HOT News from the IGFA – February 2008

IGFA Offshore World Championship
attracting over 60 teams


            With just three months away the ninth annual2008 IGFA
Offshore World Championship has already attracted over 60 teams to compete at
Cabo San Lucas off the southern tip of
Mexico's Baja
peninsula May 11 – 1716.  

            Considered the
most prestigious catch-and-release blue water fishing tournament in the world,
the event also draws the single largest contingent of international teams ever
to compete in a fishing competition.

             â€œWe could again have
representation of teams from nearly 30 countries,” said
coordinator Ms.
Lesley Arico. 

Countries and territories from five
continents represented so far include teams from Angola, Australia, the
Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Grenada, Guatemala,
Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, New Zealand, 
Panama, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and
Caicos, the United States, Vanuatu and Venezuela.

With six teams signed on,Brazil is second
only to the
United States in the
number of teams represented. The
U.S. has 19 teams
signed on.

  Many of the teams in the
ninth annual tournament will be represented by anglers from a number of
additional countries.

 At the IGFA OWC last year, a team representing
its win in
Spain's Marina
Marlin Cup 2006 tournament leaped from the middle of the 62 boat field to win by
one release fish over a team from Cabo San Lucas.

 It was the second straight year that a team,
on the final day of the four day competition, had an amazing
10 releases of striped marlin to win the championship. Using circle hooks,
a total of 335 marlin were caught and safely released among the teams entered.

            This year's pre-registered
teams accepted invitations after winning one of 130 IGFA qualifying tournaments
held in 38 countries worldwide during 2007. It's the seventh straight year Cabo
San Lucas, has been chosen as the championship

            Teams fish from a different boat
each day based on a drawing before the competition begins. All are guided by
local Cabo captains for marlin and other billfish. The top team with the most
marlin and billfish releases wins engraved watches, along with
trophies and merchandise.  Awards are
presented through to the third place finishing team.

            Partners and sponsors for the IGFA
Offshore World Championship are Secretaria de Turismo of Baja
California Sur,
Costa Del Mar Sunglasses, Hotel Finisterra, Momoi
Guy Harvey, Inc., Stidd Systems, Picante
Sport Fishing and Yacht Sales, Cabo Yachts, Shimano, Hook & Tackle, Murray
Fighting Chairs
, AFTCO Bluewater Sportswear, Bodo Muche
Studio-Foundry, IWS Scales, King Sailfish Mounts, Minerva's Baja Tackle, Trans
Cabo, API Cabo San Lucas and Illusion Diamond.

            Updated information and a growing
list of the registered teams can be found on the IGFA web site at under the fishing tab on the home
page by clicking “tournaments.”

            Questions regarding the 2008 IGFA
OWC should be directed to Ms. Arico at 954-924-4222 or via e-mail at



Top Challengers signing up for IGFA
Inshore World Championship  


            The list continues to
grow of fly and light-tackle champions from tournaments on four continents who
have signed on for the 2008 IGFA Inshore World Championship June 29 - July 2 in
Islamorada, Fla., USA.

            Pre-registered for the eighth annual
event among the 32 men and women champions are newcomers Johan Pettersson, winner of the Pike Challenge in Ornskoldsvik,
Sweden; Phil Clark, representing the
26th Barramundi Classic from Australia and Gustaf
, winner of the Murchison Falls Open Fishing Competition in Uganda,

            “Most of the tournament champions
are anglers from across the
U.S.,” said IGFA IWC
tournament coordinator Denise Hartman.  “Each week we continue to receive calls of
interest from more tournament champions who were invited after winning an IGFA qualifying
event. It's a prestigious element to their tournament for the winners to
receive invitations to this world class competition.”    

Since the tournament's
inception Islamorada, hailed as the “Sportfishing Capitol of the World” is the
site for the three-day catch-and-release championship. The Bayside Marina at
the World Wide Sportsman is the heart of the activities with the ultimate
fishing competition taking place on both
Florida Bay and the Atlantic

            Winners of over 50 IGFA
qualifying tournaments held around the globe in 2007 have been invited to
compete in the championship. There were 53
tournaments held in six countries (
Bahamas, Brazil, Uganda, Canada, Sweden, Australia), and in 11
states in the

            The IGFA's IWC is unofficially
considered by many the “super bowl” of fly and light-tackle fishing. From
a drawing on the opening night, the qualifiers are paired with
a different premier Keys guide each day fishing for tarpon,
bonefish, permit, snook and redfish.

