Meredith McCord of Houston, Texas, set a pending International Game Fish Association tippet class file with a 36-pound, 12-ounce black drum she caught January 31 within the Louisiana marshlands. Her catch outweighs the standing file by greater than 12 kilos and was McCord’s second IGFA ladies’s file in two days.
McCord is a world-class angler who enjoys greater than 200 days on the water annually. She spends a few of her time internet hosting fly fishing journeys all over the world via Meredith McCord on the Fly, however can be devoted to chasing IGFA world information. Since 2012 she has already set 231 of them—112 of which nonetheless stand.
You don’t rewrite the file e-book that usually with out fishing deliberately, and that’s exactly what McCord and Captain Collin Huff have been doing once they determined circumstances in late January have been excellent for chasing a file McCord had lengthy coveted: the ladies’s 1-kilogram (2.2 kilos) tippet class file for purple drum, which is often known as a redfish.
“A chilly entrance had moved via and despatched water temps plunging,” McCord tells Discipline & Stream. “The forecast for the subsequent couple of days was excellent: chilly air, sunny skies, and no wind.” It’s very exhausting casting with 2-pound tippet if there’s a wind, McCord explains, and the chilly water slows the fish down, in order that they don’t combat as exhausting, rising her odds of touchdown them on ultralight sort out. McCord was utilizing a 5-weight rod, which she says helps defend the sunshine tippet and permits her to play the fish with finesse reasonably than energy.
McCord and Huff set out on January 30. Huff poled the skiff as McCord forged a customized fly they name the “Critter Gitter.” She recognized a number of redfish within the 15- to 25-pound vary, all of which have been heavy sufficient to high the present file of 13 kilos. She forged to an enormous purple, however a “smaller” fish darted out and stole her fly. After enjoying it for quarter-hour, she obtained the fish handy and found that it weighed 18-pounds, 1-ounce—nonetheless sufficient for the file. She documented the measurements wanted to use for the file, then launched the fish. Satisfied that she might do higher, she determined to attempt once more the subsequent day.
The Subsequent Day Introduced a Larger Fish—However It Wasn’t a Redfish
On January 31 McCord and Huff once more obtained into a bunch of massive redfish. “Proper after we entered the flat I noticed this huge again protruding of the water,” McCord recalled. “A black drum. We poled over to it, however Colin was like, ‘No, we’re on a mission, we’re going for purple drum, so let’s concentrate on what we got here right here to do.’”
They began chasing redfish, and McCord hooked one immediately. She knew it wouldn’t high the 18-pounder from the day earlier than, so she performed the fish aggressively and broke it off pretty shortly. As they made one other loop across the flat to get the solar at their backs, she noticed the black drum once more. “It was nonetheless meandering slowly round, and I used to be like, ‘How huge do you suppose that’s?’” Huff guessed 20 kilos. McCord felt it was undoubtedly greater than the present file, and she or he would know: The present 1-kilogram tippet class file is a 17-pound, 12-oz fish caught in 2019 by none apart from McCord herself. “I informed Collin, let’s give it a shot.”
She made a number of casts earlier than dropping the fly “proper down over the nostril” of the fish. As McCord held her breath, “the fish stopped, truly swam an inch or two in reverse, and sucked it proper in. He was on!”
“I cleared my line and obtained him on the reel,” McCord remembers. No sooner had she set the drag than the drum started to swim straight towards the boat. With no time for Huff to come back down and wield the web, she determined to do it herself—a dangerous transfer with such mild tippet. Huff suggested in opposition to it. However there was no time to do anything. McCord grabbed the web that lay at her ft. “I went down for the inside track, and lo and behold, the previous man swam proper within the web.”
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In lower than three minutes she had damaged her personal IGFA mark with a fish twice as huge as her earlier file. Or so she thought. McCord’s story, it seems, had yet another twist. McCord submitted her fishing line for energy testing, which is normal process for IGFA information. Though she makes use of a particular licensed line that’s examined a number of instances on the manufacturing facility, McCord knew there was an opportunity the road would take a look at out at the next tensile energy than the two.2 kilos allowed by the 1-kilogram tippet class. Due to all of the variations in temperature this explicit spool had gone via because of the huge swings in climate, McCord was extra nervous than regular. Positive sufficient, the road broke at 2.38 kilos through the IGFA take a look at, only a hair past the restrict for the two.2-pound tippet class.
Fortunately for McCord, the 36-pound, 12-ounce drum was nonetheless heavy sufficient to beat the standing file for the 2-kilogram tippet file, which was a 24-pound, 8-ounce black drum caught in 2010. This final result additionally signifies that McCord’s 1-kilogram file nonetheless stands, giving the Texas angler information in three of the seven tippet lessons for the black drum: the 1-, 2- and 6-kilogram lessons. Pending approval of her 1-kilogram tippet class redfish, McCord might additionally maintain 4 of the seven tippet class information for that species within the 1-, 2-, 4-, and 8-kilogram classes. As soon as confirmed, the redfish would change into McCord’s 232rd IGFA World File and the 36-pound black drum, her 233rd.