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Ashley Cooper, Elberta, Ala.
Striped Bass
34 lb. 4 oz.
** The Lowdown: Lake Martin isn’t the easiest place to fish because of the lack of clarity in the water and the abundance of steep, rocky bluffs. But don’t tell that to Cooper, who landed her monster striped bass on April 11. If certified, it’ll be a record for a female junior angler. Bait Used: Gizzard Shad Current IGFA Record: 30 pounds — 2004; caught in the Holson River in Tennessee Courtesy of I.G.F.A.
Eric Maurer, Cleveland, Tenn.
Freshwater Drum
22 pounds The Lowdown: Maurer caught this freshwater drum on a 50-pound class line in Tennessee’s Guntersville Lake on April 23. Bait Used: Threadfin Shad Current IGFA Record: 21 pounds — 1987; caught at Tennessee’s Nickajack Dam Courtesy of I.G.F.A.
Natalie Carter, Beabroke, Oxfordshire, UK
7 lb. 4 oz. The Lowdown: IGFA Lifetime Achievement Award winner Jean-Francois Helias led this junior angler to the right spot in Ratchaburi, Thailand. Despite a hot day and a vicious fight for the girl, Carter now has this snakehead to boast after a 45-minute batter. Bait Used: Baitfish Current IGFA Record: 3 pounds, 12 ounces — 2006; caught in a canal in Broward County, Fla. Quotable: “It was great fun and dad was very jealous. It took me 45 minutes but I was determined to do it. I want to keep breaking big fish records!” — Carter **** Full Story Courtesy of I.G.F.A.
Carlos “Charly” Casal, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Broomtail Grouper
12 lb. The Lowdown: Casal is hoping his catch will make the men’s line class division for one of IGFA’s newest species added to the Record Game Fishes book. Bait Used: 30-pound class line with a MirrOlure 111M Courtesy of I.G.F.A.
Jim Spencer, St. Petersburg, Fla.
8 lb. The Lowdown: Spencer’s bowfin came from one of Georgia’s seven natural wonders: The Okefenokee Swamp, on May 2. Bait Used: Clouser Minnow Current IGFA Record: 7 pounds, 8 ounces — 1998; caught in Mr. Vernon, Alaska Courtesy of I.G.F.A.
Photo 1 of 2 Brent Applegit, Golden, Colo.
Maryland State Record Thresher Shark
642 lb. The Lowdown: Applegit and his brother were spending Father’s Day weekend with their dad by participating in the 29th annual Ocean City Shark Tournament. There were 54 boats in the tournament, which brought 14 sharks to the scale. Applegit’s was the only thresher. Bait Used: Undisclosed Previous Record: 613 pounds — 2002 Quotable: “We didn’t weigh a lot of sharks, but it seemed like there was a lot of activity and a lot of fun at the weigh-ins.” — Mark Sampson, tournament director **** Full Story
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Jim Hughes, Ocean City, MD
Maryland State Record Mako Shark
876 lb. The Lowdown: Hughes also fished in the Father’s Day weekend tournament. The day after Brent Applegit broke the state record for a thresher shark, Hughes set his hook on this mako, which was so large Hughes needed a bigger boat to haul it back to the dock. The record fish earned Hughes nearly $20,000 in prize money. Bait Used: Undisclosed Previous Record: 766 pounds — 1984 Quotable: “These records are evidence of the great fishing opportunities Maryland has to offer. You don’t need to catch sharks in the ocean, but everyone should enjoy a day of fishing in Maryland’s waters.” — Martin O’Malley, Maryland governor **** Full Story
Robby Maroudas, Hilton Head, S.C.
South Carolina State Record Cobia
92 lb. The Lowdown: Robby Maroudas, Joe Clear and Ronnie Chewning–all from Hilton Head– thought they were doing great when the team landed a 46-pound cobia early in the day during the 24th annual Food and Beverage Fishing Tournament in late May. Then around 2 p.m., Maroudas felt a heavy tug on his line. When the monster surfaced, the angler thought it was two fish. After a two-hour wait for the weigh-in back on land, the record was verified, and 11 large blue crabs were found inside the cobia. Bait Used: Live menhaden Previous Record: 87 pounds, 13 ounces — 2005 Quotable: “I have been fishing off of Hilton Head for 20 years, and I knew this fish was the one. My fishing buddies, Joe Clear and Ronnie Chewning, are not small guys, and it took all of us to hoist this fish over the gunwale.” — Maroudas **** Full Story
Photo 1 of 3 Kevin Crawford, Fort Worth, Texas
Texas State Record Common Carp

Weight: 43 lb. 12 oz. • Length: 35″ The Lowdown: Kevin Crawford didn’t hook the largest fish in the eighth annual Austin Challenge, but he certainly had the most intriguing catch. Scale and body markings from old photos indicate that Crawford’s fish was the same one that set the previous state record three years ago. The angler re-released the monster, setting up a possibility of the fish coming above the surface again in the future. Bait Used: Undisclosed Previous Record: 43 pounds, 2 ounces — 2006 Quotable: “The 43-pounder is in excellent condition and has grown a few ounces in the past three years. Our congratulations go out not only to K.C. but to the other anglers who participated in our annual event.” — Louis Cook, Carp Anglers Group President Full Story
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Photo 1 of 2 Daniel Rowe, Gray, Tenn.
