There are a total of 74 eligible game fish species in the IGFA’s Annual Fishing Contest. No other species than those listed will be eligible for the Contest.
The species that are eligible for the Fishing Contest were not only selected for their popularity, but also based on conservation concerns. Absent are popular recreational species such as billfish, bluefin tuna and sharks. These species were omitted from the contest because of their decreasing population trends and because they are not good candidates for being released after they are weighed.
While a number of eligible species are routinely caught and retained by anglers because they are highly regarded as table fare, we encourage all participants to release as many fish as possible so they can contribute to the next generation of fish and anglers, alike. Although IGFA rules prohibit the weighing of fish on boats, many of the species selected for the contest can be caught, properly documented and safely released at or near the site of capture. IGFA encourages anglers to do their utmost to release fish in the best possible condition to ensure the highest probability of their survival. Click here for some best practices that will give your fish the best chance for survival.