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Entries in IGFA (15)

Thursday
Feb162017

That's Not a Goby . . . THIS Is a Goby!

Fish in the top photo is a round goby, an exotic fish introduced to the Great Lakes in the ballast water of ocean-going ships. They grow to about 6 inches maximum, but 3 to 4 inches is the norm. Also, they have proven to be among the favorite forage for smallmouth bass, and anecdotal evidence suggests that they are growing faster and larger on a goby diet.

Fish in the bottom photo is the world record marbled goby, caught in Thailand by John Merritt. It checked in at 5 pound, 3 ounces. IGFA says that it is "likely the largest of gobies." And with a mouth like that, it likely could turn the tables on some of those smallmouth bass that are eating its smaller, globe-trotting cousin.

You can see more "weird world records" at Sport Fishing.

The International Sport Fishing Association (IGFA) is the official record keeper for both fresh and saltwater species. You can see the full list here. For line class records and additional information, you must become a member.

Friday
Aug122016

Monster Muskie! Was It a World Record?

 

This muskie might have been a world record--- or very close to it. But we'll never know.

The anglers who caught it, Canadians Tom and Tim Berger,  photographed, quickly measured it, and released it into Lake Huron's North Channel on the Ontario border.

"We've seen and caught a lot of big fish up there, but nothing like this," said Tim.

The monster muskellunge measured 60 inches long, with a girth of 31 inches. To put that into perspective, the International Game Fish Association's all-tackle world record muskie checked in at 67-8 pounds, measuring 60 1/4 inches long and 33 1/2 inches in girth.

“This fish was so thick all the way back to the tail. We couldn’t bend it  to get it in the net completely," Tom said.

Often targeting big fish, the two also have caught a 54-inch muskie in Lake St. Clair.

“I’ve caught a lot of muskies. We’ve caught several in the 50-inch range,” Tim said. “I’ve never seen or had one this large up there. It was the fish of a lifetime for us.”

In Minnesota, meanwhile, Robert Hawkins caught a 57-inch muskellunge on a fly last November at Lake Mille Lacs. It also was measured, photographed, and released.

“I didn’t see the fish take the fly,’’ said Hawkins, who owns Bob Mitchell’s Fly Shop in Lake Elmo. “But when I felt her hit, I had a pretty good strip-set, I thought. Then, when I saw her turn sideways, I knew she was the biggest muskie I’d ever hooked.’’

Tuesday
Jun232015

Possible World Record Seatrout Caught in Florida

Florida Today photo

Must be a nice snook, thought Luke Ledbetter of Boaz, Alabama, holding tight as line ripped from his spinning reel.

Suppose it could be a redfish, he concluded, upon seeing the broad headwake the fish pushed as it neared the boat.

A 3-foot seatrout? No way.

"I had no idea speckled trout got that big," said Ledbetter, after Captain Peter Deeks of Merritt Island gently scooped up the trout with a homemade, sling-style landing net.

With the trout cradled beside the boat, Deeks took measurements. Growing up and guiding on the Space Coast, Deeks knows a truly big trout when he sees one.

"Every so often we'll catch a fish that really impresses me, and this one did," said Deeks, who runs Native Sons Fishing Guides. "I've caught longer fish before, but the girth on this one was just incredible."

The trout taped out at 34.25 inches, or 87 centimeters. The International Game Fish Association's record for length currently stands at 79 centimeters. Pending approval, Ledbetter's spotted seatrout will be recognized by the IGFA's new All-Tackle Length record program, which awards catches based on length rather than weight and requires that fish be released alive and in good health.

They kept the fish out of the water for just moments to measure it and snap a few photos. They did not weigh it, but Deeks estimates the trout weighed about 14 pounds.

"The largest trout I've ever weighed was a 33-inch trout that was 13.9 pounds, but this one was even fatter," Deeks said. "But I hate weighing them, hate hanging them by the jaw. They're really sensitive fish."

After documenting the catch, Deeks immediately called the IGFA to report the catch.

Read more at Florida Today.

Wednesday
May202015

Florida Angler Sets State Record for Flier Panfish

Twila Gates set a Florida freshwater fishing record earlier this month.  Her catch of a 1-pound, 5.6-ounce (1.35 pounds) flier on May 9 from a Jackson County pond beat the old record of 1.24 pounds. It had a length of 12 inches and a girth of 11.8 inches. The previous state record came from Lake Iamonia near Tallahassee, in 1992.

“If Gate’s flier is submitted to the International Game Fish Association, it could also could become the new world record,” said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).  Anglers from North Carolina and Georgia hold the current world record jointly with a pair of 1-pound, 4-ounce submissions.

