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When Alex Foster traveled on Country Roads back home to St. Albans, West Virginia, after a recent fishing excursion to Cape Charles, Virginia, he did so as the potential owner of a new world catch-and-release fishing record.
The 51-year old, who owns a DJ and entertainment company, is also an experienced angler who has claimed numerous freshwater fishing records over the years.
In 2012, Foster managed to catch the West Virginia State Record blue catfish (length and weight) and longnose gar (length only) on the same day!
Now, Foster may be adding a world record to his already impressive tally.
Hitting the water with Captain Clinton Lessard, Foster was able to haul in a mammoth catch — a 58 pound, 48.03 inch striped bass that, if certified by the International Game Fish Association, will become a new catch-and-release world record.
While this is certainly a noteworthy and monumental achievement for any angler, it should be noted that Foster’s catch is not the heaviest striped bass on record.
The current IGFA All-Tackle World Record was caught by Gregory Myerson on the Long Island Sound in August 2011. His catch weighed in at 81 pounds, 14 ounces.
So, how is Foster’s striped bass the new world record?
According to the official website, “the IGFA will award records for the longest fish and not the heaviest and promoting the mandatory release of the fish to earn the record.”
Just as many states have adopted catch-and-release records, the IGFA has also implemented a new records system that encourages the healthy return of fish to the water.
Foster’s striped bass, while not the heaviest ever caught, will be the longest to be released if certified.
The IGFA website also states:
While not meant to replace or usurp the IGFA’s venerable records based on weight, this category offered a new means of awarding angler achievement. In addition, it differs from traditional IGFA records in several key aspects. First, this is an absolutely 100% release category where fish must be returned to the water alive and unharmed. – IGFA.org
To qualify for an IGFA world record, individuals must go through a complex process that involves a $100 application fee, completion of a two-page form, providing a line sample, the hook used, and photos of the rod, reel, and net. Potential record fish must also be measured (and photographed) on a special board.
It should be noted that the above criteria must be met and approved before the IGFA record will become official.
In an interview with The Virginia Pilot (who originally broke this story), Foster said, “I’d have a lot of money in the bank if it wasn’t for my obsession for fishing and winning awards.”