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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

IGFA Record Book Going to New Lengths

The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) has long been the official keeper of the world record book for both freshwater and saltwater fish. Historically, these records are based on fish weight with a separate set of rules for conventional tackle and fly fishing tackle.

Beginning on January 1, 2011, the IGFA will no longer require a fish to be weighed to be recognized for a record. They've introduced a new category called the All Tackle Length Record. To qualify for this new category the fish must be measured on an official measuring device. At this time the only place I know where you can get the IGFA Measuring Device is directly through the IGFA Store, though the IGFA say's they will also be available through major tackle dealers.

Initially there will be just one category under this system, The All Tackle Length Record and is open to fly fishing and conventional tackle alike. Fish entered in this category are not eligible to be entered in any other category. The rules pretty much will be same as weight records except no gaffs of any kind will not be permitted. The idea is that the fish are measured and released alive and unharmed.

Initially, 60 freshwater and 67 saltwater fish of the IGFA recognized record fish species will be open for this new category. It's important to note that under the current weight rules it's not required that a fish be killed in order to qualify and the IGFA points out that many of these fish are released after being weighed.

With this new category wide open for entrants anyone who's been Jonesing for their name on a World Record Certificate now has a greater window of opportunity. Check with the IGFA regarding the minimum lengths assigned to each fish species. And don't forget to get your IGFA Measuring Device. That's about the long and short of it.