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

tunacatch_180

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.)

Cheats and Fishing

A little while ago I was having a few drinks with a group of fishy characters. The group included well-known big-game fishing charter-boat skippers, some deck-hands, and small-boat charter skippers, and a few fly fishing guides.

The subject of discussions was records, competitions, trophy fish, and the lengths some people will go to to win them. These discussions exposed the dark side of the fishing force.

Without exception, each of the group, (around 15), had been and are still, regularly offered many financial inducements to ‘bend the rules’ so that the client would win a competition, gain a world record, or ‘catch’ a trophy trout. Actually they are offered bribes, not financial inducements, let’s call it for what it is; a payment to cheat.

The full story is here

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.