“Mr. Fish” dedicated to AZ fishing, donates 10,000 tiger bass to Roosevelt Lake anglers
From Jan. 2012-today, “Mr. Fish” has hauled 1,411,588 pounds of fish (more than 1.6 million fish) to AZGFD, and stocked 74 unique waters during 2,305 stocking events.
Roger Coffman — a.k.a. Mr. Fish — placed 10,000 tiger bass on his fish transport truck, along with a scheduled catfish delivery, and drove them from Arkansas to Arizona.
The reason for the May delivery to stock the bass into Roosevelt Lake was simple: He has a long-standing philosophy that he’s implemented for years, and that’s to always give something back to the people who help make you successful.
Those tiger bass could have been easily sold in the fish business for at least $1 apiece.
Two years ago we did a story about Coffman. He is the state vendor for catfish, bass, crappie, sunfish, and grass carp. Roger and his grandson (Jimmy Coffman) make up the Mr. Fish organization and have been exceptionally generous in donating fish to the Department.
In 2017, Roger acquired and donated 8,000 highly desired tiger bass, which are a genetic cross between a pure Florida strain and an aggressive- and fast-growing northern strain, largemouth bass.
Well, back in May of this year Roger happened across another tiger bass that were bred and raised at American Sportfish Hatchery in Alabama. Roger knew exactly what to do with them – donate them to Arizona.
About “Mr Fish”
Roger operates in multiple states delivering sport fish such as catfish, bass, crappie, sunfish, striped bass, as well as bait fish like golden shiners and fatheads (tuffies as they are called in the South). He buys fish from select aquaculture farms, transports and stocks those fish for buyers like Arizona Game and Fish Department. A stickler for quality because he hauls fish from coast-to-coast, Roger makes sure the fish are in tip-top condition in order to survive and thrive after hauling them sometimes over 2,000 miles.
Roger cultivates relationships with the fish farm owners and operators that are critical to making his business work. At the conclusion of stocking season, he usually treats all staff (and their families) to a dinner of their choice, anywhere, any price.
Arizona buys a lot of fish from Roger annually, so giving something back like one-of-a-kind tiger bass is his way of completing the circle of success. In addition to the tiger bass, Roger has provided a pair custom-built Ford F550 fish distribution trucks to the Department in order to help distribute fish that he delivers.
We’re all in this business together to improve the lives of people by providing fishing opportunities. Fish farms invest 1-2 years in growing the fish. Roger acquires and transports the fish across country, and AZGFD buys the fish – it’s a mutually beneficial relationship that is wonderful to be a part of … so the next time you see Roger or one of his trucks, just know he’s dedicated heart and soul to keep recreational fishing a part of your life.