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IGFA makes adjustments for bass records

IGFA makes adjustments for bass records

DANIA BEACH, Fla. – As global leaders in the promotion game fish research and ethical, responsible angling practices, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) has announced significant updates to bass record categories based on the latest scientific findings.

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:

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.”

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