Most anglers dream of catching a record fish and are constantly chasing trophy fish or a number of game fish species to make a “slam”. Trophy fish are much more difficult to land in a kayak because of the lack of leverage and height off the water. When these trophies are landed, however, the mind seems to race and the question always arises, “is this a record fish”? Well, it could be depending on who you ask.
There are many entities out there that keep records of large fish catches for regional, state, country and worldwide. Most records are by weight and require a certified scale to be considered. Records aren’t always for the largest fish. It can be a fish over a certain size to be a citation, or trophy fish. It can also be a group of fish that are difficult to catch during a single fishing trip, also known as a “slam”.
The International Game Fish Association, or IGFA, keeps track of records from all over the world. These records are broken down into line classes and all-tackle. They also keep records for specific regions. The standards for submitting a record to the IGFA are high, and many anglers’ applications are disqualified. Recently, the IGFA began taking submissions for records by length. Anglers must use the IGFA measuring device to qualify for a record catch. For more information visit www.igfa.org.
Many states accept record fish applications that offer special note of trophy catches.Virginiahas a citation program for game fish caught in their state waters known as VARP, the Virginia Angler Recognition Program. InMaryland, the State Department of Natural Resources keeps track of all state record catches.Floridahas an extensive system to track and reward trophy catches and even recognizes “slams”.
Kayak fishing clubs have recently began keeping records of member’s catches. The Southwest Florida Kayak Angler’s Association has a club records page on their website that allows members to post their trophy fish and hopefully break a club record. The Gulf Coast Kayak Fishing Association goes a step further in offering their members a Master Angler Program that awards anglers the title of “Master Angler” if a number of species are landed. Visit www.swfkaa.com or www.gulfcoastkayakfishing.com for more information.
Let’s face it, some folks just aren’t interested in comparing their catch, but for those folks that do, there are plenty of opportunities to show off that trophy catch and maybe break a record too!