HOT News from the IGFA April 2006

Pete Johnson from the IGFA PR counsel informs Anglers Net that a 385lb shark on 16lb tippet leads the new pending world records and may be the heaviest fish caught on fly.

The recent catch-and-release of a 385 lb lemon shark on fly has the world fishing community buzzing and leads off the International Game Fish Association's highlights of documented record fish catches from across the globe. IGFA world records coordinator Rebecca Reynolds provided the information on it and10 other new potential records before the committee:  Keeping up his relentless pace for world records, Dr. Martin Arostegui, Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.A. may have caught the heaviest fish ever documented on fly.

A little background on Arostegui; last year the retired physician received a lifetime achievement award from the IGFA for over 100 world record catches through 2004 and this past March took home a grand slam of honors at the IGFA World Record Achievement Awards ceremony for the most world records in 2005 in saltwater, freshwater and on fly. Continuing with that extensive planning, preparation and review of the IGFA World Record Games Fishes annual and continuously updated IGFA web site of world records, Arostegui's original plans were to catch and release a tiger shark on 20 lb tippet to beat the current 11-year old record of 220 lbs.

Guided by Capt. Ralph Delph, Key West, Fla., and fishing near the Marquesas Keys west of Key West, Florida, Arostegui used the scent line of a filleted barracuda to entice sharks onto the flats.  Instead of a tiger, a lemon shark smelled the scent so Arostegui switched to another fly rod with 12 lb tippet and a bright orange seven-inch long feathered fly streamer in an attempt to break another record he held. Like the tiger shark the lemon shark is a member of the whaler shark (carcharhinidae) family and once hooked Arostegui battled the fish for over an hour. 

As he muscled the fish next to the boat, Arostegui said the toothy shark attacked the hull of Delph's 29 ft. Contender.  “When it opened its mouth, I said to myself this shark could eat half of me in one bite,” joked the diminutive doctor. Next in a carefully orchestrated technique that Arostegui and Delph have used before, Delph gaffed the shark in the soft, fleshy part of its tail as Arostegui dropped the fly rod and lassoed the fish in front of the tail with a cleated rope.
After a breather they enlisted the help of another flats angler and guide fishing nearby. The four men were able to wrestle the shark, while controlling its dangerous head, through the transom door into a specially designed eight foot long, three foot deep aerated, hydraulic live well.  After an hour long ride back to Key West the pair, with the help of Delph's son Mike who is also a noted Keys guide, finished documenting the catch. For that Arostegui used a portable ScaleMaster II from International Weighing Systems along with a special canvas sling to cradle the fish.
 â€œSince I bought the scale in the Rolex/IGFA Offshore Championship tournament auction last year in Mexico, I've used it for documenting six other IGFA certified records, but nothing this heavy.” Minus the weight of the ropes and cradle the lemon shark weighed 385 lbs (174.63 kg). The avid angler who has practiced catch and release on over 90% of his fish catches slid the shark into the water of a nearby basin and while resuscitating it, measured the shark for its girth (49”) and length (90”) plus took photos. 

Later as he looked at the photos of himself and Mike standing in the water, before releasing the giant fish which an hour before had been biting the boat, Arostegui chuckled and said, “I don't recommend getting this close to a lemon shark, especially in his environment.” 

At the IGFA after preliminary line testing and documentation review, Ms. Reynolds said the 12 lb tippet over tested at 13 lbs so Arostegui's fish will now be entered in the 16 lb tippet line class.  If approved this would beat his current 257 lb 0 oz IGFA mark that he recorded two years ago and would also be the heaviest catch on fly beating out a 353 lb. hammerhead shark caught two years ago, also in the waters near Key West, by Rick Gunion.     
Another pending record catch on fly, also in the Florida Keys, took place in Islamorada by Carl Navarre, Jr. of New York City, N.Y., U.S.A. with a 15 lb, 1 oz (6.83 kg)  bonefish (Albula spp.). Captain Tim Klein was his guide and Navarre used Tim's Tart Fly to entice the fish.  Navarre used 20 lb tippet and it took him eight minutes to boat the bonefish.  The current men's 20 lb tippet is 14 lb, 5 oz caught April 19, 2002 also in Islamorada. The fish was released.

