At the Catfish Derby we accept only LIVE fish for weigh-in. Here are some tips to help you get your catch to the weigh-in station alive.

  • If possible, check to see if your fish is large enough to place in the money before making the long trip to the weigh-in station.  Derby standings are available at:

  • Keep your fish in a live well if you have one. If you don’t have a live well, or are coming to the weigh-in station off the water, keep the fish in a large ice chest filled with water. Otherwise keep the fish covered with wet rags.

  • Get your keeper fish to the weigh-in station as soon as possible after catching it.   Come to the weigh-in station on the water, if possible. Directions to the weigh-in station are in your registration package and the route is marked with signs in the Keys channels. The weigh-in station is open from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM.

  • stringerThe best way to keep a big cat alive while you are anchored is to take a heavy duty rope style stringer and pierce the fish through the fleshy part of the bottom jaw. Stay away from the gill plate as anything rubbing against the gills will eventually kill the fish. If you are fishing in 15 feet or shallower, have a long enough stringer so that the fish can settle on the bottom. Only put one fish on each stringer so they don't injure each other. Do not use the metal clip style stringers.

  • Do not hold fish in live wells or on stringers longer than eight hours before bringing to weigh-in.

At the Catfish Derby we encourage catch-and-release. For fish you bring to the weigh-in station we request that you release them into the main lake after weighing. Please do not rlease fish in the Keys channels.

Keep alive tips courtesy of member Randy (KnotGillty) Ritter