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New IGFA World Record Striped Bass

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Looks like a potential new World Record Striper was caught a couple days ago at CBBT. 51lbs 5 oz..... Saw the thread on a couple sites


________________________________________________ _________________


Pending IGFA World Record

20 pound Tippet Fly Rod Class

Striped Bass 51lbs, 5oz


I am pleased to announce another pending Virginia IGFA World Record.


I received an email first thing Friday morning from Richie Keatley of Norfolk. He caught a big striper the night prior, and thought it could possibly be a world record. I told him the fish needed to be at least 43lbs, 12oz. Richie explained he had only caught school-sized fish up until last night, but he was sure it was over 50 pounds. When I asked why he thought the fish was over 50-pounds, he told me he had weighed the fish while standing on his bathroom scale. I laughed, and agreed to meet him at Long Bay Pointe for the official weigh-in where the fish did in fact push the needle to 51lbs, 5oz! I examined his fly rod and line, and took photos. When everything appeared in order, we began his application. This is truly an outstanding catch.


Richie was fly fishing with Pete Sileo in his 22-foot boat at the CBBT Thursday evening, December 17th. Using a trolling motor to maneuver around the pilings, he placed his own hand-tied 3/0 Clouser blue-tinted fly in front of a school of big boys. Richie's battle of a life time began when one of those trophies slammed the little fly. After a nerve racking battle, with the fish taking the line around the pilings, and several other "close calls," Richie had the fish boat side within about 30-minutes. But the troublesome task was not over since their net was not meant to hold a trophy-sized fish. After three netting attempts, the final swipe resulted in a broken net, with part of the net disappearing into the night. A quick thinking hand through gills maneuver by his buddy landed the trophy safely in the boat. Congtatulations Richie and Pete! Once again, Virginia fishing history in the making.






Here is Richie's Detailed account of his catch:


Well it finally happened. I have been flyfishing in the light line of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge tunnel catching striped bass for years, but after catching thousands of school-sized fish, I finally caught a big one. A really, big one.

We arrived at the launch ramp at Kiptopeke around 7:30 pm, for what promised to be a chilly night. The weather report was for winds out of the NNW at about 10, 15, and temps in the low 30s. I had been planning to take my friend and business associate Pete Sileo striper fishing all fall, but every time he was in the area, the weather didn't cooperate. We had planned to go two nights before, but the weather man said the winds would blow 20, 25 with gusts over 40. Too much for my 22' Pathfinder Bay Boat in an area that get notoriously rough and dangerous.

I love fly fishing from this boat because it is completely open with only a few things to potentially snag your fly line on. And over the years, I have learned one of the secrets to light line fishing. Sneak up behind the fish that hover on the surface waiting to ambush bait fish washing down with the tidal current, and toss your fly just in front of the fish you want to catch. For a number of years, I used a technique taught me by fishing god, Malcolm Pine. To hold yourself in position to catch fish, use a long wooden or aluminum pole to push off of the underside of the bridge. I used this method for quite a few years until a chance fishing trip with a fellow Pathfinder owner from Florida. "You need a trolling motor my friend" remarked Tyson after trying to duplicate my method and allow me to fish one evening.

The bow mounted, remote control trolling motor proved to be a very welcome addition. With a wireless transmitter affixed to my wrist like a wrist watch, I could now fish alone, holding my boat in the perfect spot silently stalking striped bass with the fly rod. And now I could catch fish at the same time as any guests I might bring along, thus doubling the number of fish we could catch in a night.

After clearing the Concrete Ships at Kiptopeke, we headed down sea at a moderate pace toward the high level bridge of the bridge tunnel. About 2/3 of the way there, we stuffed the bow into the back of wave, and a huge wall of water broke over the bow, clearing the console and landing squarely on my back as I ducked my head forward. Thank god for Gore Tex and rain pants. Pete wasn't quite so lucky, as the deluge washed down the deck and over his tennis shoes. It was wet cold feet for Pete for the remainder of the night. This event was kind of typical for our night thus far, as we managed to forget to bring a number of important items - the big net, the camera, something to drink, and extra socks. As we drove over the bridge tunnel, Pete remarked that because we had left the net and camera behind we were almost assured to catch a big fish.

Upon arriving at the bridge tunnel, I went into my familiar routine. Lower the trolling motor, step up on the front deck with my fly rod, and move silently from opening to opening looking for stripers holding on the surface. After moving though about 10 openings, there they were. There were perhaps a dozen fish holding right in the shadow, and their size made them look more like logs than fish.

One cast with a 3/0 blue over black closer, and the fight began. I watched the big fish inhale the fly, and I gave it 3 firm strip strikes to sink the hook as best as I could. The fish sounded, and turned down current, clearing the trolling motor but heading under the boat. As I walked down the boat to the stern, the line snagged on the engine. Not being a boater, Pete wasn't any help in trimming up the engine. After finally getting the engine trimmed up and line cleared, I turned to better fight the fish and things looked grim. We had fallen back in the current some, drifting back under the down-current-most bridge, and the fish had now cut between two pilings and headed back up current to what looked like the next set of pilings over, to the up current-most bridge. "We are definitely going to lose this fish" I remarked.

