Current Records

First, I encourage you to join The Freshwater Water Fishing Hall of Fame, a non-profit Museum/Educational organization supported entirely by public donations. The FFHOF is the group that tracks and recognizes Freshwater records. BAG is a group member, but individual memberships go a long way to supporting this non-profit. The quarterly "Splash" is great reading, and this month on the cover a surprise photo of the Perry WR B@$$ - something thought not to exist. The annual record book is also a benefit of membership (will your name be in there next?), as is submission of records, an otherwise $20 fee. The following is an excerpt of the Bowfin Records from that book. Join! Enter! Load these tables with BAG members!
In June 2007, we welcomed BrianR from New York and his record-crushing Catch and Release World Record Bowfin, a 37 inch monster! The old record of 28" was obliterated. Who's next?

Line Class Length Angler Where Caught State Date
All Tackle 37" Brian D. Ridley Black Lake NY 05/26/07
4lb 37" Brian D. Ridley Black Lake NY 05/26/07

Line Class Lbs-Ozs Angler Where Caught State Date
All Tackle 21-8 Robert L. Harmon Forest L SC 01/29/80
Division #1 - Rod/Reel
2 lb 10-5 Gary D.Wear White L MI 06/28/06
(tie) 10-5 Brett R. Vegoe L Minnetonka MN 04/28/87
4 lb 10-5 David Vick L Kawaugasca WI 06/14/92
6 lb 16-6 Daniel R. Nugent Bay Cr IL 09/14/92
8 lb 11-15 Eric Schneider Minoqua L WI 09/05/93
10 lb 12-6 Kirby D Redman Squirrel L WI 05/08/99
12 lb 16-8 Alan Abraham L Okeechobee FL 04/01/89
14 lb 10-2 Patrick Witherell Grand R MI 05/01/99
15 lb 17-3 Patricia L. Dybas W. L Tohopelaliga FL 05/27/87
16 lb 9-9 Thomas Berg Saddle L MI 08/26/90
17 lb 11-8 Robert A. Davis Jordan L NC 06/12/90
20 lb 21-8 Robert L Harmon Forest L SC 01/29/80
25 lb 7-6 Greg Clusiau Jay Gould L MN 08/29/87
30 lb 12-8 Edward V Jennings Jr Kissimmee R FL 02/05/84
Unlimited 8-10 David F Orr Okefenokee Swamp GA 05/15/06
Division #2 - Fly Fishing
2 lb 4-5 John A. Piper Blue Cypress L FL 01/13/92
4 lb 7-0 John A. Piper Blue Cypress L FL 11/30/89
6 lb. 4-11 Edward C. Davis Gall Berry Swamp NC 06/27/97
8 lb 7-14 John A. Piper Blue Cypress L FL 12/04/89
10 lb 6-4 Rick Hayden Big Muddy R IL 04/24/01
14 lb 5-15 Beryl B Hedrick, Jr Okefenokee Swamp GA 05/15/06
Division #3 - Pole/Line/No Reel
Heaviest (only) 6-9 John A. Piper Blue Cypress L FL 04/27/92
Division #4 - Ice Fishing
Heaviest Pole/Line 12-3 Jerry Steinke Minoqua L WI 03/22/03
Heaviest Tip Up 6-15 Robert Dostie L Champlain VT 02/28/03

How To Enter a Bowfin Record

With bowfin, you never know when you might be the next World Record holder; it could very well be your next fish. The following tips, posted with permission from The National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, are good to keep in mind when out finnin'. Visit the Freshwater Water Fishing Hall of Fame for applications that you can download, print out and keep in your tackle box. Note that for C&R records weighing the fish automatically disqualifies the application. It might be a good idea to research your State Records application info - a lot of fin records are open and yours for the submission.

Print the form, go finnin', and enter a new C&R record. Get your name in the Record Books!

Tips on establishing a record catch (Kept fish)

When you suspect you have a fish on your line which is large for its species and may be a record catch, do not allow another person to touch your line or tackle during the encounter. More than one person involved in subduing the fish may disqualify the catch (except for help in netting or gaffing.)

Get the fish to a certified or balance type scale (one legal for trade) as soon as possible. Such scales are found in stores, post offices, fisheries, medical facilities, industry, feed mills, and often in sport shops, tourism centers or resorts.

To insure unquestionable accuracy use a scale to which is affixed a seal bearing a number, inspector, and date of check. Spring mechanism type scales are sometimes inaccurate, but may be used if they can later be verified for accuracy in case you are in a place where a certified scale is not available. Such spring scale check/verification documents would then be required to be submitted.

Weigh your fish ONLY ONCE in the presence of two disinterested witnesses and get their full name, address, and signatures. Measure girth, fork length, and total length.

Have your fish identified as to species by a professional fisheries person. If the fish is a suspected hybrid or a potential all-tackle record, have its species identified by a fish biologist or taxonomist. Get such identifier's full name, address, signature, and place of employment.

Have photos taken, color is best. Hold fish broadside for further positive identification purposes. If possible, take a black/white picture also for future press reprint purposes. Use a good camera, take a well-lighted, clear, sharp, close-up photo. For small fish close-ups, waist shots are best.

Do not open the fish. This my be required later to verify weight is suspicion arises. Meanwhile, keep the catch cold fresh or frozen until status is determined. A taxidermist can mount a fish that has been frozen.

Save the first 25 feet or more of line next to the hook/bait to later send with your application for laboratory line test purpose. Wind line on a notched cardboard to avoid kinks or tangles. For fly-fishing records, save about 25 inches of the tippet used, leaving the fly/hook attached (fly returned by request). For pole/line/no reel, or ice fishing records, only heaviest of species is recognized so a line sample need not be submitted. Records are updated quarterly in the Hall's official publication "The Splash" and annually in the Hall's World & State Book of Records, out each April.

For world record application and rules form, write or call the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 690, 10360 Hall of Fame Drive, Hayward, WI 54843, Phone: 715/634-4440. For local record application contact the state or province DNR or Fish and Game Commission.

To all applicants:

Due to the increased handling and material cost, the board of directors of the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame have found it necessary to charge a $20.00 processing fee to non-member record applicants. If you are a member of the hall this is a free service. If you would like to become a member of the hall, return the membership form with $30.00 and your world record application. Thank you for your interest in our programs.
World Records Committee

World & State records

The Hall publishes an 8 1/2 x 11 inch, 78 page book of records out each April, covering 145 species in current and all-tackle and line class records in our "kept" category. The record book also lists our "catch and release" category recognizing 56 fish species in all-tackle and line classes.

The listing shows the records that are open, yet to be filled in rod/reel, fly fishing, pole/line/no reel, and ice fishing divisions in both "kept" and "catch and release" categories. The book lists the fish records of the 50 states as well as foreign species. There are also pages of tips, rules and guidelines, fishing facts, and application forms. Every angler should have a book.

The records book is FREE to members. For others, it is available as a non-profit item for $10.00 by mail to cover the cost of printing, handling and over a dollar in postage ($11.00 outside U.S.A.). Please remit your check or better yet, become a member and receive the book and other benefits free as well as the latest quarterly record updates on a regular basis. Such quarterly record updates are listed in the Hall's mini-magazine, the "Splash," that members receive.
Thank You

America's Toughest
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