here is the link to it:



Perc30's picture
I really like the idea of the

I really like the idea of the awards...provides another set of goals to shoot for while fishing, and as far as my experiences go the minimum lengths look good (might as well be difficult to achieve otherwise what is the point of an award)...for example a 32" walleye is a giant for sure but I've seen a 31.75" come out of a Canadian shield lake and there is definitely a shot at one that size on Lake Erie, lake Winnipeg, Columbia River etc.

Divemaster's picture
I'm a fan of this idea as

I'm a fan of this idea as well. If there's any consideration on the table of going through with this.

andy's picture

I think we should re-visit the Specimen Awards.  Any thoughts?  I still think we should go big on the lengths so they are very difficult to attain.

Outdoors4life's picture

An award should be for those special sizes.

That said How do we make sure that they are legit?

I have seen many fish claimed sizes that I do not believe. Then again Sometimes pics don't do justice. I'll take beauty and memories over size any day.

It is all perspective!

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andy's picture

I think you need a measuring tape next to the fish.  This will make it difficult for some species, but I don't see another fair way.

SomewhereDownstream's picture
Specimen awards

I like most of the suggestions for specimen sizes, but I think we forgot fallfish. This is one species I do know well, (I catch them almost daily in the summer) and I would probably set the specimen size at eighteen inches if you are thinking of big standards, because I've only ever seen two that size. If you want to be a little bit more reasonable, go with sixteen inches, but that's more of a "trophy size" than an honest to gosh, knees-knocking monster. 

I also have some opinions on the trout listings. I know people are going to hate me for it, but I think that stockers shouldn't count for specimen awards, with the possible exception of great lakes steelhead. I think that you just can't really compare a pellet-fed triploid monster to a pretty little small-stream brook trout, at least not in size. The biggest native brookie in the stream is generally smaller than the average stocked trout here in Pennsylvania, and I'd imagine that's how it is in most of the rest of the brook trout's native range, too. There is just no comparison. 

That said, I do my fair share of triploid monster fishing, and I understand that some of us don't have access to wild trout. Maybe we could have separate categories for wild and stocked fish. I'm thinking maybe twelve inches for a wild brookie, twenty for a stocker? I don't fish for any of the other species enough to make any suggestions.

I understand that it would be hard to prove whether a fish is wild or not, but I feel that most of the people on this site are fairly honest, and if anyone does decide that they want to cheat, they're not really hurting anyone but themselves.

That's my two cents, anyway.


FP4LifesDad's picture
I'm in the whatever you guys

I'm in the whatever you guys decide works for me it's your site category!!  It's also a free site, which really shows your commitment to this place, like I said before it's got to take a helluva amount of work and time to maintain this thing, definately a labor of love!  Specimen awards aren't a huge deal to me either, actually my lifelist really isn't either, my son, on the other hand, it's a huge deal, and I enjoy fishing because it's with him and it makes me happy seeing him excited and learning life skills and not on the couch playing xbox!!  I'd set the standards high if you decide to do it, I'm definately against participation awards, it takes all the motivation out of wanting to be the best in any type of activity, where is the desire to try harder, practice more, go after it, and commit to something when you get a trophy for just being there?  I'm in the same area as OD4L that my happiness comes from catching fish and being in the outdoors, watching my kids catch, learn, improve, solve, and commit to something are great life lessons regardless if it's fishing or any other aspect of life.  But you guys were asking for ways to drive up membership and site traffic, and I do feel that is one thing that motivates people to get involved.  The tape idea would work, it may be hard but if it means something to the fisherman to hit that mark then they will take the extra time to prove it by the numbers.  Like Susq said if they cheat they are only hurting themselves anyway.  Yes there are some states where a trophy pike might not be a keeper in another, but some states also have different species that aren't attainable any place else, so I think in the end it would average itself out, and the beauty of it is it can always be tweaked to perfection down the road.  Thanks again guys we really enjoy the members, info, and fellowship that we find here!

FP4LifesDad's picture
One other thing if you guys

One other thing if you guys decide to move forward with this and use the tape as the tool, it's not that big of a deal to do.  Anyone whose ever fished muskie, lakes with slot limits, bass or walleye tournaments, etc. is used to going by the numbers.  We carry a plastic musky/pike/walleye stick in the boat with the curved end the fish's head butts up to so it's super simple.  When we fish from shore or on the ice we carry a small construction tape with us all the time, reason being is we document pretty much everything for FP's scrapbook anyway date, time, length, bait, location, etc.  It's not like you need to measure every single fish you catch, just the ones that look like they could be big enough to be considered a trophy class for here or in our case any new lifelisters for his book.

SilverLake's picture
White Sucker

Edit: Not intending to argue about what the sizes should be. Just some info. I think it would be cool if this concept was implemented!

I think white sucker should be increased, I caught 4 that were 23" and one 24" this week alone. My girl also caught a 23" and 24" specimen this week.

Corey's picture
Specimen Sizes

We're definitely going to set up something like this. Hopefully, the new version will be usable on a phone, too. You'd have to photograph the fish next to a readable tape measure or stick. 

While I like the idea of having the award be the longest fish caught of a species, that would mean every time somebody broke the site record by an inch we'd have to take away everybody's specimen awards.

I'd rather have a seperate "site record" award for that.

I've resigned myself to the fact that some species will be unattainable as specimens in some regions. I'd rather have that situation than one where it's ridiculously easy.

FP4LifesDad's picture
Good Idea Boss!

If you did it that way, you could have a page with all the beasts that were records for this site, that would be a fun page to browse and be super motivational for peeps to get out after them!  You'd also cut way down on the amount of fish for the page, I think MN has about 75 or so full size fish, 64 with state records, add a few more for other states where needed and it wouldn't be huge but wow, would really love to see some of these big bad boys in pictures!