          Rolex timepieces will be awarded
to the IWC's Grand Champion, Artificial Lure Division Champion, Fly Rod
Division Champion and Bait Casting Division Champion.

            Besides platinum partner Mercury
Marine other tournament partners include Shimano, Gâ–ªLoomis, 3M Scientific
Angler, Islamorada Fish Company, Stiffy Push Poles, King Sailfish Mounts,
Bacardi, Costa Del Mar sunglasses, The Islander Resort, Momoi
Hi-Liner, Zane Grey Lounge, Hook & Tackle, K D & G Sea Life
Masterpieces, Rapala, Image Graphics 2000, Illusion Diamond, World Wide
Sportsman, Reel Life Art by Pasta, Daiichi and Redbone Tournaments. 

the latest details and the list of anglers, go to the IGFA web site at
and select the fishing tab on the home page and click on “tournaments.” For
questions regarding the IGFA IWC, contact Ms. Hartman
at 954-927-2628 or



IGFA School of Sportfishing classes now underway through March


            The IGFA School of Sportfishing is
into its sixth session through the end of March with appealing curriculums,
limited class sizes and expert instructors answering the needs of the attending
anglers, all in the conducive setting of the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame and
Museum Learning Center.

            The popular three-hour evening sessions
from 7 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday nights, feature many of the most popular classes
previously offered along with new classes that participants have expressed
strong interest in adding.

            “One of the keys to the School of Sportfishing's success over the past
two years is that we've taken into account what our attendees have to say,”
said IGFA Adult
Education Coordinator David Matagiese.
“They've provided great suggestions that have made the program better with input
for new topics they'd like to have offered. We go to the drawing board before
each session to provide the best classes and program possible.” 

Matagiese said the remainder of
classes this session includes:   

“Fishing Bridges and
Beaches” with Capt. Mark Zasky,
on February 19

“Successful Swordfishing,” with Capt. Josh Brown , February 26

“Learning to Kitefish,” taught by Capt. Bouncer Smith, March 4

“Bottom Fishing Wrecks and Reefs,” Capt. Bouncer
Smith,  on March 18

“Back Country Fishing: Mangroves and Flats,”
with Capt. Mark Zasky, March 25

            For more details go to the IGFA web
site at contact Matagiese at 954-924-4247 or,
or contact Veronica
at 954-924-4334 or



February Hot Catches


            The world records department of the
International Game Fish Association provides monthly highlights of selected
documented fish catches made from across the globe and submitted for world
records. IGFA world records coordinator Rebecca
provided the following information on these 10 recent submissions
now before the world records committee.


a huge 400 plus pound shark can be a wrestling match for any angler but doing
it using 6 kg (12 lb) class line adds another challenge. While fishing
Australia's Kiama Canyon, Andrew Finney of Greenwell Pt NSW, Australia, landed a blue shark (Prionace glauca) on September 16, 2007. Guided by Mitch Ryan and using mullet for bait, Finney wrestled with the
shark for 30 minutes. Once under his control it weighed in at 192.4 kg (424 lb
2 oz). Finney is up for a male 12 lb IGFA line class record.  Finney's record may beat the 395 lb 11 oz
from 15 years ago in the waters of Port Hacking, near
Sydney. (Photo: blue shark -


the waters of
Virginia's Norfolk Canyon, Chris Boyce of Hampton, Va, USA, guided by Dr. Ken Neill III, landed a snowy
grouper (Epinephelus niveatus) on
Dec. 9, 2007. The grouper enticed by false
albacore for bait weighed in at 29.94 kg (66 lb 0 oz). Boyce is up for an IGFA
All-Tackle record which currently stands at 65 lb 8 oz, caught last summer in
the same waters. (Photo: snowy grouper - 07120066)


