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Eight cash-heavy bass swimming around Florida, one in Collier County; catch them by Sept. 30 to win

Lake Trafford.JPG
Special to WGCU Public Media/Florida Fish & Wildlife
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Florida Fish & Wildlife
Somewhere in the 1,500-acre Lake Trafford in Collier County swims one of eight remaining tagged largemouth bass that could be worth thousands to one lucky angler.

Somewhere in 1,500-acre Lake Trafford in Collier County swims up to $16,000.

It's not soggy greenbacks were talking about but rather one of eight remaining tagged largemouth bass that could be worth some of that cash to one lucky angler.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s TrophyCatch program will wrap up its tenth season on Sept. 30 with any pink-tagged bass needing to be submitted by Oct. 15 to qualify for a prize.

lake-trafford tag map.jpg
Dutterer, Andrew
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That deadline includes the remaining eight of 10 largemouth that were stocked in 10 Florida lakes and adorned with a special pink-tag, including the one lunker still cruising around Lake Trafford.

A hint map gives anglers a little bit of a guess at where that value-added bass might be in this Collier County body of water.

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Braun, Michael
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On May 22, Florida angler, Dale Dew, caught the first pink-tagged bass of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) TrophyCatch 10-Tag Celebration as he fished Lake Griffin. Dew will receive a $5,000 gift card to Bass Pro Shops and $1,000 to shop at AFTCO. This catch also means he has a chance to win an additional $10,000, which will be awarded at a ceremony this fall.

But, as many anglers already know, bass can stray ... and stray far.

The pink-tagged largemouth stocked in Lake Newnan's Lake in Alachua County and Lake Griffin in Lake and Orange counties have been caught.

Besides Lake Trafford, tagged bass remain in Lake George in Putnam and Volusia counties, Lake Talquin in Gadsden and Leon counties, Lake Walk-in-Water in Polk County, the Tenoroc Fish Management Area in Lakeland, Lake Istokpoga in Highlands County, Lake Rousseau in Levy and Citrus counties, and Johns Lake in Orange County.

The pink-tagged bass still swimming are part of the 10-Tag Celebration  commemorating TrophyCatch’s tenth season.

Catching one of these special bass and successfully submitting it to TrophyCatch will net the lucky angler a $5,000 Bass Pro Shops gift card and $1,000 to shop at AFTCO, the American Fishing Tackle Company, plus a chance at an additional $10,000. For rules, visit the TrophyCatch website.

The overall TrophyCatch program rewards anglers who provide documentation of their catch and release of largemouth bass weighing eight pounds or heavier in Florida.

To be eligible for prizes, anglers are required to submit photos or videos of their catch to TrophyCatch.com, showing the entire fish and its weight on a scale, before releasing it back into the water.

Participants are also automatically entered in a free boat drawing just for registering. FWC biologists use TrophyCatch data for bass research to make informed decisions about the management of Florida bass fisheries and to promote the catch and release of trophy bass.

For the latest news about the TrophyCatch 10-TAG Celebration subscribe to the program’s topic email (select “TrophyCatch” under “Freshwater Fishing”). For more information about the TrophyCatch program or the 10-TAG Celebration, email KP Clements at Kp.Clements@MyFWC.com. 

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