Gates has been fishing with her father since she was a little girl and has passed her love of the outdoors on to her son, Jantzen, 15. On the Saturday before Mother’s Day, she was fishing from a johnboat with her son and his friend, William Hinson, at a 15-acre cypress pond. She caught the flier on a Shakespeare micro-spin and 6-pound P-Line, using a white grub beetle-spin, at about 4:30 p.m. Hinson thought it was a record and looked it up online and called the regional office.

Chris Paxton, an FWC fisheries biologist, met her to verify the species and carefully measure and weigh the fish on certified scales.

Fliers are probably one of the lesser-known freshwater fish in Florida. They are native and typically found in somewhat heavily vegetated ponds and backwater sloughs, such as the pond where Gates caught this one.

In addition to the record flier, she caught four other nice-sized fliers and the boys added two 10-pound plus trophy bass.

The FWC has several freshwater angler recognition programs including state records, Big Catch, and TrophyCatch.

State records require a biologist to verify the species and have a certified weight for the notarized application. The FWC maintains records for 33 freshwater species.

Big Catch is a long-standing, family-friendly angler recognition for those same 33 species. It recognizes anglers with a certificate if they qualify by submitting a photo of their catch online and if the catch exceeds specified weights or lengths. There are youth, specialist, master and elite angler awards as well. People can learn more at BigCatchFlorida.com.

TrophyCatch is the newest citizen-science conservation rewards program. By catching, documenting and releasing a largemouth bass heavier than eight pounds anglers earn rewards starting with $100 in Bass Pro Shops gift cards, recycle their catch and provide valuable information for conservation biologists. Anglers should be sure to register at TrophyCatchFlorida.com and read the rules, so they will be ready to document their next trophy bass with a photo of the fish on a scale and submit it for rewards. Just registering enters people in a drawing for a Phoenix bass boat powered by Mercury.

“In one day of fishing, right here in the Fishing Capital of the World, Ms. Gates, her son and his friend were on the verge of qualifying for all three programs ─ and topped it off with a potential world record. That is a happy Mother’s Day weekend for a young lady devoted to her son and the outdoors,” said Tom Champeau, director of the Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management.

Tuesday
May122015

'Aquarium Adventure' Planned for Bass Pro Shops Headquarters

With an opening planned for spring of 2016, America’s Wildlife Museum and Aquarium will provide a wildlife conservation attraction on a grand scale, with a 1.3-million-gallon “aquarium adventure” as the anchor.

“Responsible hunters and anglers are often the unsung heroes in conservation, despite playing a significant role,” said Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops founder and creator of the 315,000-square-foot facility, which will replace his Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium in Springfield, Mo., where the Bass Pro Shops empire began.

“Our vision is to create a world-class experience that celebrates hunting, fishing, and conservation in Springfield, where half of the U.S. population lives within a day’s drive.”

Designed by architect Michael Olesak, the aquarium will feature more than 35,000 animals and take visitors on a tour of the world’s streams, lakes, and oceans via immersive environments and wildlife habitats.

Based on a sneak preview, The Springfield News-Leader says  that the aquairum complex features  a saltwater tank "filled with live ocean fish, designed to give visitors the feel of exploring a sunken ship. At the base of the cylindrical aquarium lay the foundation for a hands-on saltwater stingray tank that will let visitors touch and feed the ocean creatures (the barbs will be clipped off) when the facility reopens.

"Large saltwater aquariums in the walls of the gallery showcased a 220-pound goliath grouper, 3-foot long spotted moray eels, live spiny lobsters and brilliantly hued reef fish. Overhead, schools of mounted tuna, jacks and giant hammerhead sharks appear to swim among the rusty beams of the sunken ship.

"In another area, visitors will see a tall tank with ragged-toothed sand tiger sharks, black tip sharks, bonnet head sharks and other species cruising above their heads."

Additionally, the facility will be the new home of the International Fishing Hall of Fame, now at the International Game Fish Association’s (IGFA) museum in Dania Beach, Fla. Through interactive exhibits, personal artifacts and recreated replicas of world-record fish, it will highlight the accomplishments of the world’s best anglers.

"We're thrilled with the opportunity to join a much larger conservation vision that celebrates our sport and the wildlife we love," said IGFA President Rob Kramer. "Partnering with long-time friend and supporter Johnny Morris on this experience is a win-win for our organization and our mission of game fish conservation."

The museum also will include fishing and hunting Heritage Halls, Boone and Crockett Club’s National Collection of Heads and Horns, the John A. and Genny Morris Conservation Education Center, The Wonders of the Ozarks Learning Facility School, National Outdoor Recreation and Conservation School, and abundant banquet space.

"The Boone and Crockett Club is honored to contribute our historic collection to what will surely become the most elaborate conservation education attraction in the world," said Tony Schoonen, the club's chief of staff. "Johnny's Museum builds on our rich legacy of conservation to ensure future generations will join our efforts to protect wildlife."