Wednesday, February 2, 2011

IGFA offers new world-record fishing category: Length

Article first published as IGFA Offers New World-Record Fishing Category: Length on Technorati.
IGFA photo
Ever since the International Game Fish Association began keeping the world records of fishing in 1939, weight has been the one and only determining factor on whether a fish became a world record.

Until now.

The IGFA just introduced a new world-record category and it’s for catch-and-release angling: The All-Tackle Length World Record.

That’s right, world-record catches are no longer only for the heaviest but also the longest fish, with eligible species created in freshwater (60 species) and saltwater (67 species). The new category took effect Jan. 1, 2011, and the word is starting to spread.

“At the end of the first week of the year we had already heard from several anglers who were out pursuing All-Tackle Length records, or asking questions to help them get started,” IGFA World Record Coordinator Jack Vitek said in a statement

“This is the first time since Junior Angler records debuted in 1997 that a whole new category of records has been opened, and conservation-minded anglers are really excited about getting their names in the [record] book.”

That record book is already nearly three-quarters of an inch thick. It’s about to grow.

Measuring device
 All-Tackle Length rules, regulations, requirements, how-to measure fish, eligible species, minimum lengths and assorted information can be found on the IGFA website.

Conservation is definitely behind the new category, which has been in the making for several years. Not all the fish that become “weighed” world records are killed, we should point out, but many have been.

Some believe killing the fish is the only way to get it weighed on a certified scale, though that isn’t the case. But now, the new category gives anglers a chance to catch, measure, photograph and release a fish with the potential of qualifying for a world record.

Except for marlin, swordfish and most sharks. Sorry, those are among fish determined to be too big or feisty to be measured. Good thinking, IGFA.

So go after a world-record salmon, seabass, roosterfish, yellowtail or some other measurable and memorable fish, instead.

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