Yesterday I received an email from one of our readers wanting to know how to check if his son's catch was a new line class state record. My attempts to reply to the message failed, so I thought I would post the answer here for everybody to read.
But first, let me share the details of the catch. This man and his son were fishing on the Little Red River when they caught a 12 lb (28.25 inch) rainbow trout. The fish was caught on an ultra-light rod rigged with 4 lb test.
While this is a great catch, these folks wanted to know how to tell if this was new line class state record for rainbow trout.
While the IGFA keeps line class records, not all states do. So the first place to check is with your state's fish and game department. If you don't see what you're looking for on their web page, you can call them and ask if they keep line class records.
The other thing to keep in mind is that when you think you might have a potential new record, you'll want to take the fish to the nearest certified weigh station in your area. It's important to have the right folks certify your catch. Otherwise there's no way to really prove that you caught the fish or verify the equipment you were using.
Remember that fish also shrink a bit after they've been out of water and loose weight. This is another good reason to rush to the nearest certified weigh station if you think you have a record catch. You don't want to lose precious ounces!