Keith Arthur’s views on the news

That, and a photo, would make fid­dling dif­fi­cult to pull off

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

THIS won’t be the first time I’ve spo­ken about record fish and the ab­so­lute re­quire­ment for a new type of record list.

The In­ter­na­tional Game Fish As­so­ci­a­tion has a record list a mile long, be­cause it cre­ates lineclass, all-tackle and fly-only with dif­fer­ent tip­pet strengths among them, and now a mea­sure-and re­lease cat­e­gory. It is that last one that I be­lieve the Angling Trust and BRFC should be work­ing on.

Weights can be un­re­li­able, if for no other rea­son than they can be man­u­ally ad­justed and there­fore peo­ple can cheat! How­ever, pro­duc­ing an ‘of­fi­cial’ mea­sur­ing tape or ruler and de­mand­ing that any claim is mea­sured us­ing that and pho­tographed at the same time would be very dif­fi­cult to fiddle. It could also raise some funds for the Trust and BRFC.

A shark, tope, bass or other sea fish that has to be re­turned, plus any coarse fish or catch-an­drelease trout, can be ac­cu­rately mea­sured and pho­tographed in a few sec­onds and re­leased with­out dam­age, whereas set­ting up scales, ze­ro­ing (or not!) and trans­fer­ring fish to slings is long­winded, messy and much more dif­fi­cult to cap­ture on cam­era.

There is even the po­ten­tial to set up a ‘weight-for-length’ record list. After all, records are only com­par­isons, and if an ac­cu­rate pho­to­graphic pre­sen­ta­tion of length and girth is submitted and the BRFC cal­cu­lates the es­ti­mated weight I can see noth­ing wrong with it at all.

Come on, this would hugely in­crease the in­ter­est in records. Look what hap­pened when a tackle man­u­fac­turer awarded prizes for line-class ‘records’ a few years ago – plenty of an­glers were ob­sessed with it.

And if you don’t be­lieve that ob­ses­sion, check out the IGFA record lists and see how many times the same names ap­pear.

I once fished with an an­gler called Herb Rat­tner in the USA who held 163 world records at one time or another!

Nick Lane’s ‘record’ thresher shark could have been a proper record with dif­fer­ent mea­sur­ing cri­te­ria.

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