Australia is a long way from the bayou waters of Louisiana, U.S.A., but Ms. Theda C. Little, Baton Rouge, may have a new all-tackle record and species for the 2007 World Game Fishes Record Book in her venture across the globe.  While wade fishing the Torres Straits, Theda landed an orange spotted trevally (Carangoides bajad) weighing 1 lb (.45 kg) casting a Bass Assassin.  It took her two minutes to land.

Also in Australia, Neil Schultz, Lowood, Queensland, landed a barramundi (Lates calcarifer) weighing 35 lb 11 oz (16.2 kg) on 80 lb line class in five minutes while trolling Lake Awoonga, Australia. The current record is 19 lb 14 oz set Aug. 22, 2005.

It took nearly five hours for Trevor Hansen, Jeffrey's Bay, South Africa, to land a 107 lb 2 oz (48.6 kg) yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) on 20 lb tippet while fishing Cape Town, South Africa. The current record is 93 lb 11 oz entered June 4, 2002.

Fellow South African Terrance Babich, of Boksburg North, landed a 36 lb 4 oz sharptoothed catfish (16.45 kg) (Clarias gariepinus) on 12 lb tippet in 30 minutes, while fishing the Bloemhof Dam.  He's hoping to fi
ll a vacant flyrod record. 

Osamu Naito of Kanagawa-Ken, Japan, landed an olive flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus) while fishing Oiso, Kanagawa. Osamu was casting a minnow plug, and landed the fish which weighed 20 lb 15 oz (9.5 kg) in 15 minutes.  The current record is 20 lb 0 oz caught August 19, 1999.

George Bogen, of Los Angeles, California landed a damsel threadfin bass (Hemanthias signifier) weighing 1 lb 3 oz (.53 kg) while drift fishing Baja California sur, Mexico.  If certified Bogen may have a new all-tackle record. 

In Portugal, while reef fishing Vila Real Santo, Antonio, Luis Ceia, landed an African striped grunt (Parapristipoma octolineatum) weighing 1 lb 15 oz (.88 kg) using a sardine for bait. Luis, who is from Faro, is hoping the catch beats the current 1 lb 11 oz caught last fall.

A young lady who knows her fish and a potential record is Natosha Sewell, 14, of Bonita Springs, Florida, who landed a tripletail (Lobotes surinamensis) while assisting as a mate on the boat with her father Captain Stephen Lee Sewell.  Natosha said she couldn't resist letting this opportunity slip by as she knew this catch would beat the existing female junior record. The anglers on board watched Natosha cast a shrimp and boat the catch 20 minutes later.  She's hoping the documentation for the 14 lb 0 oz (6.57 kg) catch beats the current 11 lb 2 oz record caught October 31, 1997.

It took 17 minutes for Wayne “Wilbur” Wiemer, of Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada, to land a bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) weighing 14 lb 0 oz (6.35 kg) while fishing Lake Koocan.  He attracted the fish using roe for bait. The current freshwater record Wilbur is hoping to break stands at 9 lb 4 oz. 
Pierre H. Clostermann, IGFA Trustee Emeritus remembered - Within the past two months the IGFA has lost two greats of the fishing world, first Curt Gowdy (1919-2006) (please see tribute on IGFA web site under March Hot News) and then Pierre H. Clostermann (1921-2006). Both Clostermann, a World War II flying ace and international angler, and Gowdy, America's most versatile sportscaster and conservationist, will be remembered for devoting their time and influence to the IGFA.
These two great men shared the same passion for fishing - whether it was far offshore the coast of New Zealand or fly fishing the Florida Keys - and both helped strengthen and instill the value of conservation at the IGFA.
Pierre H. Clostermann, who passed away on March 22 at his home in the southwest of France, was a war hero, famous author and lecturer, successful businessman, revered statesman, international angler and conservationist.  Born in Brazil and schooled in France, he served as a pilot with the RAF and the French Air Force, becoming the leading French ace from World War II.  Clostermann received the Liberation Cross and the French Medal of Honor, among many other accolades.
Retiring as a Brigadier General after the 1956 Suez Campaign, Clostermann continued to serve his country as an eight-term member of the French Parliament and Under Secretary of State for President Charles de Gaulle.  A dramatic success in business as well, he founded Europe's Reims Aviation, building 8,000 Cessnas before he sold the company.  Clostermann was also a Vice President of Cessna Aircraft Company, and served on the boards of top French corporations Air France and Renault.

