As the record keepers for all big fish caught worldwide, the International Game Fish Association is constantly receiving and updating entries to its databases. IGFA keeps tabs on virtually all fresh and saltwater fish species, including line-class records for men and women, youth, fly rod, and other piscatorial achievements. Naturally, every month the south-Florida-based IGFA certifies many new world fishing records in various categories. But the following five catches are among the more notable recent records, according to Zach Bellapigna with the IGFA records department.
1. Speckled Peacock Bass
On Sept. 4, fly fisherman Rodrigo Salles was fishing Brazil’s Rio Marie at midday when he hooked and landed a bright, beautiful speckled peacock bass. The hard-fighting and high-leaping peacock hit a streamer fly. He was using a 50-pound class tippet leader, so the fish was entered and certified No. 1 in the “All-Tackle Fish Length” category. Salles’ speckled peacock bass had an overall length of 35.82 inches.
2. Gag Grouper
Tarpon Springs, Florida, guide Capt. Ed Walker was on a tear for leading his clients to a bumper crop of heavyweight gag grouper he’d located in the Gulf of Mexico this past December. He guided several of his clients to IGFA line class gags, and finally joined the world-record group himself with a 15-pound, 6-ounce grouper topping the IGFA Men’s 20-pound tippet category for the species.
3. Tiger Trout
Australian angler Frank Bluch outdid himself last year when he caught a 6-pound, 6-ounce beautifully colored tiger trout. Bluch has a long and successful history with IGFA catches, and his recent tiger trout not only tops the IGFA Men’s 2-pound line class category for the species, but Bluch bettered his own record for the species in the same line class that he set last August. With his ultra-light tackle, it took Bluch almost 10 minutes to subdue the fish, caught in the Central Highland region of the Land Down Under.
4. Cero Mackerel
Holy mackerel! Young angler Isaac Yuque-Zepeda got a late Christmas present on Dec. 26 when he caught a massive 14-pound, 6-ounce cero mackerel using live bait drifted behind his boat off Miami. The fish has been certified as the IGFA Men’s Junior World Record for the species. Not to be outdone that day, his brother Hans caught a huge black grouper that’s currently under IGFA record review.
5. Japanese Seabass
Fly angler Ikuko Sakagawa was casting in Japan’s Tokyo Bay on Nov. 19 when she caught a 8-pound, 14-ounce Japanese seabass, also known as Suzuki. This tops the women’s 12-pound tippet fly rod division for the species. The fish hit a streamer fly, and with great skill, Sakagawa was able to land the fish in just a short three-minute fight.