This one is for the kids.
The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) introduced a new all-tackle length category available for junior anglers to submit their record-breaking fish catches. Open to all anglers 16 and younger, the IGFA wanted kids to experience the thrill of setting world records, while promoting conservation through catch-and-release fishing.
That’s right, kids (and adults) don’t have to kill their catches to be recognized in fishing record books, thanks to IGFA’s different all-tackle length categories. Currently, 169 species are eligible for all-tackle length records.
The new All-Tackle Length Junior Category, which is live right now, follows the same rules and regulations as other current length record categories:
- The junior category has one record available for each eligible species
- There is no differentiation made for the angler’s gender or sex
“By introducing the All-Tackle Length Junior Category, we hope to inspire the next generation of anglers to get out and fish, while promoting ethical and sustainable fishing practices,” said IGFA President Jason Schratwieser. “Fishing is a fantastic way to connect with the outdoors, and we believe that by engaging young people with this sport, we can inspire the next generation of stewards of our oceans, lakes, and rivers and help ensure the long-term health and vitality of our aquatic resources.”
The new category is a great opportunity for kids to get hooked on angling. With teenagers more and more disconnected from the outdoors, the IGFA hopes to inspire a new wave of young anglers who are passionate about the sport. The goal of a world record is a worthy and achievable one, whether targeting species like permit, sheepshead, ladyfish or walleye.
The creation of the new record category opened up 169 vacant record opportunities. Have a plan before a junior angler submits a catch to the IGFA. First, make sure the fish species is eligible — species such as blue marlin, yellowfin tuna and tarpon are not on the eligible list. Then, make sure to follow IGFA rules when measuring the fish’s length. And finally, confirm the fish meets minimum length requirements. For example, a California yellowtail needs to be 80 cm (about 31.5 inches) minimum to be eligible for an all-tackle length record. Most importantly, get out on the water with friends and family and have fun — spring is just around the corner.