By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love
Jim Smith, owner of the New Orleans flyshop Uptown Angler, apparently broke the eight-pound line class IGFA world record for red drum (redfish) when he reeled in this beast that tipped the certified scales at 33.67 pounds. Smith was fishing with his son Jamie and Captain Gregg Arnold out of Hopedale, Louisiana, on Sunday November 26.
“Everything just lined up; it was a perfect day, the water was clear, there was only a light wind, and no clouds in the sky,” said Smith. “We saw this fish in about 10 inches of water.”
The fish ate a “Halley’s Comet” fly (a purple crab pattern). Arnold said the fight lasted 22 minutes, and had it gone a minute longer, they might not have landed the fish.
“Right after Jamie netted the fish we noticed the tippet had frayed,” said Arnold. “It was probably a matter of another few seconds and that fish would have broken off.”
Interestingly, Arnold doesn’t see this record standing for a long time.
“Someone has a good chance of breaking it this month if the water stays clear,” explained Arnold. “I’ve been seeing a lot of fish in this class, and they’re all up on the flats just eating crabs … and getting heavier.”