If you have ever gone fishing in this province or know anyone who has, you have most likely heard of the term ‘Master Angler’. These two words spell out the quintessential achievement for many sport anglers who drop a line in Manitoba waters. The term refers to any sport fish caught by an angler that meets or exceeds a minimum length measurement for that particular species. In essence, a standardized way to recognize trophy quality catches.
The program, created by Travel Manitoba in the 60’s, is the oldest and longest running one of its kind in North America. Originally, recordings were documented by the fish’s weight. In the 90’s the change was made to recording in length instead as this method is more conducive to catch and release practices and conservation. Every year there are over 10,000 entries of trophy fish submitted to the program and over 90 percent of these fish are released.
Many of you will have seen the minimum length table published in the Angler’s Guide every year. This page lists out 30 species recognized as sport fish in Manitoba and the length required to qualify as a Master Angler. New for 2017 is the requirement of a measurement photo of the fish against a measuring device for all entries. This was previously only needed for fish exceeding a certain specified length that was well beyond the minimum. This inclusion has helped to maintain the integrity and accuracy of the program.
Young anglers 12 years of age or younger can enter any size fish they catch in the Lil’ Angler program. Photo of them with their catch along with necessary info is all that is required. Each ‘Lil’ Angler’ will receive a certificate in the mail.
During the past few years Travel Manitoba has put on a monthly photo contest associated with the Master Angler Program. The ’12 Months of Master Angler’ contest specifies a certain species each month where photos entered are considered based on their quality and ‘wow’ factor. The monthly winner receives a $1000 gift card to Cabela’s. August is carp, so get out there the rest of this month and get a big one! For more information on the Master Angler Program visit their website at anglers.travelmanitoba.com