Weighmaster Training

Date of Publication
June 18, 2024
See Agrilife Learn


Learn what it takes to be a fishing tournament weighmaster. This online course is perfect for anyone who wants to become a weighmaster or wants to learn more about fishing tournament procedures, including tournament officials.

Course Information

Do you want to learn how to be a weighmaster at fishing tournaments? Do you want to become more involved in Texas' recreational fisheries? This course is perfect for anyone, from beginner to expert to tournament director. After completing this course, you will be able to confidently handle fish at the weigh station, manage personnel, and recognize potential tournament violations. You do not need fishing experience to take this course.

Weighmasters are essential personnel at sportfishing tournaments. They weigh and measure the fish entered into the tournament and oversee the weigh-in process. With the large number of fishing tournaments held in Texas, there is a need for well-trained, knowledgeable weighmasters coast-wide and in the community.

Whether you are an experienced weighmaster or are new to tournaments, this class will prepare you with the skills needed to successfully work as a weighmaster at Texas fishing tournaments.

Due to safety and liability concerns, weighmasters should be legal adults (18+ years of age). However, younger individuals can still help out at tournaments as assistants, as long as the person responsible for making decisions and supervising them is a trained adult.

NOTE: Included in the course purchase is a tool kit of training materials for the class. Included in the kit are a pair of work gloves to protect your hands when handling fish, a tape measure for measuring fish lengths, a magnifying glass to help you inspect a fish's small features, and several saltwater fish and shark identification guides for species found in Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. You'll also receive a Tournament Logbook, which you can use to keep a record of the tournaments that you work at. Additional resources for fish identification, including freshwater species, are available for download during the class.

Who is this for?

  • Fishing enthusiasts
  • Fishing guides and commercial fishermen
  • Natural resource managers
  • Conservationists and educators
  • Fishing tournament officials
  • Volunteer dock workers
  • Anyone interested in becoming a weighmaster

What will you learn?

  • The responsibilities of the weighmaster
  • What happens at weigh stations
  • How to weigh and measure fish
  • How to evaluate fish for freshness and condition
  • How to identify fish
  • How to deal with delicate situations like violations and disqualifications
  • The liability, risk, and finances involved with being a weighmaster

Course Outline

Module 1: Importance of Tournaments

Describe the benefits of fishing tournaments; explain how tournaments affect the economy; and differentiate between various types of tournaments.

Module 2: Weighmaster's Responsibilities

Distinguish between the roles of the Tournament Director and the weighmaster; and identify the specific responsibilities of the weighmaster before and during a tournament.

Module 3: The Weigh-In Process

Describe how to set up a weigh station, identify necessary equipment, and list the steps of the weigh-in process.

Module 4: How to Weigh and Measure Fish

Identify the appropriate steps and necessary equipment to weigh and measure fish.

Module 5: Fish Anatomy & ID

Learn basic external and internal fish anatomy and what supplies are helpful for fish identification.

Module 6: Dichotomous Key

Learn how to use a dichotomous key to identify a fish species, and we'll work through an exercise to practice fish identification.

Module 7: Species Identification - Common Texas Fish

In this module, you have two options. Module 7a presents fish species that are commonly caught in saltwater tournaments. Module 7b presents species that may be caught in freshwater tournaments. You can choose either module 7a or 7b, or you can do both sections if you'd like an overview of saltwater and freshwater fish.

Module 8: Fish Freshness and Condition

Describe how to conduct a visual exam for fresh, edible conditions and identify possible alterations or mutilations. You will also be able to identify and utilize necessary equipment for analysis of freshness, including two advanced techniques.

Module 9: Violations and Disqualifications

Identify tournament violations, describe how to handle disqualifications, and describe how to handle tiebreakers.

Module 10: Live Weigh-Ins

Describe protocols for catch-and-release tournaments; describe protocols for live weigh-ins; and identify best practices to increase fish survivability during live weigh-ins.

Module 11: Code of Conduct, Liability, Finances

Discuss the weighmaster's code of conduct and identify specific information the weighmaster is responsible for knowing. You will also be able to identify liability concerns for weighmasters and describe factors to consider when making money as a weighmaster.

Module 12: Conclusion

Discuss opportunities for gaining hands-on experience as a weighmaster, where to find information about upcoming tournaments, and what to do if you have questions. We'll also discuss the final exam.

Looking for solutions in your county? Contact your local extension experts

  • Publication

    This publication explains wildlife water sources, management considerations, rainfall catchment areas and wildlife tax valuation.

  • Course

    Do you want to learn more about land management? Are you a new landowner? This course is perfect for new landowners looking for wildlife, livestock, forages, and land stewardship education. It will help you learn basic land management concepts as you begin to make decisions about their land.

  • Course

    This course places an emphasis on fire behavior, how to employ the correct firing technique, and equipment & safety. After successful completion of this course, you will be eligible to schedule your official exam and field component to apply to become a Certified and Insured Prescribed Burn Manager (CIPBM) from TDA.

  • Course

    The Generation Next curriculum targets new landowners, those who are inheriting land, or those who are looking to start a new agricultural operation on an existing ranch.

  • Course

    This course will inform participants about riparian and watershed processes, the benefits that healthy riparian areas provide, and the tools that prevent and/or resolve degradation and improve water quality.

  • Course

    An aerobic septic system, or aerobic treatment unit (ATU), uses oxygen to breakdown both dissolved and solid constituents into gases, cell mass, and non-degradable material contained in wastewater. This online course will teach you how to properly maintain and operate your ATU. You will have 30 days from the day you register to complete this program. If you do not complete the program within this limit, your registration will expire, and you will need to pay the registration fees again to start over.