It's official. Bud Rowland's world record 37.5", 15lb. 6oz. trout is now the new Texas state record replacing Wallace's 13.11. This is news to me but apparently TPW changed their mind and certified it back in January.
You can carve this one in stone and hang it on the wall because I doubt this one will be broken in my lifetime, if ever. Man what a fish.
Trout record was a long time coming
State revises rule, recognizes 15-pound 6 ounce fish caught in 2002
June 10, 2004
Texas has a new state record spotted sea trout._It's that 15-pound 6-ounce trout caught on the fly by Carl "Bud" Rowland of McAllen, which I wrote about back in August 2002. Rowland caught the 37 1/4-inch Lower Laguna Madre speck in May 2002, while sightcasting from his boat near a spoil bank a short ride from his part-time Port Isabel home.
Houston angler Jim Wallace's 13-pound 11-ounce Baffin Bay trout, which held the state's top spot since 1996, is officially Number Two.
But only recently did Texas recognize this shattered record because Rowland released his fish. It finally was unceremoniously sanctioned on Jan. 24, 2004. Nobody told me.
Apparently, Texas Parks & Wildlife officials changed their minds, and their policy that required fish be brought in and weighed on a scale certified by the state.
The International Game Fish Association had certified Rowland's remarkable catch more than a year earlier as the largest trout ever recorded using 16-pound tippet. Tippet is fly-speak for the leader to which a fly is attached. Rowland's fish is the largest fly-caught trout listed in the IGFA's 2003 World Record Game Fishes, a publication in which his name has appeared several times before.
Joedy Gray, who oversees the TPW fish-records program, told me last week that if Rowland's fish survived the rigorous IGFA certification test, then it should be good enough for the State of Texas. This controversial position of the state has fluctuated during the past two years. Originally, Gray said that out of fairness the state's rules could not be changed retroactively to accommodate Rowland's trout.
Gray also waived the state's 60-day rule for submitting records' applications because it took longer than 60 days for the IGFA to certify Rowland's fish. Rowland said he really wasn't all that interested in the state record. Friends encouraged him to do it. Then, in an unusual move, TPW actually encouraged him to submit his trout information for consideration. Finally the necessary paperwork arrived at TPW headquarters.
I've heard the arguments for and against certifying release fish as state records. Some say the program's credibility will suffer by opening the door to cheating. It would be an easy task to fill a fish's belly with lead before photographing it. Perhaps not so easy would be convincing two witnesses to participate in the conspiracy.
The IGFA requires a photo of the fish being weighed by a scale (usually a handheld scale) and the signatures of two people who were present while the fish is being weighed. In addition, the IGFA requires that the scale be certified and sent to them for inspection. In the case of line-class records, the actual tippet or leader must be inspected and tested by the IGFA before the fish is accepted as a record.
Meanwhile, catch and release proponents argue that if TPW wishes to effectively encourage fisheries conservation, then its policies should reflect this stance. For the state to virtually require trophy-class fish be killed before being considered for the Texas record book would seem contradictory, they say. The department since has adopted a system for release fish, similar to that of the IGFA.
Say what you will about all this, but it's a done deal. So what did Rowland use to entice a strike from his celebrated trout? He used an imitation crab/shrimp-looking fly he tied himself, and aptly named Numero Uno.