World fishing records are within reach

Mike SchoonveldOne of my recent columns in Michigan Outdoor News was about the day a friend of mine and I went out and made four world record fish catches in a single day, four different species. I’m not going to retell the tale. But what does it take to catch a world record, other than catching a gigantic fish?

First, realize there are two organizations that keep track of world record catches. The International Game Fishing Association (www. IGFA.org) keeps track of both freshwater and saltwater species. The Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame (www. freshwater-fishing.org) keeps track only of record-sized fish caught in fresh water.

The job of either organization would be simple if they only recognized the largest specimen ever caught, period. The largest muskie ever caught weighed 69 pounds, 11 ounces. Catch a 70-pounder, call us!  (Hint, if you catch a 70-pounder, call both of them and Michigan Outdoor News, too.)

But you don’t have to catch a 70-pounder to get your name in the record book. They have divisions and categories galore, all to track the largest specimens in different classes.

For example, there are categories for each species of fish in:

• Strength of Line (two pound test, four, six, 20, 40, on up to unlimited.)
• Type of Fishing (Fly Fishing, Conventional Fishing, Bow Fishing, Spearfishing, etc.)
• Youth or Adult
• Male or Female
• Caught and Kept or Caught and Released.

And there are many others.

The point is that although catching a world record fish isn’t something that happens everyday – or any day for most anglers – it might not be as impossible or improbable a task as you think. Go to the websites, look over the criteria. You might just identify a niche in the rule book you could possibly fulfill. A friend fishing with me one day accidentally caught a monster gizzard shad.

“Don’t throw it back,” I coached. “That’s the biggest gizzard shad I’ve ever seen.”

On a certified scale a couple hours later it registered six ounces heavier than the existing world record for eight-pound test line.

Another record shattered!  The next name in the record book could be yours! 

Categories: Blog Content, MicBlogs, Michigan – Mike Schoonveld

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