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FWC's Catch a Florida Memory program features new recognition

November 7, 2018
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Florida boasts some of the world's greatest opportunities for saltwater fishing, so it's no surprise that hundreds have qualified for rewards and recognition through the Catch a Florida Memory program.

The program has been so successful, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has created a new honor - Triple Threat Club - for anglers who participate in all three Catch a Florida Memory programs, including Saltwater Grand Slams, Saltwater Fish Life List and Saltwater Reel Big Fish. To qualify for the club, anglers must have at least one application approved for each program.

Katlyn Paul, one of the first to reach Triple Threat Club status, is a young angler whose fishing experience has exploded since she started participating in Catch a Florida Memory.

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"Catching the Grand Slam and Reel Big mangrove snapper was a big surprise," the 11-year-old said. "I was trying to catch new species and to catch fish to eat. I caught two new species, tripletail and white grunt. Currently, I am up to 24 species on my Life List."

Join the Triple Threat Club to receive a long-sleeved performance fishing shirt designed by partner Tony Ivory and have a chance to win a getaway in Martin County to be raffled off on Nov. 30.

The Catch a Florida Memory program encourages anglers to target a variety of species, helping to reduce fishing pressure on the most popular catches. The wide array of saltwater species included in the program leads anglers to try different fishing locations and techniques, expands experiences for avid anglers and cultivates interest in fishing for those new to the sport.

Anglers of all ages and skill levels can earn prizes when they: achieve a Saltwater Grand Slam, three specified fish caught in 24 hours; submit a Saltwater Reel Big Fish, 30 different species that meet a minimum qualifying length; or add at least 10 species to their Saltwater Fish Life List, a challenge to catch 70 saltwater fish species in Florida.

Catch-and-release fishing and responsible fish handling practices are encouraged to help minimize stress on fish, and anglers do not have to harvest their catches to qualify. Photos of the angler with each qualifying fish are required.

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