What is the IGFA’s ruling on gutting or bleeding a fish before it is officially weighed? Would doing so be categorized under the rule of “mutilation of the catch” and therefore prevent my catch from being eligible for an IGFA world record?
The IGFA does not consider gutting or bleeding a fish (there are many techniques) an act of mutilation that would disqualify the fish from world record eligibility. Removing the blood and/or organs from a fish would only decrease the overall weight and therefore would not give the angler an advantage at the scales.
When it comes to mutilation, the IGFA is only concerned with what happens during the fight. For example, should the fish be attacked by a shark or struck with a propeller during the fight it’s fighting ability has been influenced and therefore the IGFA would not consider it for a world record. To clarify, line chaffing, gaff damage and old wounds or scars are not considered as mutilation, and once the fish has been landed it is perfectly acceptable to bleed or gut the fish – just make sure your catch is big enough to withstand the weight loss and still be a world record!
IGFA Rule Book: Rules Explained:
What Constitutes ‘mutilation’ Of Potential Record?
Answer supplied by: Jack Vitek
Position: IGFA World Records Coordinator
This question ran in ISSUE 127 of BlueWater magazine: NOV / DEC 2017