Wednesday, 1 December 2010

If you catch a record fish...

There are many different records to be beaten, National, British, European & World. In addition there are Line class records, and Mini records. To try and clarify the situation we take a look at the different record lists and the "Do's & Don'ts if you want to claim a record.

Let's first look at the different record types.

British Records

There are three categories in British Records

Shore Records

Fish Caught from :
  • The Shore
  • Breakwaters
  • Piers
Boat Records
  • Boats must depart and return from a port on the British Isle, Northern Ireland or the Channel Isles.
Mini Records
  • A listing for fish under 1lb in weight.

National Records

National records can be claimed in:-
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Eire
But what about England, I hear you cry. Simple, there are no National Record lists for England.  English Anglers can claim records in any of the National Records, if they are fishing in that region, but crazy as it seems there is no English Record List.

Welsh Records are maintained by the Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers You do not have to be a member of the Welsh Federation or any other federation to claim a Welsh record. You can visit The Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers Personal Members site at

Line Class Records

These are some of the more complex "Records". They compare the size of the catch to the size of the line you were using.

British Line Class Records

To claim a record in this class you need to be fishing in British waters and the records are against different line breaking strains. For example, If you caught a particular fish on a 20lb line, to claim the record it must be shown that the line would break under that strength.

These records are kept by the Light Tackle Club in conjunction with EFSA.

European Line Class Records

These follow a similar format to those of the BLCR, but they have set line strength categories against particular fish types. The minimum line strength is 4kg and the largest is 60kg.

In addition there is the European All-tackle record, for the biggest fish of each species and is not dependant on the line size used.

Also on offer is the European Shore record, again this is for the  biggest fish of each species and is not dependant on the line size used.

IGFA Saltwater Line Class Records

This is the "World Record" of the line class series. It is maintained by the International Game Fish Association. To claim a IGFA record the fish MUST be caught on an IGFA rated line. The sizes of line against which you can claim a record are: 1kg, 2kg, 4kg, 8kg, 10kg, 15kg,  24kg, 37kg & 60kg. However many of the smaller fish can only be claimed on lines up to 15kg.

Records are divided into Men's & Women's.

The IGFA also keep a World All Tackle record list, which is not dependant on the line size used.

What does this all mean ?

Basically it means that in European terms there are 2360 records that are there to be beaten. If you then consider the different species that can be found in international waters, there are over 5000 records to be claimed.

So what should I do if I catch a fish that I think is a record ?

Firstly you must have hooked the fish yourself and then brought it in, without assistance. The only assistance allowed is the "Netting or Gaffing" of the fish.
If this is the case then if you follow these simple guide lines you should be OK:-

Grab your Camera.

I always carry a cheap disposable camera in my tackle box. If you catch a potential record, take as many photos as possible to show the species and the size. If you can take a photograph with a tape measure or ruler laid alongside the fish.

Get it Weighed

The fish must be weighed in a set of scales that have a certificate of accuracy. Look around for the local fish monger, his scales have to be certified.

Names & Addresses

Take the names and addresses of the people who saw you land the fish and those who witnessed you weigh the fish.

Vital Statistics

Measure it's length, Girth and inside leg measurement (No only joking, just the first two !)

Don't Eat It !

Take the fish home and freeze it, just in case more details are required. But remember if a fish has been out of the water a while, it's weight will diminish.

Report it

Contact addresses and phone numbers are:-

British Record (Rod Caught) Fish Committee
51a Queen Street
Newton Abbot
TQ12 2QJ

Tel:  01626 331330

British, LTC & European Line Class Records
c/o David Wood
27 Beaver Close
West Sussex
RH12 4GB

Tel: 01403 217884

Welsh Records

The Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers
Vic Pearce
13 Ross Avenue
SA31 1HY

Tel 01267 223031

International Game Fish Association
World Fishing Centre
3000 Gulf Stream Way
Dania Beach
Florida 33004

Tel: +1 954 924 4299

For more information check out the Angling Trust procedures.

No comments:

Post a Comment