Fellsmere Reservoir Produces First TrophyCatch Hall of Fame Bass

Fellsmere Reservoir Produces First TrophyCatch Hall of Fame Bass

Fellsmere Reservoir (Headwaters) in Indian River County joined an elite list of Florida waters when its first Hall of Fame bass weighing 13 pounds or heavier was approved in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) TrophyCatch program.

Angler Doug Smith from Canada caught the 13-pound, 2-ounce bass while fishing with Captain Nate Shellen on April 6 and submitted the required fish-on-scale photo clearly displaying the fish’s weight to successfully verify his accomplishment with TrophyCatch. The fish was released alive in accordance with program requirements to continue reproducing and possibly provide a catch of a lifetime for another lucky angler.

Captain Nate with Shellen Guide Service said Doug’s catch was the “biggest of my career and I’m amazed and blown away that I saw it eat the bait. It was incredible!”

“Fellsmere has benefited from a number of enhancements that contribute to producing trophy bass including special regulations, habitat reclamation, vegetation management, and stocking,” said Regional Fisheries Administrator Scott Bisping. “It’s especially gratifying to see this fish come from one of our new Florida Trophy Bass Project waters.”

Over 150 Hall of Fame bass weighing 13 pounds or more have been approved into TrophyCatch since the citizen-science program was launched in 2012. The minimum catch weight is 8 pounds to participate in the program. Anglers are required to photograph or video the entire fish on a scale with the weight visible in order to qualify for prizing from fishing industry conservation partners including Bass Pro Shops, AFTCO, and Shimano.

Hall of Fame winners also score a free customized fiberglass mount representing their catch from Gray Taxidermy to commemorate the memorable event. Doug Smith landed an additional $50 Bass Pro Shops gift card by documenting the fish’s length, which provides more information to biologists about the health of this rare catch.

For more TrophyCatch program details like where the biggest bass have been reported, where the most recent catches are being caught, and to register for a chance to win a Phoenix bass boat, visit To learn more about the Florida Trophy Bass Project, visit