He was the author of nine books; Le Grand Cirque (The Big Show), the best book written about World War II according to William Faulkner, has been translated into more than 50 languages and has sold millions of copies.  Another title, Des Poissons si Grands, describes his fishing exploits, which were just as amazing as his other endeavors. For more than 60 years Clostermann fished for magnificent fish in magnificent places, very often being the pioneer in that area: sailfish in Dakar, tigerfish in Mozambique, striped and black marlin in New Zealand, tuna in the Azores, broadbill in Portugal, and tarpon in Gabon. 

Clostermann was a founding member and first President of the Big Game Fishing Club of France, became an IGFA Representative in 1966, a member of the IGFA Board of Trustees in 1977, a Trustee Emeritus in 2000 and was inducted into the Fishing Hall of Fame in 2001.  Throughout his life, Pierre Clostermann was a dedicated and effective spokesman for sportsmanlike angling and conservation policies.  Cited numerous times for his gallantry and valor under fire, Pierre Clostermann will always be remembered by the anglers of the world as a courageous defender of the Earth's marine resources.

Clostermann is survived by his wife Jacqueline and their children. 
"Both men served the IGFA for many, many years in a variety of capacities that have greatly benefited our organization,” said IGFA President Rob Kramer. “Pierre Clostermann and Curt Gowdy symbolize what is great about our sport, and will be deeply missed. The fishing world has truly lost two of its most remarkable individuals."

Teams of anglers from 32 countries prepare for seventh Rolex/IGFA Offshore Championship

By early April, 64 teams representing tournaments and anglers from 32 countries on five continents have registered to compete in the seventh annual Rolex/IGFA Offshore Championship Tournament, May 7 – 12, off the southern tip of Mexico's Baja peninsula.

Considered by blue water anglers as the offshore fishing championship of the world, the prestigious tournament is expected to host the single largest contingent of international teams ever to compete in a fishing competition. Also pre-registered are four past Rolex/IGFA championship teams plus 22 teams from the U.S.    Teams for the 2006 championship had previously qualified by winning one of 110 IGFA sanctioned events held in 40 countries worldwide during 2005. For the fifth straight year Cabo San Lucas will be the location for the four-day catch-and-release event.  Last year the teams caught and released a record 517 billfish (503 striped marlin and 14 sailfish). At the Rolex/IGFA OCT, the teams will fish on a different boat all guided by local captains each of the four days for marlin and other billfish.

Updated information and a listing of the registered teams can be found on the IGFA web site at and clicking on “tournaments” under the fishing tab on the top of the home page. Daily reports will appear on the IGFA website the following morning of each of the four rounds of fishing. Questions regarding the OCT can be directed to Ms. Lynda Wilson at 954-924-4233 or via e-mail at  Questions regarding sign-up of qualifying tournaments for the 2007 Rolex/IGFA OCT should be directed to Ms. Lesley Arico at 954-924-4222 or via e-mail at

Rolex/IGFA Offshore to use IGFA Certified Observers    

omething new has been added to the Rolex/IGFA Offshore Championship this year as 16 trained IGFA Certified Observers will be used at the prestigious Cabo San Lucas, Mexico tournament. “We started this training program for certified observers three years ago and currently over 20 tournaments are making them a standard part of their events,” said Ms. Lynda Wilson of the IGFA. “The ‘Rolex,' which is considered the bluewater fishing championship of the world, has added the certified observers for the first time.”

The IGFA Certified Observer Program classes train and certify experienced anglers, boat captains and crew members as observers for fishing tournaments held around the world. The program has been a benefit to tournaments by eliminating or reducing rule disputes that sometimes arise. Certified observers can often prevent inadvertent rule infractions before they occur. A growing number of big money and catch & release tournaments have committed to using IGFA Certified Observers for their tournaments.

“We've trained 600 observers since the program began and tournament officials are giving great reviews after having the observers onboard,” she added. “They say it also raises the standard level of their tournaments as well as the conservation efforts with the safe release of the fish.”
Wilson said a computer will randomly make a draw of boats over the first three days so 48 teams would have an observer on one of those days. On the last day the top 16 teams going into the final round will have a certified observer on-board.    

