The Kentucky Trophy Bass Propagation Program helps pass on strong bass genes while giving anglers a free mount of their fish.
We would all like to have mounts of the lunkers we catch hanging on our walls. Unfortunately they can be quite pricey, but there is another way if you fish in Kentucky.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife (KYDFWR) will give you a free replica mount by donating your live catch to their Trophy Bass Propagation Program.
This program was designed to pair male and female fish that grow to large sizes to help pass on those genes. Their fry are then stocked at lakes across Kentucky to provide anglers a higher chance of catching more big bass.
The program runs from October 1 to May 31 every year. To qualify, a fish must be caught in Kentucky and meet the minimum requirements of 8 pounds for females and 6 pounds for males. During fall they realize sex can be hard to determine, and will accept any bass over 7 pounds.
After you reel in your big bass you must properly care for it until you can drop it off. They recommend quickly getting the fish into your livewell and adding livewell additives to the water to reduce stress. They also suggest trying to keep the water cool and not disturbing your fish more than necessary during transport.
The bass must be dropped off at the nearest participating bait shop. After filling out the proper forms, they’ll care for the fish until it can be picked up. You can view the full list of participating shops here or call (270) 977-3813 for assistance.
If your bass is accepted into the program KYDFWR will contact you on where to obtain your replica mount.
Currently there have been four impressive 8+ pound fish donated this year. The largest has been a 9.3 pound largemouth (pictured below) caught by Michael Carter at Greenbo Lake.
This could be a fantastic program if they get the fish to back it up. Hopefully in a few years the fry from these big bass will make some Kentucky anglers really happy.