IGFA Shuffles Bass Records


Bass anglers have some new opportunities to catch IGFA world records. The International Game Fish Association (IGFA), which keeps track of record catches worldwide, recently announced changes to its bass record categories that will differentiate between Florida bass and largemouth bass and add a new record category for Alabama bass.

These changes come as science better understands black bass genetics, and it opens new record categories for anglers to pursue. This year, IGFA staff biologist Dr. Andrew Taylor, of the University of North Georgia, co-authored a scientific article that explored current science on black bass genetics to update IGFA’s record keeping.

Florida/Largemouth Bass
Until relatively recently, science had not differentiated between Florida bass (Micropterus salmoides) and largemouth bass (Micropterus nigricans). Other than the fact that Florida bass typically grow larger than their northern cousins, the two species are often indistinguishable without genetic testing. IGFA has implemented the following record keeping changes for the two species.

Effective immediately, Florida bass (Micropterus salmoides) are eligible for line class, tippet class, junior and length records under the category: “bass, largemouth (Micropterus nigricans/salmoides).” Genetic testing will not be required for submissions in this category. While the standing All-Tackle Record for largemouth bass (Micropterus nigricans) will remain unchanged, any new All-Tackle record submissions for these species will require genetic verification. Because the genetic testing process varies by region, anglers interested in submitting a potential world record should contact their corresponding local agency for additional information.

Spotted Bass/Alabama Bass
Through the history of bass fishing, anglers have not differentiated between close relatives spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus) and Alabama bass (Micropterus henshalli). Taylor’s study confirmed that many records previously attributed to spotted bass were, in fact, Alabama bass. Consequently, the IGFA has corrected these records to reflect accurate species identification.

The IGFA is announcing the introduction of Alabama bass (Micropterus henshalli) as a new species eligible for line class, tippet class, junior and length record categories, effective immediately. This change introduces 35 new record opportunities, including seven new line class and tippet class records for both men and women. With a wide geographic distribution, this popular species will generate exciting new record opportunities within the recreational angling community.

“These updates are a testament to the IGFA’s ongoing dedication to science and conservation,” said IGFA President, Jason Schratwieser. “By ensuring IGFA World Records reflect the most accurate scientific data available, we not only honor the integrity of our sport but also promote the conservation of these diverse species and the habitats they call home.”

Dr. Taylor’s article: “Updating Angling Records to Advance Sport Fish Conservation: A Case Study of IGFA’s Black Bass World Records.”

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