2023 IGFA World Record Recap

A look back at some of the most incredible world records approved in 2023

For 85 years, the IGFA has been the official keeper of sport fishing world records. IGFA World Records are a vital component of sport fishing and validate some of the most outstanding accomplishments achieved in the world of angling.

The year 2023 marked yet another impressive year for record catches with 557 World Records approved. These world record catches were made by a total of 262 individual anglers, from 38 different countries, and on six different continents. Remarkably, among the numerous IGFA World Record applications received, an astounding 75% of the caught fish were released alive and healthy to fight another day.

Join us as we take a deeper dive into the amazing records from 2023, break down and analyze the stats, and highlight some of the most memorable catches that were approved as new IGFA World Records last year.

2023 World Record Highlights

The following is a selection of catches that were approved as IGFA World Records between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023. These catches are a small selection of catches approved as IGFA World Records in 2023 and represent a diverse range of species, geographic locations, and angling methods.

Bin's Giant Snakehead

Shamsul Azmi Bin was fishing the waters of Rawang, Malaysia, on New Year’s Day 2023 when he landed this incredible 13.61-kilogram (30-pound) giant snakehead, setting the IGFA All-Tackle World Record, as well as the IGFA Men’s 15-kg (30-lb) Line Class World Record, for the species. Shamsul landed the massive snakehead just five minutes after it crushed the crankbait he was casting, and he released the fish alive after recording the proper documentation.

Hall's Blue Cattfish

Alexandra Hall was fishing the James River in Virginia, US, on December 4, 2022, when she landed this impressive 28.58-kilogram (63-pound) blue catfish to set both the IGFA Women’s 10-kg (20-lb) Line Class World Record and Female Junior World Record for the species. Hall caught the massive catfish using cut bait and she needed 10 minutes to subdue the fish. After recording the weight on her certified scale, Alexandra released the fish safely.

Powell's Largemouth Bass

Angler Lea Anne Powell was fishing O.H. Ivie Lake, Texas, US, on February 28, 2023, when she caught and released this impressive 5.44-kilogram (12-pound) largemouth bass, setting the new IGFA Women’s 6-kg (12-lb) Line Class World Record for the species. O.H. Ivie has recently earned a reputation as one of the top “big bass” lakes in the world, and Lea Anne has added to that reputation with this new IGFA World Record largemouth. Powell was fishing with Captain Dalton Smith and the record fish struck a white fluke soft plastic on a jig head. Powell’s fish topped the previous record by nearly three pounds!

Wright's Spotted Seatrout

On March 23, 2023, Dr. Jay Wright landed this 4.82-kilogram (10-pound, 10-ounce) spotted seatrout to set the new IGFA Men’s 10-kg (20-lb) Tippet Class World Record for the species. Wright was fishing in Ponte Vedra, Florida, US, with guide Matt Chipperfield, when this massive “gator” seatrout struck his baitfish imitation fly. After recording the weight on his IGFA-certified scale and properly documenting the catch, Wright released the record trout safely.

New Zealand Swordfish

Angela Greenhalgh was fishing off the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, on March 1, 2023, when she landed this massive 218-kilogram (480-pound, 9-ounce) swordfish, setting the new IGFA Women’s 15-kg (30-lb) Line Class World Record for the species. Greenhalgh was fishing aboard the Expresso captained by Russell Greenhalgh and bested the record swordfish after a 2-hour and 15-minute fight. Greenhalgh’s fish tops the previous record by more than 100 pounds (45 kilograms), which was set in 2017.

On May 16, 2023, Kelly Troughton was fishing out of Whangaroa, New Zealand, aboard the Ruckus captained by AJ Barton, when she landed this 168-kilogram (370-pound, 6-ounce) swordfish to set the new IGFA Women’s 8-kg (16-lb) Line Class World Record. Surprisingly, Troughton brought the record broadbill to gaff after only a 35-minute fight on her light tackle outfit. Congratulations to Kelly and the crew of the Ruckus on an incredible catch, which replaced the previous record that was set 37 years ago by nearly 200 pounds!

