Catch “the big one” – fishing record tips to use on your next trip out
These fishing record tips come from experience meant to serve all anglers. Back when the world’s crust was just beginning to cool, I had the good fortune to luck into a weakfish of mammoth proportions one late fall day off the south shore of Long Island, New York. The encounter occurred in a small cove of pocket water well back near a marsh where smallish school bass and an occasional shad would often stack up.
Having had my fill of shorts on several recent trips, I opted to play around with some ultralight tackle, which was a “thing” at the time. I wasn’t disappointed as schoolies to 20 inches waited in line to put my 4-pound test freshwater trout outfit to the test. All was going swimmingly, as I gingerly played each fish to the net for a quick release without busting my line, an important consideration since I had only one other small hook aboard.
Six schoolies into the trip, the big one ate, instantly doubling-over my rod in a surprise attack on my finger-length live shiner. Instantly outgunned, I eased off on the drag and hoped the big yellowfin might tire before busting free. Amazingly, she stayed buttoned, and the gossamer thread held long enough for a brief visit aboard my 16-foot garvey-style clam boat. It took several minutes to revive that 13-pounder, and I proudly watched her swim away. Later that winter, I read that the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) 4-pound line class record for weakfish was a little more than 11 pounds. UGH!
My tale of releasing a potential record catch isn’t unique. In fact, it happens all the time. Even worse, many possible records are eaten by anglers having no idea they’ve topped the charts.