The Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The Department of Natural Resources announced the 2012 results from its Master Angler program, which has been in place since 1973 and recognizes large fish caught by recreational anglers.

This past year 1,189 anglers representing 25 states submitted catches that were recognized as Master Angler fish. That’s an increase from the 1,105 fish recognized in 2011. Of the entries accepted, 346 were categorized as “Catch and Keep” and 843 were categorized as “Catch and Release.”

Here is a breakdown of the most popular 2012 Master Angler entries by species:

  • 119 freshwater drum
  • 113 rock bass
  • 108 bluegill
  • 107 smallmouth bass
  • 85 channel catfish
  • 46 carp
  • 43 largemouth bass
  • 31 Great Lakes muskellunge

Master Angler entries for 2012 included four new state records, including black buffalo (37.4 pounds, captured on the Kalamazoo River by Bryan DeGoede of Kalamazoo), flathead catfish (49.8 pounds, caught on the St. Joseph River by Rodney Akey of Niles), Great Lakes muskellunge (58 pounds, caught on Lake Bellaire by Joseph Seeberger of Portage) and quillback carpsucker (8.12 pounds, captured on Hardy Dam Pond by Randy Bonter, Jr. of Grant).

Submissions are already being accepted for the 2013 Master Angler program. To download an application,