Fishing for trophies and records is a challenge for any angler, but this month’s IGFA Hot Catches update covers one of the most impressive achievements we’ve ever received. In addition to potential world record carp caught in Japan and South Korea and a tropical gar caught in Costa Rica, the November Freshwater IGFA report includes the announcement of the fastest Trout Royal Slam ever achieved – and done so by a woman who is legally blind.

Freshwater

Hiroko Fuwa land the new Female Junior record with 13.1 kg carp.
Hiroko Fuwa land the new Female Junior record with 13.1 kg carp.

Japanese angler Hiroko Fuwa caught a 13.1 kg (28 lb 14 oz) common carp (Cyprinus carpio) while fishing Japan’s Lake Shoji on August 28th that may land her the new Female Junior record. Fuwa was fishing with a bread bait and needed 10 minutes to land her potential record carp, which was released alive after it was properly documented. The current IGFA record is 7.37 kg (16 lb 4 oz).

While casting a Mepps Spinner in Costa Rica’s Rio Frio on November 7, 2012, native Costa Rican angler Mauricio Solis Salas landed a 8.64 kg (19 lb 0 oz) tropical gar (Atractosteus tropicus) that could earn him the new All-Tackle record. Salas was fishing with local guide Francisco Mejias Naranjo and needed 15 minutes to land the toothy fish after hooking up. The current IGFA record is 5.18 kg (11 lb 6 oz).

Angler Phillip W. Richmond, Jr., who is currently stationed in South Korea with the US Navy, has been exploring the different fishing opportunities in his temporary home. While fishing the NakDong River from his kayak on October 4th, Richmond landed a 4.6 kg (10 lb 2 oz) predatory carp (Chanodichthys erythropterus) while casting a swimbait into the chilly waters. Richmond needed five minutes to subdue the potential All-Tackle record fish, which has never before been submitted to the IGFA.

Saltwater

Morgan with his tarpon catch.
Morgan with his tarpon catch.

Light tackle fly angler Thane Morgan of Amarillo, Texas, USA, may have broken the men’s 2 kg (4 lb) tippet class record for tarpon (Megalops atlanticus) – a record which has stood for more than 15 years. Fishing out of Marathon, Florida with Capt. Dustin Huff on October 6th, Morgan came tight on a 54.06 kg (119 lb 3 oz) silver king after it ate the mullet pattern fly he was casting. After a quick fight and some great boat handling, the massive tarpon was subdued. The current IGFA record stands at 21.88 kg (48 lb 4 oz).

Moroccan angler Laurent Sahyoun took advantage of the great white marlin (Kajikia albida) bite off the coast of his home country and landed what could be the new men’s 3 kg (6 lb) line class record. On September 21st, while fishing with Capt. Christian Benazeth, Sahyoun pitched a live mackerel to a large white marlin and 35 minutes later the fish was subdued. Back at the docks, the marlin weighed in at 53 kg (116 lb 13 oz) – eclipsing the existing record by nearly 15 kg (30 lb).

During a recent trip to the Cook Islands in the South Pacific, Florida native Dr. Jan Forszpaniak caught and released a massive bonefish (Albula spp.) while fly fishing with local guide Itu Davey on September 7th. Forszpaniak, a skilled fly angler, needed 10 minutes to land this potential All-Tackle Length record after it ate a well-presented custom fly. The bonefish measured out to 72 cm and would tie the existing record of 71 cm, if approved.

Angler Candace Kern landed the potential new women’s 10 kg (20 lb) tippet class record red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) on September 25th while fishing Port O’ Connor in her home state of Texas, USA. Kern was fishing with guide Matthew Kern and needed 10 minutes to land her 13.61 kg (30 lb) redfish after it inhaled the tarpon mouse fly she was casting. The current IGFA record is 13.38 kg (29 lb 8 oz).

Angler E. Stanton Shoemaker landed the potential new men’s 4 kg (8 lb) tippet class record red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) on October 16th while fishing Upper Laguna Madre in his home state of Texas in the United States. Shoemaker, guided by Freddy Lynch, needed an hour to best the 17.69 kg (39 lb) redfish after it ate the custom fly he presented. The current IGFA record stands at 15.64 kg (34 lb 8 oz).

Trout Royal Slam

Stevens at the 2013 Trout Royal Slam.
Stevens at the 2013 Trout Royal Slam.

Australian angler Cynthia Stevens is the IGFA’s newest member of the Trout Royal Slam, which she completed in an incredible 15 days during a whirlwind trip through North America. Not only did Cynthia complete her Royal Slam faster than anyone in IGFA history, she did it without the use of her eyes, as Cynthia is legally blind.

Her quest began on September 15th when she caught a brook trout in New Hampshire while fishing with Rick Holloran. Ten days later, and on the other side of the country, Cynthia caught her golden, rainbow, and brown while fishing the San Joaquin and Owens Rivers in California. After only two days of rest, Cynthia then traveled north to Oregon where she caught her lake, bull, and cutthroat over three consecutive days, while fishing Odell Lake, the Cougar Reservoir, and the Williamette River, respectively.

Given Cynthia’s passion for angling, her extreme determination, and her goal-oriented personality, the IGFA’s Royal Slams were a perfect fit. And although Cynthia accomplished her slam in record time, it was anything but easy. Because all IGFA Slam & Trophy Clubs must be caught by IGFA rules, Cynthia made sure she was completely unassisted in all of her seven captures – something she had to reinforce with the helpful guides, all of whom provided testimony to the legitimacy of Cynthia’s captures. Enthused and invigorated by her success, Cynthia is planning to tackle more IGFA Royal Slams, explaining that they “allow anglers of all abilities to achieve something extraordinary in their passion of fishing.”

Logo courtesy International Game Fish Association

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