IGFA (International Game Fishing Association) Rules Explained

Wrapping Leader Around A Cleat


Wrapping Leader around a Cleat

I recently had a situation where we were fighting in a very large shark in less than favourable sea conditions. After a long fight, the wireman was finally able to take a wrap on the trace, however, he simply could not hold the fish due to its size and the rough seas. To help hold the shark while the wireman gathered strength for another attempt, he wrapped the wire around the boat’s stern cleat until the fish could be hauled closer. At no point was the main line or double line touched, and the shark was fought to the boat completely by IGFA rules – but would this catch still qualify by IGFA regulations?


In this situation, the act of wrapping the leader around the cleat would disqualify this catch by IGFA rules, which state that “attaching the angler’s line or leader to part of a boat or other object for the purpose of holding or lifting the fish” is a disqualifying act.

IGFA Rule Book: Rules Explained:

Wrapping Leader Around A Cleat

Answer supplied by: Jack Vitek
Position: IGFA World Records Coordinator

This question ran in ISSUE 116 of BlueWater magazine: APR / MAY 2016

For the complete feature, including all photos and information captions, you can purchase back-issues here

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