The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission's Division of Inland Fisheries keeps lists of the largest common freshwater game fish caught by sporting methods in North Carolina waters. It keeps only all-tackle records. No line-class records are listed, nor does it keep records on all species of fish. It does not recognize fish that have been caught in nets or on set lines or trot lines nor fish that have been speared, snagged or shot. To qualify for state record recognition, a fish must have been caught on hook and line in a sporting manner.
In making application, the angler must provide the following information:
- the common name of the fish,
- its weight on certified scales,
- its length from nose to tip of tail (pdf),
- its girth,
- the date caught,
- the location of the catch,
- the name and address of a witness to the weighing,
- and the name and address of the angler.
If there is no witness to the catch, an affidavit as to the circumstances of the catch will be required.
Fish caught in state-boundary waters—that is, bodies of water shared by adjacent states—must have been caught in the North Carolina portion of those waters.
The fish must be weighed on scales that have been certified as accurate by the NC Department of Agriculture. Such scales will bear a dated inspection certificate. Report that date as well as the location of the scales (name and address of the place of business.) Additional information may be required and must be provided if requested. The fish itself must be examined by a qualified expert. Fish should be frozen or otherwise preserved until identified. The Division of Inland Fisheries will arrange for a qualified expert to examine the fish. The above information must be given in written form and the angler must sign his name and provide a full side-view photo of the fish to:
Division of Inland Fisheries
1721 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1721
APPLICATION: to print and mail in.(pdf)
If you catch a trophy fish, but not necessarily a state record, you may also be recognized by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. See the North Carolina Angler Recognition Program (NCARP) for more information.