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Potential World Record: 53-Pound Red Drum Caught From Kayak On Fly

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Kayak angler Rob Choi landed a potential world-record 53-pound red drum on May 14 on a fly.

53 pound red drum rob choi world record
Rob Choi and a potential world record red drum; image courtesy of IGFA

The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) is currently reviewing the world record application for a red drum caught by Rob Choi while fly fishing on a 20-pound tippet. This catch, if approved, will far surpass the existing world record of 41 pounds.

Choi is a kayak-angling enthusiast based in Richmond, Virginia. A lifelong obsession fuels his fishing ventures in local waters. He even makes Gyotaku art out of caught fish. He pursues speckled trout, muskie, striped bass, sheepshead, and flounder.

But his latest motivation revolves around a record-setting red drum.

Red drums are well-known in locations like Charleston and down to the tip of Florida. But the species ranges as far north as Massachusetts. In the Gulf of Mexico, the species thrives all the way to northern Mexico.

Red Drum on the Fly

Rob was able to land this incredible specimen while fly fishing off the shores of eastern Virginia close to his home. His fly of choice was a chartreuse Half & Half.

The fly combines two of the most popular flies: Bob Clouser’s Clouser Minnow and Lefty Kreh’s Deceiver. The Half & Half fly imitates baitfish in both freshwater and saltwater environments.

Upon landing the fish, Rob underwent the necessary steps for a world record application through the IGFA.

IGFA World Record Documentation

The IGFA is a not-for-profit organization committed to the conservation of game fish. It promotes responsible, ethical angling practices through science, education, rulemaking, and record keeping.

Choi had to follow a series of steps to ensure the IGFA would review his world record application. He had to complete an IGFA World Record form, witnessed by a signing notary. The form includes the equipment used to catch the fish, length and girth measurements, weight scale information, witnesses, and more.

All this was needed because, after weighing and measuring the fish, Choi released it back into the water to get even bigger.

The IGFA record-keeping panel is currently reviewing the application. It will announce its decision soon.

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