IGFA Announces Changes To Freshwater Bass Records - The Fisherman

IGFA Announces Changes To Freshwater Bass Records

The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) recently announced significant updates to freshwater bass record categories based on the latest scientific findings. “These changes, rooted in comprehensive research and conservation efforts, underscore the IGFA’s commitment to maintaining accurate and current records for game fish species, ensuring a thriving future for the sport,” the organization noted in a recent press release.

In February IGFA staff and biologist Dr. Andrew Taylor of the University of North Georgia co-authored a scientific article in the American Fisheries Society journal Fisheries, titled “Updating Angling Records to Advance Sport Fish Conservation: A Case Study of IGFA’s Black Bass World Records.” This groundbreaking study reviewed the current science related to black bass genetics to update IGFA record keeping for this important species group.

The research highlighted several key findings, particularly concerning the spotted bass (micropterus punctulatus) and its close relative, the Alabama bass (micropterus henshalli). The study confirmed that many records previously attributed to spotted bass were, in fact, Alabama bass. Consequently, the IGFA has corrected these records to reflect accurate species identification.

Additionally, the study revealed the distinct identities of the Florida bass (micropterus salmoides) and the largemouth bass (micropterus nigricans), species that were often indistinguishable without genetic testing.

Given the new scientific findings, IGFA has announced that Florida bass are eligible for line class, tippet class, junior, and length records under the category “bass, largemouth (micropterus nigricans/salmoides).”  According to the IGFA, genetic testing will not be required for submissions in this category.

While the standing All-Tackle Record for largemouth bass will remain unchanged, any new All-Tackle record submissions for these species will require genetic verification. Because the genetic testing process varies by region, anglers interested in submitting a potential world record should contact their corresponding local agency for additional information.

IGFA has also announced the introduction of Alabama bass as a new species eligible for line class, tippet class, junior, and length record categories, effective immediately. This change introduces 35 new record opportunities, including seven new line class and tippet class records for both men and women.

“These updates are a testament to the IGFA’s ongoing dedication to science and conservation,” said IGFA President, Jason Schratwieser, while adding “By ensuring IGFA World Records reflect the most accurate scientific data available, we not only honor the integrity of our sport but also promote the conservation of these diverse species and the habitats they call home.”

For more information on IGFA World Records go to igfa.org/world-records.