Rolex/IGFA Inshore Championship attracting more top anglers

It's still three months away but 40 anglers are honing their casting skills as they prepare for this summer's sixth annual Rolex/IGFA Inshore Championship Tournament, July 9 – 12 in Islamorada, in the Florida Keys.
“We now have 40 top light-tackle and fly fishermen from as far away as Africa coming to compete,” said Ms. Denise Hartman, IGFA tournament coordinator. “Other anglers will be coming from Canada, the Bahamas and across the U.S.”
“That's a pretty impressive field despite the cancellation last year of six qualifying fishing tournaments because of hurricanes and a tsunami,” she said.
The men and women are expected to compete after qualifying wins in one of over 55 light tackle IGFA sanctioned tournaments around the world in 2005 held in six countries and 12 states.
Since its inception the tournament has been held in Islamorada, hailed as the “sportfishing capital of the world,” located in the middle of the Keys.
    The celebrated world-class inshore event dubbed the “super bowl of inshore fishing” features anglers stalking bonefish, tarpon, permit, snook and redfish on Florida Bay guided by different captains over the three-day catch-and-release competition while vying for engraved Rolex timepieces, a long list of prizes and the prestigious grand champion title.
    For the latest details, go to the IGFA web site at under the fishing tab on the home page and click on “tournaments.” For questions regarding this tournament or the sanctioning of qualifying tournaments for the 2007 Rolex/IGFA ICT, contact Ms. Hartman at 954-924-4243 or

Anglers and tackle builders honored at World Record Achievement Awards
Two outstanding anglers, Jerry and Deborah Dunaway, Houston, Texas, were among those honored at the IGFA's third annual World Record Achievement Awards celebration held in March at the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum in Dania Beach, Florida.  The event also recognized the 2005 records by men, women, juniors, professional captains for the most
world records recently published in the IGFA's 2006 World Record Game Fishes annual.  

Highlighting this year's ceremony for their astonishing billfish records were the Dunaway's who received the IGFA's Lifetime Achievement Awards. 
Other top anglers
More than 80 trophies and artwork were presented based on computer rankings from the 864 approved records of the 1,234 applications submitted for 2005.
For the second year in a row, Dr. Martin Arostegui, Coral Gables, Fla., U.S.A.,  scored a grand slam as the top male angler for the most world records in saltwater (18), freshwater (24), and in fly (34) caught in 2005. 
The heaviest catches were also rewarded, as were the freshwater and saltwater captains who have led their anglers to other outstanding achievements throughout the year.

Top manufacturers
Tackle manufacturers whose products had captured the most world records were also presented awards based on the 2005 computer records.
For the third year in a row Shimano and Ande took top honors among tackle companies as did Sage and Tibor/BillyPate for fly equipment and Rapala for lures.
The proceeds from this prestigious event support the IGFA's many conservation initiatives including recreational fisheries representation on national and international fisheries management panels, game fish research and support of the IGFA Certified Observer Program.
     For a complete listing of award winners please see “Anglers and manufacturers honored at IGFA” under The Latest News on the IGFA website at .


Congratulations to Doug Stange

The IGFA wants to add its congratulations to Doug Stange who was named the 2005 Rapala Angler of the Year by the Rapala Group in Minnetonka, Minn., U.S.A. 
Stange is the editor-in-chief of In-Fisherman publications and also serves as the editorial director of In-Fisherman television. 

Register now for nine weekly summer camps at the IGFA
Registration is still underway for nine weekly day camps for children ages 8 – 13, being held during the summer at the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum in Dania Beach, Fla., U.S.A. The week-long camp sessions will take place from May 30 to July 28, 2006. Campers will explore the aquatic environment and participate in many fishing adventures and exciting activities. Camp hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Before and after-care is available from 8 - 9 a.m. and 4 - 6 p.m. 
    Pre-registration is required. If you register and pay by May 12th, you will receive a $25 discount.  For more information, check out the IGFA website at There is a maximum of 45 children per week, so reserve your spot today! You can register online at , call (954) 924-4309 or email

Calendar of future IGFA events:

May 7 – 12, 2006 --- Seventh Annual Rolex/IGFA Offshore Championship Tournament, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. -- Fishing's most prestigious billfish tournament hosts more than 60 winning teams from up to 40 countries on six continents who have qualified by winning one of 110 IGFA sanctioned events held in 2005. This tournament is the largest contingent of international teams to compete in a single catch-and-release fishing tournament world wide. Contact IGFA tournament coordinator Ms. Lynda Wilson at 954-924-4233 or; or Rolex/IGFA PR counsel Pete Johnson at 480-951-3654 or 