South Carolina State Record Blacktip Shark
163 lb. 14 oz.
** The Lowdown: Daniel Rowe and Hilton Head, S.C., charter boat captain Reese Michalove weren’t even going to weigh Rowe’s blacktip shark on June 6. It was Rowe’s first time saltwater fishing, and he was excited to cut it up into filets when they returned to land. Good thing they thought twice. Bait Used: Barracuda Previous Record: 133 pounds — 1968 Quotable: “The most interesting thing was seeing that thing up close. We fish all the time in streams and ponds around (Gray) but you never see anything near that big.” — Rowe “The day before, I had caught a 14-foot tiger shark that weighed more than 1,000 pounds. So, yeah, this shark was really big … but no one really thought it was a record.” — Michalove **** Full Story
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Photo 1 of 4 Matt Watson, Omaha, Neb.
Shortnose Gar World Record
6 lb. 13 oz. • Length: 34.75″ The Lowdown: What’s better than a state record? A world record, of course. A little after 2 a.m. on July 9, Matt Watson, a University of Nebraska-Omaha student, landed a shortnose gar at a private sand pit west of the Fremont State Lakes Recreation Area in eastern Nebraska while fishing with friends Blake Heiget, J.P. Wachter and Dan Smith. The record fish was the fourth gar netted by the group that night. They were the first shortnose gars to have ever been caught on the lake. Bait Used: Bluegill Previous Record: 6 pounds 6 ounces (world); 3 pounds 6 ounces (Nebraska) Quotable: “We were just going out to mess around and have fun. When I caught it I only knew it was a state record, I didn’t think in any way that it would be a world record.” — Watson **** Full Story
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Federico Hampl, Cartago, Costa Rica
6 lb. 9 oz. The Lowdown: Hampl hooked this silver-scaled fish on April 12 in Brazil’s Rio Sao Benedito. Bait Used: Truvira
** Current IGFA Record: 1 pound — 2003; caught in the Rio Tapera in Brazil’s Amazon region Courtesy of I.G.F.A.
Yoshiki Shirahata, Kawasaki-Shi, Kanagawa, Japan
Pacific Pomfret
3 lb. 8 oz. The Lowdown: Fishing off of the island of Jogashima, Japan, Shirahata hooked his Pacific Pomfret on April 21. Bait Used: Cut Mackerel Current IGFA Record: 3 pounds, 7 ounces — 2001; caught in San Diego, Calif. Courtesy of I.G.F.A.
Yukiyo Okuyama, Hamura-Shi, Tokyo
2 lb. 8 oz. The Lowdown: Okuyama landed this Ugui while fishing Japan’s Tama River, 85-mile-long body of water that flows through Tokyo. Bait Used: Wooly Marabu Jig Current IGFA Record: 2 pounds, 3 ounces; 2004; caught off of Oya, Motoyoshi Miyagi, Japan Courtesy of I.G.F.A.
Peter F. Binaski, Irvine, Calif.
Pacific Barracuda
Weight: 7
lb. 4 oz. The Lowdown: Todos Santos, Mexico is known as a great place to surf, but Binaski found out it’s not a shabby place to fish, either, netting this fish after 14 minutes. If IGFA approves this catch as a world record, Binaski would be the first person to hold the two-pound line class record for the pacific barracuda, a species recently added to the record book. Bait Used: Anchovy dart Courtesy of I.G.F.A.
Steven M. Wozniak, San Ramon, Calif.
Javelin Grunter
4 lb. 4 oz. The Lowdown: Wozniak may have written the first entry for a new species in the IGFA All-Tackle division after he caught this Javelin Grunter in Australia’s Nomenade River in Queensland on April 22. He was guided by Scotty Lyons.
** Bait Used: Peeled Prawn Courtesy of I.G.F.A.

These fish are seriously brag-worthy. Here are 23 of the latest pending IGFA and state-record catches from around the globe.