Catch a memory when your favorite young angler hooks their first fish!

Catch a memory when your favorite young angler hooks their first fish! When you catch your first fish the Iowa DNR would like to commemorate the event with a frameable certificate of your accomplishment. Species, size of the fish or age of the angler is irrelevant only that it be the first fish that the angler has successfully landed. 

It’s easy and free to participate:

Apply for a First Fish Certificate or View/Search First Fish Entries

You can also download the First Fish Entry Form with details on how to enter. 
Your child will receive a frameable certificate to commemorate this special event.




If you have caught a big fish in Iowa, you could be a Master Angler!

Master Angler Logo

Sponsored by the Iowa DNR, the Iowa Master Angler Award recognizes memorable-sized catches for more than 40 fish species. Anglers who apply and qualify receive an official certificate and car/boat decal.

Submit Your Master Angler Catch or View/Search Master Angler Entries

You can also download a Master Angler Award Form with award criteria and details on how to apply.


Master Angler Award Rules
  • Fish must meet the minimum species length.
  • Length is measured from tip of the snout to the tip of the tail, except paddlefish, which are measured from the front of the eye to the fork in the tail and sturgeon which are measured from the snout to the fork in the tail. If there is some doubt about species identification, contact the nearest DNR personnel for verification.
  • A witness must verify fish size; any fish believed to be a new state record must be verified by a DNR Fisheries official.
  • The fish can be released and still qualify for an award.
  • You must have a valid Iowa fishing license and fish must be caught by legal methods according to Iowa law (check the Iowa Fishing Regulations).

Master Angler award levels:
  • Species Specialist Award - catch five of the same species meeting the minimum length criteria listed below.
    You will receive a certificate detailing the species for which you have received the award.
  • Master Angler - catch one fish meeting the minimum length criteria of any species listed below.
    You will be sent a certificate with picture and a car/boat decal.
  • Silver Master Angler – catch five different species meeting the minimum length criteria listed below.
    You will receive a certificate, Silver Medallion, and a car/boat decal.
  • Gold Master Angler - catch ten different species meeting the minimum length criteria listed below.
    You will receive a certificate, Gold Medallion, and a car/boat decal.

Minimum lengths and potential Master Angler hotspots:
+ Largemouth Bass (20 inches to qualify)
+ Smallmouth Bass (20 inches to qualify)
+ Hybrid Striped Bass (24 inches to qualify)
+ Rock Bass (8 inches to qualify)
+ White Bass (17 inches to qualify)
+ Yellow Bass (10 inches to qualify)
+ Bowfin (Dogfish, 26 inches to qualify)
+ Buffalo (Species, 32 inches to qualify)
+ Bullheads (15 inches to qualify)
+ Common Carp (32 inches to qualify)
+ Blue Catfish (40 inches to qualify)
+ Channel Catfish (30 inches to qualify)
+ Flathead Catfish (35 inches to qualify)
+ Black / White Crappie (14 inches to qualify)
+ Freshwater Drum (25 inches to qualify)
+ Longnose Gar (45 inches to qualify)
+ Shortnose Gar (26 inches to qualify)
+ Goldeye/Mooneye (15 inches to qualify)
+ Muskellunge (45 inches to qualify)
+ Northern Pike (35 inches to qualify)
+ Paddlefish (40 inches to qualify)
+ Yellow Perch (12 inches to qualify)
+ Sauger (20 inches to qualify)
+ Saugeye (25 inches to qualify)
+ Shovelnose Sturgeon (26 inches to qualify)
+ Carpsucker (22 inches to qualify)
+ Northern Hog Sucker (16 inches to qualify)
+ Redhorse Sucker (22 inches to qualify)
+ Sunfish (Bluegills, 10 inches to qualify)
+ Green Sunfish (10 inches to qualify)
+ Sunfish (Pumpkinseed, 9 inches to qualify)
+ Sunfish (Redear, 11 inches to qualify)
+ Sunfish (Warmouth, 7 inches to qualify)
+ Brook Trout (15 inches to qualify)
+ Rainbow Trout (18 inches to qualify)
+ Brown Trout (18 inches to qualify)
+ Walleye (26 inches to qualify)