All fish entered for Length Records must be measured by anglers at the site of capture and released so that it swims away on their own and in good condition.
Fish should be revived by moving it forward in the water to ensure a healthy release. Fish caught and entered for length records are not eligible for weighing and submission for other record categories.
Rules and Equipment Regulations
All GFAA rules and equipment regulations stipulated for fishing with conventional and fly tackle in fresh and saltwater shall apply with the exceptions below. All angling and equipment regulations shall apply until the fish is measured and released alive.
A. GAFFS & NETS
1. The use of gaffs to land fish is prohibited.
2. Nets used to boat or land a fish must not exceed 8 feet (2.44 meters) in over all length. (When fishing from a bridge, pier or other high stationary structure, this length limitation does not apply.)
3. The use of knotless, rubber coated nets or other similarly designed nets that minimize slime and scale removal is strongly recommended.
B. MEASURING DEVICE
1. All fish must be measured using an official GFAA / IGFA measuring device.
2. The measuring device mat may be shortened by cutting it, but it may not be rejoined after it has been shortened.
Official Measuring Devices:
- IGFA Measure & Release Mat (This is the only mat recognised by IGFA)
- Shimano Mat
- NSW Fisheries Catch & Release Mat
The following acts will disqualify a catch:
1. Failure to comply with GFAA equipment or angling rules.
2. If the fish dies during the documentation process, or does not swim away on its accord after release
Length Record Requirements
All fish entered for Length Records are subject to the same requirements stipulated for other record categories with following additions and exceptions.
A. MEASURING REQUIREMENTS
1. Fish must be measured using an official GFAA / IGFA measuring device on a flat surface.
2. The fish’s snout must be touching the nose stop, free of lures or lifting devices.
3. With the fish lying on top of the measuring device, measurements will be taken from the most forward part of the fish’s snout to the rear center edge of the tail.
4. All measurements will be made in centimeters.
5. Fish that measure between centimeter increments shall be recorded at the lower of the two increments. For example, a fish that measures between 45 and 46 centimeters will have a recorded length of 45 centimeters.
B. MINIMUM LENGTH REQUIREMENTS FOR VACANT RECORDS
Fish entered for vacant record categories must measure within the top half of that species maximum recorded length, as shown in the eligible species list.
C. MINIMUM LENGTH REQUIREMENTS NEEDED TO DEFEAT OR TIE EXISTING RECORDS
1. To defeat an existing record, the fish must measure at least two (2) centimeters longer than the existing record
2. A catch which matches the length of an existing record or exceeds the length by less than 2 centimeters will be considered a tie. In the case of a tie claim involving more than two catches, length must be compared with the original record (first fish to be caught). Nothing measuring less than the original record (first fish to be caught) will be considered.
D. PHOTOGRAPHIC REQUIREMENTS
Photographs included with applications must contain the following information.
1. The full length of the fish on the measuring device clearly showing the position of the mouth and tail. The fish may be held in position, but must be done in a manner that does not obscure the view of the fish on the tape.
2. A close up showing the position of the fish’s nose and tail on the measuring device.
3. The angler with the fish.
4. The rod and reel used to make the catch.
General Best Handling Practices
To remove your fish from the water to document it for record purposes, anglers should use either hands or a knotless, rubberized landing net to minimize slime and scale loss. Lip gripping devices may be used to help subdue fish. However, large fish should not be hoisted vertically out of the water, as this can cause damage to jaw muscle and bone as well as to internal organs. The best method for removing fish from the water by hand is to grip the fish or the lower jaw and support the fish’s underside. Again, the point is always to hold fish horizontally and not vertically.
GFAA records require pictures, measurement and/or weighing of the catch. All of this takes time, so you should have the necessary equipment ready before landing the fish. If the documentation process takes longer than several minutes, periodically place the fish back in the water or place in a live well to allow it to breathe.
Considerable time and care should be exercised when releasing fish. Fish should be placed in the water and held by the base of the tail. If the fish is does not swim away from your grasp on its own, gently move it forward in the water to get water flowing over the gills. For best results, move the fish in the forward direction only instead of back in forth. A fish’s gills somewhat resemble the pages of a book and are designed for water flow in only one direction. Moving the fish in a slow circle or gently towing it behind the boat will accomplish this. Dermersal species caught in waters deeper than 10m must be released by the use of a release weight.