In a monumental move that will create hundreds of vacancies – and new opportunities – for world records, the IGFA has announced two upcoming changes to its record categories that will go into effect April 1, 2014: Freshwater line class and fly rod records will now be separated into men’s and women’s categories, and European perch and Florida pompano will now be eligible for line class, fly rod, and All-Tackle Length records.

The IGFA Expands Freshwater Record Program

Unlike those kept for saltwater species, IGFA line class and fly rod records kept for freshwater species have never before been separated into men’s and women’s categories. When the new change takes place on April 1, 2014, all current freshwater line class and tippet class records will be appropriately placed in their respective categories, based on the angler’s gender. Retired records will not be reinstated when separating the records, but rather, vacancies will fill the voids created. Catches made prior to this date will not be eligible for the new record categories.

“This change will make world records more equitable across the saltwater and freshwater communities,” IGFA World Records Coordinator Jack Vitek has said, “and it will be exciting to see which vacancies are filled first.”

New Species Added – European Perch and Florida Pompano

While the IGFA keeps All-Tackle records for just about any species that swims, only certain species are eligible for the line class, fly rod, Junior Angler, and All-Tackle Length record categories. These species typically have a large range and are generally considered popular game fish in the eyes of the international angling community. The IGFA’s Records Department keeps a running list of species that have received requests to be added to this group. When sufficient demand is received for a certain species, it is considered for addition to the list of species eligible for the additional record categories mentioned above.

The European perch (Perca fluviatilis) and the Florida pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) have received a considerable number of requests. Geographically, the European perch occurs throughout Eurasia and is extremely popular among the freshwater angling community. The Florida pompano has long been a favorite of both boat and shore bound anglers fishing in the Atlantic Ocean – from central Brazil to the eastern seaboard of the USA, throughout the Gulf of Mexico and in scattered locations in the Caribbean Sea.

Record categories for these two species will also open on April 1, 2014, and just like the new women’s freshwater categories, catches made prior to this date will not be eligible for record consideration.

For questions about the new changes, contact IGFA World Records Coordinator Jack Vitek at or 954-927-2628.

Logo courtesy International Game Fish Association

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