New Zealand Fisher magazine – April issue 2011

Yep, I know there is a blizzard of on-line magazines trying to swamp our screens, but this new, New Zealand magazine, on saltwater fishing is looking good.

Quite rightly New Zealand’s trout fishing gets a lot of press, but our saltwater fishing is world class as well.  See the April edition, and previous editions here.


Pretty accurate hook size chart – if you print it

Finding an accurate hook size chart has been difficult, many are wildly inaccurate, even from reputable manufacturers – but at last I found one.

I have just uploaded a PDF document of Tiemco fly and salt water hooks. The sizes appear to be fairly accurate, but only if you print the chart at 100%. Sizes on your screen are not accurate as they are distorted by the pixel setting your screen uses.

The hook styles and shapes do not cover all hooks, but all the basics are there, so it is an excellent overall guide.

For full run-down of hook information see this.

Who’s Name Goes in the Record Book

I get a lot of questions and some I can even answer, or find an answer, for my Answers page.

But this question was very interesting:

I have two friends that went fishing in the Michigan U.P., USA. and on this particular trip landed a very large Muskie.  The first fisherman owns the cottage on the lake and has caught Muskies before, the second none.  As you listen to their individual stories they both claim to have caught the same fish.  Both took separate pictures holding it, both plan on having their own mounts made, both continue to brag about catching it.

I was raised in believing that a fish is caught by one fisherman, the person who hooked it, while the other person being a participant by netting the fish or holding the pole while the fisherman that hooked it brings it into the boat is just a witness or bystander.  Boy…. did the arguments start.  

I asked them if it was a record holder who’s name would it go under?  I can’t seem to get a straight answer to that question either as they each said themselves.  Can two people be listed as the catchee?

Even though it was just the two of them and not a charter, the second fisherman tells me that when a boat is chartered everyone on board catches all the fish.  Is this true?  Can you help me sort the rules out….  

Thanks, Curt    aka… milwpacker

Here was my answer:

On one hand, it is just great that two friends got such a kick out of catching the fish – and if they both want a mount of the fish that is their choice – whatever floats their boat, I say. If both of them believe the fish would not have been boated without the active participation of each of them, then that is for them to call.

But on the other hand, and it is a big but, as far as records go, only the angler who hooks, plays and lands the fish can claim the record, and only that one angler’s name can go in the record book.

This applies to all fishing records, even big game fishing, where the active involvement of all the crew is necessary to boat the fish, but only the one angler’s name is recorded . So your comment about everyone other than the angler playing the fish being just a bystander is I am afraid way short of the mark as well. It may well be that the angler could not boat the fish without the aid of one or more other people in the boat.

In fact it is usually true that a big game angler would not be able to get the fish to the boat without the skipper moving the boat around to help recover line, prior to all the crew action at the end. This can also apply in small boat fishing.

So, I am not sure if this clears anything up, except the one-name one-record business, but this has been one of the more interesting questions I have received.

Big and Biggest


A New Zealand woman’s claim to a world fishing record has came with a  twist in the tale. Earlier this week, Sue Tindale of Auckland caught a bluefin tuna weighing 219 kg’s (483#), setting an unofficial world women’s record.

But she may have only held it for a matter of minutes, as another Kiwi woman also caught a whopper the very same day. Lyn Salvidge’s bluefin tuna weighed in at 223 kg’s (491#) – an astonishingly four kilos more.

"To sort of have two ladies weighing in a fish together was amazing," Ms Salvidge says. "So they put Sue’s fish up at 219 and I was looking at mine thinking oh, so I was really quite nervous."

Despite losing the record, Ms Tindale was not at the very least envious of Ms Salvidge’s four extra kilos.

"I just did the fish for myself and Scott anyway," she says. "And I just wouldn’t swap the adventure. And good on her if she beats me, it doesn’t worry me at all."

The two tuna very nearly beat both keen game fishers.

"I’d never felt anything so powerful," Ms Salvidge says. "I mean, I’ve caught marlin and stuff before, but never anything like this. This was like a horse."

"The bait got cast and just about instantly we were hooked up, and I thought ‘oh no.’" Ms Salvidge says. "This fish just about pulled me out of the chair and then the fight was on and it took three and a half hours."

The Tindales say it will be tuna for dinner every third night from now on. Of the 219 kilograms of tuna, 180 kilograms was cut off for eating.

It will be a few months before the US-based IGFA world record scrutineers verify both catches.

(Footnote: It can only be guessed at how many thousand dollars these two fish might have fetched on the Japanese market – but it is highly illegal for non-commercial fishers to sell fish in New Zealand.)

World Record Line-Class Confusion

I just read a bleating blog comment from a Big Game boat skipper somewhere in the US beefing about the fact that he bought some 20lb rated line, but he said it over-tested by nearly 1lb, i.e. broke at 21lb and was therefore useless for chasing 20lb World Records.

The moan reveals some widespread confusion, and flat-out miss-information, about the breaking-strain line classes as used by the IGFA (International Game Fishing Assoc.) to determine World Record claims.

When the IGFA was set up  they decided that as the organisation was international they would use metric weights for setting line classes – that is the line classes would be set in kilogrammes.

But in the US line classes were described in pounds, and still are. But the nominal US pound rating (called US Customary) does not match the line-class in kilos. For instance the 10kg line-class, is 20lb line in US customary terms, but its IGFA rated class is 22.04lbs. So the line being moaned about above was within class.

So if you are chasing World Records it is usually best to buy ‘IGFA rated line class’ line – that is line that is manufactured to break under, but as close to the line-class as possible – but know that the line is rated to kilogrammes not the pounds often shown on the pack. It should also be remembered that line tested for claims must break under the line class.

Here are the line classes used by IGFA, showing the kg class, US customary, and the actual lb line-class the line will tested under by the IGFA.

Line Class (kg) US Custom (lb) Test (lb)
1* 2 2.2
2* 4 4.4
3* 6 6.61
4* 8 8.81
6* 12 13.22
8* 16 17.63
10* 20 22.04
15 30 33.06
24 50 52.91
37 80 81.57
60 130 132.27

* Also Fly fishing record tippet classes