Manitoba’s Master Angler Program is the oldest master angler program in North America. If you consider yourself a serious fisher, then you no doubt seek awards from this organization. They’ve been around for 62 years. In the beginning, the program had under 500 anglers and only recorded trophies from seven species of fish. Today, the program tracks 30 species and has over 360,000 trophy fish in its record books.
Basically, when you go out fishing and catch a fish of note, you can submit it on their website.
The criteria for entering a Master Angler qualifying fish are:
- Registered fish must be caught in Manitoba in accordance with provincial angling regulations.
- Anglers must use a hook and line to make the catch.
- A horizontal measurement photo of the entire length of the fish against a ruler, measuring tape or bump board. An action photo is optional.
- The date your fish was caught.
- The body of water in which it was caught.
- Your name and mailing address.
If your catch qualifies, then they will add it to their record book and issue any badges, certificates, and/or awards that you qualify for. Special certificates are given to those anglers who catch-and-release trophy fish. In fact, last year anglers caught over 10,000 fish and released over 90% of them! This shows commitment to responsible fishing and long-lasting resources.
This program for 12-year-olds and under is to get the youngsters excited about fishing and to earn recognition for their catches as well! Additionally, they give out awards for first catch ever, first catch in a specific species, and more! It’s an easy and fun way for kids to be a part of the Master Angler Program. Some kids even catch fish that qualify for the trophy fish categories!
We mentioned the Catch-and-Release Certificate already, but they also give badges to those anglers who release their very first trophy-sized fish. In fact, the badges awarded to anglers depend on the number of fish caught in different species. Catch one trophy fish in any species and receive a Bronze Badge. Catch one qualifying fish in five different species and receive the Silver Badge. The badges keep going up from here, the Ultimate Angler/Diamond Badge awarded to the person who catches one qualifying fish in 20 different species!
Kimberly Fox from Ohio holds an impressive record at Utik Lake! She caught the biggest northern pike the lake has ever seen, and the sixth largest northern pike in Manitoba history. The fish was measured at 134.62 CM/53.00 IN.
Utik Lake also has three anglers (Alvin Williamson, Gerald Hart, Tom Holmes) who are tied for second on the lake and #15 overall for the largest northern pikes, all measuring 129.53 CM/51.00 IN.
Clearly, Utik Lake is an amazing place to fish, with proven records of trophy fish swimming in its waters. Utik Lake provides optimal conditions for northern pike and other fish to grow to trophy-sized lengths. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll beat Kimberly Fox to hold the record for #1 northern pike at Utik Lake.
To book a fishing trip at North Haven Resort, the only resort on Utik Lake, contact us today!