Photo courtesy Capt. Mason Stoller
Unfortunately, after processing Mason’s record application, the IGFA found that his tippet over-tested, and the application was denied. The heaviest tippet allowed for fly records is 10 kilgrams (kg), or 22 lbs, and his 20 lb Seaguar fluorocarbon broke over that threshhold. So the current Pacific Bluefin Tuna record on 20 lb class tippet is still safe.
Normally, if a line sample over-tests, the IGFA will consider it for the next higher line class. But in the case of fly-fishing, the heaviest tippet class recognized by the IGFA is 10 kg, so there was no heavier line class to bump it up to.
[Editors Note: If you’re unclear on the difference between line “Test” versus line “Class”, check out our article: “Get Connected! Some Extras”, under the section “Test” versus “Class”. We’re working on a video to show you a simple, but fairly accurate, way to test line samples to help demonstrate the concepts.]
Mason was bummed out by the results, but is looking forward to next season. So far this year, the Bluefin made a brief showing off Orange County in February, then disappeared. In March, there were scattered reports of fish to the south in the usual places (9 Mile Bank, 302, 182, etc.), but they weren’t biting.
The bottom line is that with the COVID-19 lockdown in place, there just haven’t been many boats out looking around. But once the lockdown is lifted, and the Bluefin reappear in force, fly jockeys hopefully will enjoy another season filled with burned fuel, missed opportunities, and perhaps a few more fish in the boat!