IGFA

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.

Posted by Tony Bishop in Articles and stories on fishing in general, big game fishing

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

Posted by Tony Bishop in Articles and stories on fishing in general, big game fishing

What is in a Name – Nothing When it Comes to Yellowtail Kingfish

According to the IGFA – (International Game Fish Association) – the people who administer the World’s fishing records – there are two species of yellowtail kingfish.

One that seems to swim off the West Coast of the Americas – the so-called Californian Yellowtail – and one for the rest of us, called the Southern Yellowtail Kingfish.

Here is the problem:

Virtually all the World Records for the Southern Yellowtail Kingfish are held in New Zealand. Fact is that they grow to prodigious size here.

Average size in New Zealand is 90-120cm, reaching over 150cm, weighing to over 68kg (150lb). The current world record is 52kg (115lb) .

But years ago someone convinced the IGFA that the species that grew in the South Pacific was different to the species off the West Coast of the Americas. Problem with this is that it has now been proved conclusively well over ten or more years ago that the species are the same: Seriola lalandi.

The second reason given for separate records for kingfish were held was that the two populations do not intermingle. You say what!? Does this mean that if any fish specie populations do not mingle then they should have separate records? Of course not!

This would mean we should have separate records for Atlantic and Pacific Tuna, Atlantic and Pacific Marlin. Can you imagine different World Records for trout, salmon, or bass depending on which river or lake they were caught. It is a nonsense of course.

World records are just that. The biggest fish of that species in the World – not just where you happen to fish.

So, c’mon IGFA, get real and scrub those separate records for yellowtail kingfish.

Posted by Tony Bishop in Articles and stories on fishing in general