I reared back on the rod and applied steady pressure for what I think was about 5 minutes. It felt like the fish was just sitting there on the bottom motionless, playing tug of war. I wasn't making any progress, and the fish wasn't either. My 10 weight rod was pretty much doubled over the whole time, and it felt like either I was now snagged, or the fish wasn't moving. All the while, I was having to reposition the boat with the remote control trolling motor. Sometimes increasing its speed, sometimes slowing it down, turning left, turning right to keep us in the best position I could manage. I finally felt the fish move, and I gained some line. As the fish moved back down current, I had to accelerate the boat forward in an attempt to keep the line from being cut on the piling. "This fish is gonna cut me off for sure" I remember saying.

After what must have been 5 more minutes, I saw the big fish flop on the surface of the water, but she was on the back side of the piling. Somehow, I managed to move the boat forward in the current enough to get a good angle on the fish to get it through the gap between the pilings. Once it cleared the pilings, I had a plan. As the fish sounded again, I was able to spin the boat in the current with the trolling motor using the remote on my wrist, keep the pressure on the fish with the rod, and literally lead the fish out to open water almost like walking a dog on a leash. Once we were out from under the bridge, I felt I had a lot better chance to land this cow.

The fight lasted probably 10 minutes more. With the fish coming to the surface on several occasions, and surging back down as it saw the boat. Once I was out in open water, I loosened the drag up so that I could take it a little easier on my leader as I was sure it had been scraped up pretty bad on the encounter with the pilings.

The little landing net I had on the boat was no match for this fish. I instructed Pete to net it head first, and just jam as much of her in there as he could. Three net attempts later, he netted the fish, but as he reared up to bring her aboard, the net virtually exploded. The handle gone, Pete grabbed the big fish by the gills and hoisted it over the side, nearly snapping his fly rod as the big fish flopped over the side and onto the deck. "Oh my god, that's a big fish". We put the fish along the tape, and it looked like she was about 48 inches. "We should let this fish go" I said, and Pete looked at me like I had 3 heads. After thinking about it a little more, we loaded the big fish into my 90 quart cooler which was of course way too small to hold this fish. I attempted to take a picture of her with my cell phone camera, but all I got was a black screen.

I checked my watch, and it was now about 8:45. I am guessing the fight took about 30 minutes, as we had arrived at the bridge right at 8 pm, and we had hunted each opening for about 15 minutes before we found the fish. We headed back up to the bridge, and there they still were. For the next hour or so, we managed to boat 3 more respectable fish, with Pete landing a 35", and with me catching 2 more, one 38" and one 39" fish.

As the wind began to freshen, we headed back to Kiptopeke into a pretty stiff chop. We loaded up the boat, and headed back across the bay. When we arrived back at the house, we snapped some pictures and thought about how we might weigh the fish. I went up and got my bathroom scale, and got on the scale solo, then got on the scale with the fish. I read my weight (175), and Pete had to read mine as I cradled this big fish across my arms and tried to stand still. I mentioned to Pete that Harry Huelsbeck had caught a world record striper over there a few years back, and his fish I had remembered was about 43 lbs. If the number is over 215, this fish is pretty close to a world record. He said, "Oh my god, 225". "That fish weighs 52 lbs" he said.

We packed the fish in ice, and Pete headed off to his hotel. I came inside and looked to see what I could find on the IGFA website. But not being a member, I was unable to look up the record for anything other than the all tackle record. I wasn't sure if someone had broken Harry's record in since he set it. So I posted a note to the Pathfinder bulletin board, asking fellow owners if anyone was able to research it for me, and headed off to try to get some sleep.

The next day, I had a meeting in the morning that prevented me from heading straight over to get it weighed. After I contacted Julie Ball, our local IGFA representative, I headed over to Long Bay Pointe to see how much she weighed. The tale of the tape - 51 pounds, 5 ounces, 48" long, and 29" in girth. I still can't believe it didn't bust me off, and we were able to land it. Wow, what a night, and what a fish.

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Truely a great fish, record or not. I just have two questions, and it is not meant to take away from this accomplishment whatsoever. Was the angler using a trolling motor to hold position in the current, and if he was wouldnt this invalidate the catch for World Record consideration? I repeat I am not trying to put down the angler or technique used, but as I read his account that was my understanding of how he was using his trolling motor. Maybe I read it wrong(wouldnt be the first time), or maybe the angler was not aware of the boat out of gear provision of the rules. Like I said record or not that fish is an outstanding accomplishment.

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hopefully they will look at like being on anchor. Think the intent of out of gear is no trolling the fly---great question.


great catch either way--i would be more worried about tippet testing

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