ALPENA, Mich. — While the colder months are approaching, there is still time to be recognized as a master angler of 2020.
The Michigan DNR’s Master Angler Program awards a special patch to whoever can catch impressive fish. There are over 50 species that can earn you the special title. The fish must reach the minimum length for catch-and-keep and catch-and-immediate-release entries. There is no weight requirement. A largemouth bass measuring at least 22 inches, a smallmouth at least 21 inches, a bluegill at least 10 inches, or a walleye that meets the 29-inch minimum will land you the title.
Huron Pines Communications Associate, Chris Engle has received four master angler patches from several years, including 2016 when he caught a 10-inch bluegill on Dixon Lake in Otsego. “It’s always a goal of mine, of course,” he said. “Any fisherman has a goal to catch big fish and to catch a master angler fish. It’s just a point of pride.”
Engle credits the state’s fisheries division for making the patches something to be proud of. “Each year has a different species on the patch and they’re really beautiful,” he said. “They’re really well embroidered and they’re something to be proud of and to display. I really credit the fisheries division for doing that.”
To submit an entry, make sure to take a picture of your fish being measured and include that with the online application. For more information or to submit an application visit Michigan.gov/masterangler.