5 New IGFA World Record Fish

From oversize permit to grayling, sheepshead to bass, these five most recently approved world record catches are nothing but awesome.

Few anglers would not relish catching an IGFA world record fish. Having one’s name listed in the organization’s prestigious record book is a proud and crowning achievement for many folks worldwide. There are thousands of world records for a staggering variety of fish species compiled by the Florida-based IGFA. From fly rod records to billfish, catch-and-release, length and youth records, IGFA has them all, recorded for multitudes of freshwater and saltwater species.

Here are five newly approved IGFA catches that are resounding achievements for the anglers who took them.

World record permit
World record permit! Courtesy IGFA

Kathryn Vallilee set the IGFA Women’s 8-pound test fly rod tippet class world record permit with an impressive 26-pound, 8-ounce fish taken off Key West, Florida on Aug. 31, 2022. She was fishing the flats with well-known Capt. Brandon Cyr when a permit fell for a shrimp-pattern fly. After a 20-minute fight, Kathryn landed the fish and quickly documented the catch before releasing it.

Kathryn has four current IGFA Women’s fly rod tippet world records, three for permit and one for grey snapper. Her most recent permit of 26-pounds, 8-ounces is per best, and taken on 8-pount tippet should hold the top IGFA spot for many years.

Record grayling
A grayling for the ages. Courtesy IGFA

Austria’s Traun River gave up a world record grayling weighing 3-pounds, 8-ounces to Italian angler Paolo Pacchiarini last July 14. Pacchiarini now holds the IGFA 2-pound fly rod tippet class world record for grayling. He fooled the prized grayling with a nymph fly and landed it after a short fight. After recording the weight and snapping a few photos, the grayling was released unharmed.

Pacchiarini is an IGFA representative in his native Europe, and over the years has held 15 different IGFA records, including 8 current ones. He has IGFA records for a wide array of fish, from northern pike to zander, asp, carp, wels and golden trevally. Arguably his most impressive catch to date is a 43-pound northern pike he caught on 20-pound test line in 2020 from Italy’s Centro Cadore Lake, setting the men’s IGFA 20-pound line class world record for the species.

Record sheepshead
The 20-pound, line-class record sheepshead. Courtesy IGFA

Last July 27 Mark Foster was fishing the Virginia portion of Chesapeake Bay aboard the “GoFishYa” with Capt. Joe Kennedy when he landed a giant 10-pound, 12-ounce sheepshead to set the IGFA Men’s 20-pound line class world record for the species. He used a fiddler crab bait and tussled with the toothy sheepshead for nearly 10 minutes before boating the good-eating sportfish.

Foster also has an impressive and lengthy list of IGFA records, setting 15, seven of which are still recognized as the tops in their respective categories for different species. He’s set IGFA records for sheepshead, striped bass, smallmouth bass and white bass.

Smallmouth bass record
Fly-fishing record bronzeback. Courtesy IGFA

An IGFA All-Tackle length world record for fly-rod caught smallmouth bass was set by Spencer McCormack last Sept. 3 while he was fishing an Emmet County, Michigan Lake, in the extreme upper Lower Peninsula of the state. McCormack caught the 20.08-inch bass on a 6-weight fly rod outfit, using a “Gurgler” fly.

The bass was released and not weighed. But the In-Fisherman length-to-weight ratio calculator for smallmouth bass puts McCormack’s fish at about 4 pounds.

Record Atlantic cod
The new all-tackle world record cod. Courtesy IGFA

Laurent Sahyoun was fishing the frigid waters off Nappstraumen, Norway, when he landed a heavy 45.67-inch Atlantic cod, setting the IGFA All-Tackle Length World Record for the species. Sahyoun was jigging a swimbait when the cod struck, and he landed the fish after a quick five-minute fight. He then recorded the measurements on his official IGFA measuring device before releasing the record cod.

Sahyoun currently holds five IGFA world records, including Men’s line class marks for white marlin (116-pounds on 6-pound test) and sailfish (138-pound, 14-ounces on 80-pound test line).

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