IGFA Hot Catches for December

Freshwater anglers in Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, and New Mexico in the United States have reason to get out and fish this month (although we never really need much reason beyond water being nearby) – potential new world records for Arctic char, brook trout, muskellunge, northern pike, and zander have recently been caught in these regions, and four of the five were released to be caught again another day!

In saltwater news, a trip to Ascension Bay, Mexico has produced an Inshore Super Grand Slam (catching a bonefish, tarpon, snook, and permit all in the same day) for an Italian angler – a feat that’s been accomplished less than 100 times in the IGFA‘s record book. New world records are also pending review for golden trevally, grey snapper, red drum, red snapper, and wahoo caught in Australia, Tonga, and in Louisiana, Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico off the coasts of the United States. Read on for more details!


Finnish angler Jasmin Vataja landed an impressive 6.04 kg (13 lb 5 oz) zander (Sander lucioperca) on October 21st while fishing with local guide Kari Hokkanen in Airisto, Finland. Vataja was trolling a Rapala plug when the fish hit, and needed 20 minutes to subdue the potential 8 kg (16 lb) line class record. The current IGFA record is 3.64 kg (8 lb 8 oz).

James Schmid, of Fort Collins, Colorado, USA, caught a potential new All-Tackle Length record Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) on August 15th while fishing the Nanook River in Nunavut, Canada. Schmid was casting a pink bunny fly when he came tight on a beautifully colored 88 cm char that took him close to 10 minutes to land. After some quick photos and measurements were taken, Schmid released the fish alive. The current IGFA record is 86 cm.

German angler Stephan Gockel landed a potential new All-Tackle Length record northern pike (Esox lucius) on October 1st while fishing around Nimwegan in the Netherlands. Gockel was casting a Rooster V-Tail lure when he hooked into the 120 cm pike that put up a tough 10 minute battle. Once subdued, the fish was quickly measured, photographed and released alive. If approved, Gockel’s pike would beat the existing record by 2 cm.

While fishing Bluewater Lake, in his home state of New Mexico, USA, angler Thomas W. Murphey caught an 8.33 kg (18 lb 5 oz) tiger muskellunge (Esox masquinongy x Esox lucius) on October 27th, which could potentially earn him the new 4 kg (8 lb) tippet class record. Murphey needed 10 minutes to land the toothy fish after it nailed the clouser fly he was casting from his kayak. Prepared with a sling and certified scale, Murphey was able to release the fish alive after all the proper documentation. The current IGFA record is 5.02 kg (11 lb 1 oz).

On August 30th, Canada’s Ann Marie Lake produced a potential All-Tackle Length record brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) for American angler Michael J. Sadar, who hooked the fish while casting a mouse pattern fly. After a 10 minute fight, Sadar successfully landed, measured and released the beautiful 58 cm brooky, which bests the current record of 55 cm.

Michael Forjohn, of Ambier, Pennsylvania, landed an enormous 130 cm muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) on December 2nd, while trolling a Swim Wizz lure in the St. Lawrence River, near Clayton, New York. Once hooked up, Forjohn needed only six minutes to subdue his trophy, which he quickly measured, photographed and released alive. If approved, Forjohn’s catch would best the existing All-Tackle Length record by 2 cm, although it may not be on the books for long.

Two days later, on December 4th, Mark Carlson of Rockford, Illinois, hooked into a massive 132 cm musky (estimated at 55 lb) that put up a brutal 15 minute fight after it crushed the Legend Perch lure he was trolling on the St. Lawrence. Carlson, the current IGFA All-Tackle Length record holder for musky, immediately realized his catch was of record quality and quickly measured, photographed, and released the fish alive. The potential record catch was also equipped with a tag before it was released, as Carlson actively participates in a Quebec fisheries study.


As seasonal cold fronts move across the US, anglers from around the world travel to coastal Louisiana to target the numerous red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) that congregate on the inshore flats. On October 24th, angler Christine M. Helms of the Florida Keys landed a 11.11 kg (24 lb 8 oz) redfish while fishing with her husband Capt. Brian Helms out of Grand Isle, Louisiana. Helms needed 30 minutes to land the potential women’s 2 kg (4 lb) tippet class record, after it ate the glitterbug fly she was casting. The fish was released alive after being properly documented, and is one pound heavier than the current IGFA record.

Angler Doug Borries of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, USA, bested an enormous 12.05 kg (26 lb 9 oz) red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) on fly while casting a Puglisi squid pattern on October 13th with Capt. Robert McDaniel. Once hooked up, Borries needed 15 minutes to pull the fish from the northern Gulf of Mexico. If approved, Borries’ fish would easily become the men’s 8 kg (16 lb) tippet class record and the heaviest red snapper caught on fly rod ever submitted to the IGFA. The current IGFA record is 7.43 kg (12 lb 6 oz).

Aussie angler Candace Williams landed the potential new women’s 3 kg (6 lb) line class record golden trevally (Gnathanodon speciosus) while fishing out of Dampier, Australia on September 12th. Williams needed 35 minutes to subdue the 9.22 kg (20 lb 5 oz) brute, after it engulfed a live mullet she was using for bait. The current IGFA record stands at 6.6 kg (14 lb 8 oz).

While fishing with Capt. Tom Robinson out of his home town of Naples, FL, USA on November 21st, Dr. Jan Forszpaniak caught and released an impressive 58 cm grey snapper (Lutjanus griseus), that could potentially beat the current All-Tackle Length record of 53 cm, which he set earlier in the year. Forszpaniak’s fish ate a threadfin herring and put up a spirited two minute fight before it was boated, measured, and released alive – something that is tough to do on a tasty fish like grey snapper!

While trolling off the island of Tonga on October 31st, Kiwi angler Guy Jacobsen accomplished the seemingly impossible by catching a 16.33 kg (36 lb 0 oz) wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri) on only 1 kg (2 lb) tackle! This potential men’s 1 kg (2 lb) line class record, which exceeds the existing claim by more than 15 kg (30 lb), hit a lipless Halco lure and put up a 14 minute fight before it was subdued. Congratulations to Guy Jacobsen, Capt. John Batterton and the crew of the Hookin’ Bull on a great catch!


Inshore Super Grand Slam Club

On November 11th, Italian angler Fiorenzo Rasparini accomplished an Inshore Super Grand Slam while fishing Ascension Bay, Mexico with guide Julio Octavio Gamboa. Armed with nothing more than an Orvis fly rod, reel, and some hand tied flies, Rasparini caught a bonefish, permit, snook, and tarpon in a single day – something that very few anglers have ever accomplished.

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