The Game Fishing Association of Australia (GFAA) oversees the records for both saltwater and freshwater gamefishes in tippet class, line class, and tackle categories.
There are several qualifying criteria for granting and recording fish records. One of the most basic criteria for records is that gamefish must outweigh the current record by a specified amount as stipulated in the Regulations Governing Record Catches.
The average replacement weight for a record is about 50g or more than the existing record-breaking catch. If a fish exceeds the weight by less than the amount required or matches the weight of an existing record, the catch will be considered a tie. In no instance will an estimated weight be accepted.
Fish that were caught in areas like sanctuaries, hatchery waters, or banned fishing areas in national parks will not qualify for a record-breaking catch. The catch should also not break any laws or regulations governing the species or the waters in which it was caught.
Competitors submit records every year as they participate in tournaments. However, the GFAA only accepts records from species that are caught legally. The association constantly revaluates their criteria for records, and new species of fish are added to the list every year.
The association has every right to withhold a record if there is uncertainty about the species of fish that was caught. The record will not be announced until an expert or qualified authority has verified the species. If the identification of the species remains to be an issue, the angler will have the right to submit additional proof of identification.
The Australian record might not be granted by the association if the date of capture of the fish took more than two months to report. The record can only be captured after this period if the angler has a plausible reason for the delay.
At the time of weighing a fish, all equipment, including gaffs, trace, lure, a sample of line, and equipment used in the capture, needs to be submitted to the association. An official will then proceed to measure, examine, and take photographs of the catch.
Finally, an application for the record must be made on the prescribed form that is issued by the GFAA. The form must be completed, and the angler should ensure that all the information is accurate before submitting the catch. All anglers who challenge a record need to abide by the necessary safety precautions.