National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame

Box 33
Hall of Fame Drive
Hayward, WI 54843
PHONE: 715-634-4400

Visit the 143-1/2 foot, 4-1/2 story tall walk-thru fish and five other museum buildings. There are thousands of fishing artifacts, 360 antique outboards, 400 fish mounts, dated rods, reels, accessories, world record photo gallery, aquariums and gifts.

Tips on Establishing a Record Catch

When you suspect you have a fish on your line which is large for its species and may be a record catch, do not allow another person to touch your line or tackle during the encounter. More than one person involved in subduing the fish may disqualify the catch (except for help in netting or gaffing.)

Get the fish to a certified or balance type scale (one legal for trade) as soon as possible. Such scales are found in stores, post offices, fisheries, medical facilities, industry, feed mills, and often in sport shops, tourism centers or resorts.

To insure unquestionable accuracy, use a scale to which is affixed a seal bearing a number, inspector and date of check. Spring mechanism type scales are sometimes inaccurate, but may be used if they can later be verified for accuracy in case you are in a place where a certified scale is not available. Such spring scale check or verification documents would then be required to be submitted.

Weigh your fish only once in the presence of two disinterested witnesses and get their full names and addresses. Measure girth, fork length and total length.

Have your fish identified as to species by a professional fisheries person or taxonomist. If the fish is a suspected hybrid or a potential all-tackle record, have its species identified by a certified fish biologist or taxonomist. Get such identifier's full name, address and place of employment.

Have photos taken. Color is best. Hold the fish broadside for further positive identification purposes. If possible, take a black and white picture also for future press reprint purposes. Use a good camera, take a well-lighted, clear, sharp, close-up photo. For small fish close-ups, waist shots are best.

Do not open the fish. This may be required later in the presence of witnesses to verify weight if suspicion arises. Meanwhile, keep the catch cold-fresh or frozen until status is determined. A taxidermist can mount a fish that has been frozen.

Save the first 25 feet or more of line next to the hook and bait to later send with your application for laboratory line test purpose. Wind the line on notched cardboard to avoid kinks or tangles. For fly fishing records, save 15 inches or more of the tippet used, leaving the fly/hook attached. For rod/line/no reel, or ice fishing records, only the heaviest of a species is recognized, so a line sample need not be submitted.

For world record application and rules form, write or call the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, Box 33, Hall of Fame Drive, Hayward, Wisconsin 54843, phone (715) 634-4440; fax (715) 634-4440.

For local record application contact the state or province DNR or Fish and Game Commission. All the above services are free as a public service.

The above was taken from the NFWFHF 1995 membership book.

Memberships are $20 a year. You get the record fish book (including line-test records not mentioned here) and Splash, the quarterly newsletter. You also receive a membership card and a museum courtesy family pass, official garment emblems, and a custom membership calendar.