International Game Fish Association Announces Changes To Bass Records Following Newly Published Findings

Record keeping authority announces adjustments to bass records based on latest science

Dania Beach, FL – As global leaders in the promotion game fish research and ethical, responsible angling practices, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) is pleased to announce significant updates to 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.

In February 2024, 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 this, the IGFA has made the following adjustments to record categories:

image 98

Florida/Largemouth Bass

Effective immediately, Florida bass (Micropterus salmoides) are eligible for line class, tippet class, junior, and length records under the category: “bass, largemouth (Micropterus nigricans/salmoides)”. Genetic testing will not be required for submissions in this category. While the standing All-Tackle Record for largemouth bass (Micropterus nigricans) 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.

Alabama Bass

The IGFA is also announcing the introduction of Alabama bass (Micropterus henshalli) 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. With a wide geographic distribution, this popular species will generate exciting new record opportunities within the recreational angling community.

“These updates are a testament to the IGFA’s ongoing dedication to science and conservation,” said IGFA President, Jason Schratwieser. “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.”

The IGFA is encouraging all anglers interested in pursuing World Records to explore the resources and support available online at www.igfa.org/world-records. For additional details or to read the full study, visit https://afspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/fsh.11051.

About the International Game Fish Association

Established in 1939, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) is a global nonprofit organization committed to the conservation of game fish and the promotion of responsible, ethical angling practices. With members in more than 100 countries, the IGFA is the world’s leading authority on sport fishing and maintains the global database of game fish world records and angling rules. Through education, research, advocacy, and angler recognition, the IGFA strives to ensure the future of fishing and sustainable fisheries around the world. To learn more or become a member, visit www.igfa.org.

Keep your finger on the fishing industry pulse

The Definititive News Source of the Fishing & Marine Industry