Joseph's Blackfin Tuna

Cheyenne Joseph was fishing off Palm Beach, Florida, US, on April 29, 2023, when this massive 18.14-kilogram (40-pound) blackfin tuna ate the live sardine she was using for bait. After a tough 15-minute fight, Cheyenne landed the new IGFA Women’s 24-kg (50-lb) Line Class World Record blackfin tuna, which is the heaviest blackfin ever recorded by a female angler! Additionally, Cheyenne’s catch bested the previous record which had stood for an impressive 41 years.

Gredysa's Bluefish

Jan Gredysa landed this impressive 77-centimeter bluefish on May 14, 2023, while fly fishing in Southampton, New York, US, with IGFA Representative Dr. Jan Forszpaniak. The bluefish struck a custom fly and was landed after a 15-minute battle. With this catch, Gredysa set both the IGFA All-Tackle Length Fly and IGFA All-Tackle Length Junior World Records for the species. After recording the proper measurements on his official IGFA Measuring Device, Jan released the fish safely.

Weston's Alligator Gar

On September 2, 2023, Art Weston was fishing Sam Rayburn Lake, Texas, US, when he landed this massive 128.37-kilogram (283-pound) alligator gar, setting both IGFA All-Tackle and IGFA Men’s 3-kg (6-lb) Line Class World Records for the species. Art was fishing with IGFA Captain Kirk Kirkland aboard the Garship Enterprise when this record gar struck a cut bait. Art landed the massive gar with his light tackle outfit after a grueling 2-hour and 45-minute battle. After recording the weight on a certified scale, Art and Kirk released the fish safely back into the water. This incredible fish tops the previous All-Tackle World Record for alligator gar which stood for almost 72 years!

Beuter's Atlantic Bigeye Tuna

On October 1, 2023, Andrea Beuter was fishing out of Horta, Azores, Portugal, when she landed this massive 132.50-kilogram (292-pound, 1-ounce) Atlantic bigeye tuna, setting the IGFA Women’s 24-kg (50-lb) Line Class World Record for the species. Beuter was fishing aboard the Sensei captained by Diogo Pavia when the record bigeye struck on the troll. Nearly two hours later, Beuter was finally able to bring the record bigeye to gaff, which topped the previous record by nearly 10 pounds.

Italian Carp

IGFA Representative Paolo Pacchiarini was fishing the Piedmont Region of Italy on April 28, 2023, when he landed this impressive 27.22-kilogram (60-pound) common carp, setting the new IGFA Men’s 6-kg (12-lb) Tippet Class World Record for the species. The massive carp struck Paolo’s crawfish imitation fly and was netted after a 20-minute fight. After recording the weight on his certified scale, Paolo released the carp safely.

On May 5, 2023, Jacopo Andrea Sandona was also fly fishing in the Piedmont Region of Italy when he landed this impressive 16.10-kilogram (35-pound, 8-ounce) common carp, setting the IGFA Men’s 3-kg (6-lb) Tippet Class World Record for the species. The record carp struck a crawfish imitation fly and was landed after a 15-minute fight. Just 10 days later, Jacopo headed back to the same area and landed another carp weighing 19.28 kilograms (42 pounds, 8 ounces) to set the IGFA Men’s 10-kg (20-lb) Tippet Class World Record as well.

Wrapping up the Year

The beauty of fishing is that every angler has the opportunity, whether planned or not, to score an IGFA World Record fish. Just about any body of water, whether it be a lake, river or ocean, has the potential to yield an IGFA World Record.  That said, prior planning in understanding the IGFA’s International Angling Rules and World Record Requirements, will help up your chances of getting your name in the record book.

We look forward to 2024 being filled with more incredible catches, shattered records, and new species. After all, records were made to be broken!