The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) is a nonprofit organization committed to the conservation of game fish and the promotion of responsible, ethical angling practices, through science, education, rulemaking, record keeping and recognition of outstanding accomplishments in the field of angling. They were founded in in 1939.
Listen to the podcast episode on the lures that have caught the most record fish.
The IGFA maintains the World Records for all species of game fish. You can search all IGFA World Records for freshwater and saltwater fishes. You can also download the application to submit a potential record, learn about scale certification, pretest your fishing line, and more.
The IGFA database includes 19,660 total records. This includes current and retired records. A retired record means that that record has been broken but was the world record at one time. There are 6,714 current records and 12,946 retired records in the database.
The fishing records include fresh and salt water fish, including 1,649 species, from Acara Paragaio to Zander Volga. There are 37 types of bass, including largemouth, smallmouth, guadalupe, striped, spotted, and white, among others. Men caught 14,003 of the record fish and 5,637 were caught by by women. That’s 29% by women. (You go girls!)
Many anglers hold more than one record. In fact, 208 people hold 10 or more records. The most records held is 433, by Martin Arostegui. His records include 85 different fish species from Bluegill to Baracuda to Carp to Tuna.
NOTE: Because each angler supplies their lure or bait information, there are some data inconsistencies. I was only able to analyze lure information when the angler included it with their entry. Many anglers did not include the lure type or brand.
There were 2,877 different lure entries. Some anglers provided more detail than others regarding the lure they used to catch a record fish. Some entries just use the word "lure," without any other identification. Others provided minimal detail, such as the word "jig," without sharing the type, brand, size or color. And then there is my hero, Bethany Gascho!
Bethany holds the record for largest Whiterock Bass, a hybrid species produced by a female striped bass and a male white bass. When Bethany submitted her data, she included that the fish was caught on a:
- St. Croix AXS70MHF rod
- Daiwa BG3000 reel
- Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braided line
- 3/8 ounce, Booyah, Double Colorado Blade, Spinnerbait, in White Chartreuse
If only all anglers were like Bethany! Nonetheless, here is my analysis of the 19,660 records by lure type and brand.
Most common LURE TYPES that have caught world-record fish
|Lure type||# record fish|
|Plastic worm / grub||195|
Most common LURE BRANDS that have caught world-record fish
Remember that I was only able to analyze the lure brand when the angler included it with their entry. Many anglers did not include the lure brand.
|Lure Brand||# record fish|
|Mr. Twister / Sassy Shad||50|
|DareDevle / Eppinger||24|
|Zara Spook / Heddon||12|
|Woodchopper (Luhr Jensen)||11|
|Beetle Spin (Johnson)||7|
Thanks to the International Game Fish Association for supplying me with the data! There nothing I like better than crunching numbers!