IGFA Making Changes
The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) recently announced changes to its angler recognition programs, including new eligible species for Line Class, Tippet Class and Junior/Smallfry world records; new Slam & Trophy Club programs; standard minimum ratios required for Line Class and Tippet Class world record submissions; and clarifications to its World Record Requirements.
These new world record categories, angler recognition programs and world record requirements began May 1.
IGFA has begun maintaining separate Atlantic and Pacific record categories for bonefish in the same way that it does for snook. This will provide more opportunities for anglers to pursue world record catches of this iconic game fish. Current bonefish records will be reassigned based on where they were caught.
Two new species will be added to Line Class, Tippet Class and Junior/Smallfry record categories: snubnose pompano and milkfish. Both are highly sought after by anglers in the Indo-Pacific and will comprise part of the new IGFA Inshore Grand and Royal Slam Clubs.
New Inshore Grand Slam and Royal Slam
Historically, IGFA’s Inshore Grand Slam Club has included four species: bonefish, tarpon, permit and snook. The IGFA has expanded this club to include Atlantic bonefish, Pacific bonefish, Atlantic snook, Pacific snook, Atlantic cubera snapper, Pacific cubera snapper, tarpon, permit, snubnose pompano, giant trevally, roosterfish, bluefin trevally and milkfish.
Catching any three of these species in a day constitutes an Inshore Grand Slam, catching any four in a day is an Inshore Super Slam, catching any five in a day is a Fantasy Slam. Catching all 13 species during a lifetime earns the new IGFA Inshore Royal Slam.
New Bigeye and Yellowfin Tuna Trophy Clubs
Any angler who catches a bigeye tuna or a yellowfin tuna fishing in accordance with IGFA International Angling Rules that weighs at least 90 kg (200 lbs.) or has a fork length of at least 1.7 m (70 inches) will qualify for one of these new trophy clubs.
Minimum Ratio Requirement
The minimum ratio for world record catches will be set at 1⁄2 to 1 for all Line and Tippet Classes. Under this requirement, the weight of the fish must be at least half as much as the Line or Tippet Class that it qualifies for based on pounds.
Changes to World Record Requirements
IGFA’s World Record Requirements have changed to ensure consistency with the internal record review process. Importantly, these changes eliminate of the requirement that, “the fish must be a species commonly fished for with rod and reel in the general area where the catch was made.” IGFA now welcomes world record applications from anglers passionate about catching lesser known or exotic species.
IGFA has also amended item 3 of its Record Catch Regulations to clarify that, “The IGFA will not recognize or approve any IGFA World Record application where a financial award is offered for obtaining the record.” This was necessary to avoid legal disputes.