Vila Real Santo Antonio, Portugal, as his fishing backdrop angler Luis Ceia, of  Faro, Portugal, guided by Eduardo Soares and using sardinha for
bait, landed a gilthead seabream (Sparus
) on Dec. 9. The fish weighed 3.21 kg (7 lb 1 oz) and Ceia has
applied for a IGFA men's 8 kg (16 lb) line class world record which is
currently vacant. (Photo: gilthead seabream, 07120078)


angler Martini Arostegui, of
Coral Gables, Fla, USA, may have moved closer
to being the first youngster to capture 100 records before his 17th
birthday, after landing a trahira (Hoplias
.) on Dec. 30. Caught on cut bait, the fish weighed 10.21 kg (22 lb 8 oz)
and was released after documenting. He was fishing
Suriname's Kabalebo River, and has applied for the
male junior class record and hopes to break the 18 lb 0 oz mark he set last
April from the same river. (Photo: trahira - 08010014)


the beautiful waters of Rodrigues Island of Mauritius, angler and IGFA
Representative for Israel Jean-Jacques
, Ashdod, Israel, guided by Yann
IGFA Representative for Mauritius, landed a twospot red snapper, (Lutjanus bohar) on Dec. 24.  The fish was caught on bonito and weighed
13.5 kg (29 lb 12 oz) for a potential All-Tackle class record. The current
record is over 17 years old for a 27 lb 8 oz caught in 1990 in Japanese waters.
(Photo: twospot red snapper - 08010030)


Kouki Akeyama, Kirakata-Shi Osaka,
Japan, fishing
Kushimoto, Japan, landed a red
cornetfish, (Fistularia petimba). The
fish caught on Nov. 26 weighed 2.5 kg (5 lb 8 oz).  Akeyama has applied for an All-Tackle class
record that could possibly beat the current record by three pounds for a red
cornetfish of 2 lb 5 oz, caught in 2006 in the waters near
Shimoda, Japan. (Photo: red cornetfish
- 08100033)


January 5th Alfredo Pietri,
Valencia, Venezuela, fishing his country's Villacoa River, landed a blackstriped
peacock (Cichla intermedia). The fish
weighing 3.4 kg (7 lb 8 oz) on 6 kg (12 lb) class line using a Smithwick lure.
Pietri released the fish after documenting. The current IGFA line class record
stands at 4 lb 6 oz, caught in 1999 near the Caurama Lodge in
Venezuela. (Photo: blackstriped
peacock - 08100034)


holiday while fly-fishing the Rio Pasimoni, in
Venezuela, Eduardo Aristuieta, Miami, Fla., USA, guided by Novaldo Ventum, landed a speckled
peacock (Cichla temensis) on Dec.
17.  The fish, which weighed 9.53 kg (21
lb 0 oz), took 25 minutes to capture on 6 kg (12 lb) class tippet, using an Alf
Mostro fly. He released the peacock.  The
current mark is 18 lb 0 oz caught in 2004 from the Rio Araca,
Amazonia Brazil. (Photo: speckled
peacock – 08010000)


an Australian made Killalure for bait while fishing the Tinaroo Dam, Helen Laura Golding, Atherton QLD,
Australia, landed a barramundi (Lates calcarifer) on January 5, taking
her 20 minutes to fight. She was guided by Jeff
, The fish weighed 27.67 kg (61 lb 0 oz) and has been entered for an
IGFA female junior class record entry. She's hoping to beat the 44 lb 1 oz mark
of five years ago also from the same waters. (Photo: barramundi - 08100039)


Content Key, Florida, USA, over the Christmas holidays, Jason Reynolds, of Newark, Del., USA, guided by Capt. Jay Wright Jr., landed a blacktip
shark (Carcharhinus limbatus) using
60 kg (130 lb) class line and using cut bait. The fish, caught on Dec. 22,
weighed 27.22 kg (60 lb 0 oz). Reynolds released the catch. The line class
record is currently vacant. (Photo: blacktip shark - 08010072)



IGFA Observer Training Course paying
off for conservation


            It began in 2002 by the
International Game Fish Association as a conservation initiative to allow
offshore billfish tournaments the option to go to a 100% release format, with
trained and experienced observers on board to verify catches and educate
anglers about IGFA angling rules.

            According to IGFA Conservation
Director Jason Schratwieser, since
the association began the Observer Training Course (OTC) it has trained well
over 1,000 experienced anglers, boat captains and crew members as observers for
over 20 fishing tournaments held each year around the world.                      

            “With the decline of many billfish
stocks, the importance of release formats in tournaments has increased,” said
Schratwieser.  “As release tournaments
become more common and cash payouts increase, unbiased observers become vital
in reporting rule infractions as well as for identifying billfish species.

