If James Schmid wanted to gloat about his newfound status as a world-record salmon angler — he‘s too late.
After all, he holds the record he just broke.
The beastly Chinook salmon he caught in an Argentine river this weekend will likely set a new All-Tackle Length record, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) announced on Twitter on Wednesday.
After measuring the fish at 113 cm, Schmid released it back into the Caterina River, which runs through the Patagonian mountains of Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park. The record is still pending a complete review.
Either way, Schmid’s reputation for hauling in lunkers is proven. He has set 25 angling world records since 2011, including the one he (likely) just broke. Schmid established it in January, when he reeled in a 105cm salmon from the same river, according to IGFA records.
Just Another Accolade for Ambitious Angler
Schmid lives in Fort Collins, Colo., according to BD Outdoors, which lauded his 2013 All-Tackle Length record of a gorgeous Arctic char. Schmid caught the 88cm giant while fly fishing the Nanook River in Nunavut, Canada.
It’s just one entry on his long list of records, involving 14 species and five countries, including Canada, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and the U.S. His other notable catches include a 53-pound alligator gar via fly tackle in 2020, and a 37cm spotted bass in 2022 — both reeled in from Texas’ Trinity River. He’s also got another pending All-Tackle Length record for a 96cm smallmouth buffalo caught in Texas’ Sam Rayburn Reservoir in March.
And if you’re wondering why massive Chinook salmon can be found in Argentina — that’s a good question. The fish is endemic only to the northern Pacific Ocean and parts of the Arctic, but attempts to introduce it to other regions go back to 1872, the IGFA wrote.
The vast majority of those attempts failed, but the salmon have somehow managed to thrive in this Patagonian river. As a result, the Caterina is now considered a destination fishing spot for catching colossal king salmon.
But the All-Tackle weight record for salmon still belongs to Alaska’s homegrown hero Les Anderson. Caught in 1985 in the famous Kenai River, the 97-pound monster fish is still considered the heavyweight champion by many Alaskans, who keep it on display in the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.
For many anglers, a big fish story is just a big fish story, as illustrated by Twitter comments on Schmid’s latest Argentine catch.
“Not even a conversation,” Jess G wrote.
You’ve got to love social media.