Unicoi Outfitters is north Georgia's premier guide service and fly fishing outfitter, located on the Chattahoochee River near alpine Helen. Look for fishing reports, gear and book reviews, and general musings here from our staff and guides.

Monday, January 16, 2023

How Big Is Your Trophy?

Wow, you’ve finally done it!  You’ve landed a truly memorable fish. How big is that trophy?

You plan to release it, but would sure like to know its size.  Here are a few quick and easy ways to obtain a length and weight on your trophy trout, bass, or striper.

First, mark your rod and hold it alongside your trophy as it rests on its side, in the water so it can still breathe. On my store-bought rods, I’ll take a Sharpie pen and draw a line on the blank at 12, 16, 20, and 24 inches up from the rod butt. On rods that I build, I’ll wind and finish small thread wraps at these intervals. And maybe go another interval or two higher on my striper rods!

A second method is almost as quick and easy. Buy a nylon sewing tape measure for a couple bucks from a craft store.  They’re usually 60 inches long, so I cut one in half for my trout and bass packs.  I roll each half up and put one in my fly vest and the other in my summer bassin’ sling pack. The tape measure is very small & light and doesn’t rust.

While trout are measured in inches, big bass and stripers are often discussed in pounds.  If you’ve caught a real lunker, that flexible tape measure can also help guestimate its weight.  Just measure total length and girth and use those two measurements in a weight estimator for your species. 

Here’s a nice article with those equations:


While some veterans just eyeball their catch and embellish its length in future fish stories, a lot of folks want to know the lunker’s  true size. Hopefully these methods will provide the answer you want while taking care of that trophy you will release - after a few quick  pics.

Good luck making and recording your fishing memories!

Unicoi Outfitters: Friendly. Local. Experts.


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