May 30 -- July 28, 2006 --- IGFA's nine weekly Summer Camps begin, IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum, Dania Beach, Fla. USA – This is the seventh year of the IGFA's popular nine weekly camps held during the summer break for children ages 8 to 13.  Campers will explore the aquatic environment and participate in many fishing adventures and exciting activities.  Each week-long camp session is held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Before and after-care is available from 8 - 9 a.m. and 4 - 6 p.m.   Pre-registration is required.  A $25 discount will be given if registered and paid by May 12th. For more information, go to the IGFA summer camp website at There's a maximum of 45 children per week, so parents are encouraged to reserve early. Registration is available online at, by calling (954) 924-4309 or via email at

June 18 – 20, 2006 --- Fourth Annual Mercury/IGFA Junior Angler World Championship Tournament, Key West, Fla., USA -- This event hosts girls and boys, ages five to 16, who have advanced to this all-release championship by winning one of over 30 qualifying fishing tournaments held in the U.S. and several countries in 2005. Anglers ages five -10 compete in the smallfry division; ages 11-16 in the junior division. The youngsters caught and released 920 fish in the 2005 championship. Accompanied by a parent and guided by local IGFA approved Florida Keys captains, the young anglers fish in pairs with another junior or small fry angler over two days for a variety of 23 eligible five-to-25 point species. Contact Peter Gaube, IGFA Junior Angler coordinator 954-927-2628 or or Pete Johnson, IGFA PR counsel at 480-951-3654 or

July 9 – 12, 2006 --- Sixth Annual Rolex/IGFA Inshore Championship Tournament, Islamorada, Fla., USA -- The winners of more than 55 IGFA  qualifying tournaments held in 2005 on four continents are invited to compete in this three day all release championship. They are paired with a different premier Keys guide each day fishing for tarpon, bonefish, permit, snook and redfish using fly or light tackle equipment while vying for Rolex timepieces, prizes and the prestigious title. Contact: tournament coordinator Ms. Denise Hartman 954-927-2628 or; or Pete Johnson, Rolex/IGFA PR counsel at 480-951-3654 or 

September 20 – 22, 2006 --- Mediterranean Congress of Sea Game Fishing, Palma de Mallorca, Spain --  Esteban Graupera, the IGFA Representative for Spain and President, Federacion Mediterranea Para Una Pesca Responsible, is organizing the First Mediterranean Congress of Sea Game Fishing.  Among the objectives of the Congress will be to define the recreational fishing activity in the Mediterranean and determine relative economic, social and environmental policies; evaluate the applications of recreational fishing and how to apply them to sustainable tourism; responsible fishing and self regulation; socioeconomic monitoring; along with possible alternatives for the commercial fishing sector. Preceding the conference on September 19th, the IGFA will host a workshop and meeting for IGFA staff and representatives from Europe For more information email Graupera at or go to

October 24, 2006 --- Eighth annual IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, at the IGFA headquarters in Dania Beach, Fla., U.S.A. -- Honorees are annually selected for their important contributions they have made to the sport of fishing through angling achievements, literature, the arts, science, education, invention, communication or administration of fishery resources. The evening includes a cocktail reception, silent auction, the induction ceremony for the 2006 class and dinner.  For reservation information please call Ms. Lesley Arico at 954-924-4222. 

November 1 - 3, 2006 --- IGFA Brazilian Sportfishing Conference, Vitoria, Brazil --- Many segments of Brazil's recreational fishing community will gather to discuss the current state of Brazil's fisheries. The conference will include addressing topics such as the historical and current status of recreational fishing in Brazil; species and locations of special interest to recreational anglers; the economic value of recreational fishing in Brazil; existing or potential negative ramifications from Brazil's expanding recreational fisheries, catch and release policies and technologies plus more. Portuguese and English translators will be on-site for the presentations and panel discussions. Following the conference on Nov. 4, the IGFA will host a workshop and meeting for IGFA staff and IGFA representatives from Brazil. For more information regarding attending or presenting a talk, please contact Jason Schratwieser, IGFA conservation director at

January 26, 2007 --- 23rd Annual IGFA International Auction & Banquet, The Breakers, Palm Beach, Fla., USA, -- A wide range of more than 250 live and silent auction items are featured in the premier fundraising event of the year for the nonprofit, worldwide membership-supported conservation and record-keeping organization.  For reservation information for the auction and banquet please call Ms. Lesley Arico at 954-924-4222 or via email

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