Anglers will have more opportunities to get their names in the coveted IGFA World Record Game Fishes book starting March 1, 2013. The International Game Fish Association has added eight species to its All-Tackle Length record program, plus made a few new additions to the Slam and Trophy clubs.
New All-Tackle Length Species and Minimum Lengths
Now two years old, the IGFA's All-Tackle Length record program recognizes great catches based on length rather than weight and requires that fish be released alive and in good health. Conservation-minded anglers have embraced the record category, submitting more than 441 applications since its inception. Originally there were 67 eligible saltwater species; that number has changed to 72. Of note, Black grouper (Mycteroperca bonaci), Cero mackerel (Scomberomorus regalis), and Grey snapper (Lutjanus griseus) are now eligible.
The IGFA will begin accepting record applications for these newly eligible species on March 1, 2013. Details on the All-Tackle Length record program can be found in IGFA's International Angling rules online.
New IGFA Slam and Trophy Clubs
Effective March 1, 2013, applications will be accepted for the following new saltwater Slam and Trophy Clubs: the 50 lb Dolphin Club and Offshore Grand Slam Club. The existing Offshore Slam Club, catching three or four different billfish species in a day, will be renamed as the Billfish Grand Slam Club. As is required for all IGFA Slam and Trophy Clubs, catches must be made in accordance with IGFA rules, with the only exception being that the fish for a Trophy Club can be weighed on the boat to allow for a safe release. Billfish and other species for a Slam Club should not be weighed or unnecessarily handled, as to increase the probability of a healthy release.
50 lb Dolphin Club An angler must catch a dolphinfish (also called mahi-mahi, dolphin, or dorado) that weighs 50 pounds or more on a certified scale. The fish can be weighed from the boat. A photo of the angler and the fish is required. Once properly documented, anglers are encouraged to release the fish.
Offshore Grand and Super Grand Slam Club An angler must capture three or four of the following species: dolphin, wahoo, billfish species, or any tuna species of the genus Thunnus (e.g., bluefin, yellowfin, bigeye, blackfin, longfin, albacore). Catching three of the four will earn an Offshore Grand Slam, and catching all four will qualify for an Offshore Super Grand Slam. Photos and/or witness information are required for each catch. Weighing the fish is not required for this, or any Slam Club. Anglers should limit the handling of all these species, especially billfish, to ensure a safe release.
All catches, past and present, can be submitted for IGFA's Slam and Trophy Clubs as long as all of the necessary documentation can be provided. Applications and details on the requirements for each club can be found at http://www.igfa.org/Fish/IGFA-Clubs.aspx.