            “Observers can often benefit anglers
by preventing inadvertent rule infractions before they even happen. In
addition, having observers that are trained to identify billfish species under
frantic tournament conditions virtually eliminates the need to bring back dead
fish to the dock for official scoring.”


Interested in taking the IGFA
Observer Course?
Schratwieser said the training classes take almost an entire
day, typically starting at
9 a.m. and ending at 3
The cost of the class is $150 and includes a one year IGFA membership,
training manual and two instructional (IGFA Rules & Billfish
Identification) DVDs. 

            Individuals that have completed the
IGFA Observer Course are notified of tournaments requiring trained observers by
email blasts and posts on the IGFA Observer Online Talk Forum. There is no
annual fee to receive these notices, but observers must keep their IGFA
membership current.


Is your tournament interested in
using observers?

            If you're a tournament
director interested in using IGFA trained observers, simply send an email to
the IGFA with the following information:

  • Tournament's name
    and location
  • Tournament dates
  • Tournament
    director's name and contact information
  • Number of observers
  • Logistics covered by
    the tournament
  • Any additional
    information necessary for observers

            There's no charge to use IGFA
trained observers.  Upon receipt of this
information, the IGFA will forward a blast email to the observers listed on the
IGFA website and also post the information on the IGFA Observer Online Talk

            “The IGFA cannot select observers
for tournaments or advise tournament directors which observers to use,” said
Schratwieser. “We recommend that tournament directors develop a short
questionnaire for interested observers so they can determine their level of
experience in their region.”


Upcoming IGFA OTC session in California

            The next IGFA
Observer Training Class
be offered March 15 at the Shoreline Yacht Club in
Long Beach, Calif. USA.  OTC applications are
available at the IGFA website Pre-registration is required.

            For more information on the IGFA OTC
please call Schratwieser at 954-924-4320 or via e-mail at



--News of IGFA Hall of Famers--

Lefty Kreh to hold court at FFF
National Fly Fishing Expo


            IGFA Hall of Fame member Lefty Kreh, will be among many notable
fly fishers from around the world demonstrating skills needed to catch more
fish as the Federation of Fly Fishers holds The FFF National Fly Fishing
Exposition, March 28- 30 at the Lakeland Center in Lakeland, Fla.FL,
USA.  IGFA Hall of

            The expo will include open seminars
covering fly fishing around the country, fly tying and bamboo rod building
each of the three days.  Educational
and conservation programs also will be offered by the Federation
for attendees.  In keeping with the
Federation's policy of “All Fish, All Waters,” they'll feature tying and
fishing programs for warm and coldwater species, saltwater fishing and related

            Attendees will be able to try out
the newest rods and talk with and  get instructions from experts,.  Eat, drink and rub elbows with the fly fishers from
around the world at the “Tarpon Hop”. 
prices will be offered for multiple day attendance, hotel accommodations and

            To catch a demonstration with Lefty
on knot tying, register for seminars and special events, find informaton on
accommodations and view the programs, visit the National Fly Fishing Expo web
site at



at the Museum--

IGFA Art Gallery Wall


            Through the month of July the IGFA
will display the photographic and artistic works of Toni Parras on its Art Gallery Wall.

Toni has a hungry eye that has taken
her around the world to capture her images. A professional writer and
photographer she's interested in many different fields, including travel,
science and environment, arts and culture as well as volunteering her time to
the IGFA.

Her work has taken Toni to a dozen
countries where she has covered topics ranging from seaweed farming to meteors.
Her love for the ocean often leads her to marine-related themes. 

She often shoots in black and white
and then hand-paints her prints for an entirely different feel.  Images
are printed on black and white photographic paper and then hand-colored using a
combination of oil paints, chalks, watercolors and/or pencils. 

Toni's latest creation is a
landscape photograph of the majestic façade of the International Fishing Hall
of Fame.  This commissioned image was awarded to the 2006 World Record
Recipients at the IGFA's Fourth Annual World Record Achievement Awards.

If you'd like to see more of Toni's
work, please visit

            For more information, please contact
Joanie Tomlin at the IGFA at
954-924-4312 or email her at  



From the IGFA -- Did You Know?


The Challenger Deep, the world's deepest spot in the ocean
is 10,923 meters (35,838 ft.) or 6.78 miles. Located south of
Guam off the