The world record arapaima was recently caught in Guyana by a fly fisherman.
The world record arapaima was recently landed by an angler fishing the South American waters of Guyana. Catching a record-sized fish is the dream of many an angler. State records are broken quite often, but world records tend to stand for longer.
The monster sized fish tipped the scales at 416 pounds. The kicker is that the angler, Richard Hart, landed the beast on fly tackle!
Hart first visited Guyana in 2014 to fish the Esequibo River in an attempt to land a record sized wolf fish. On that trip, Hart also managed to land several large arapaima. However, it wasn't until his next trip to the same country and a different river that netted him the world record for the species.
Hart was fishing the Rewa River in Guyana when he landed the new world record. The previous record weighed in at a paltry 339 pounds. It is safe to say that Hart truly smashed that record.
According to International Fishing News,
The fly of choice for that ultimate challenge was a Rainy's Chuck and Duck, good baitfish colors, and a strong enough hook to handle such a large fish. In order to not only get the large fly out there often at over 50 feet, but also sometimes quickly, Hart used a wt 16 Sage SALT model rod size rod. A fast action rod for big flies, strong tip, with excellent forgiveness in the line direction for all the many imperfect false casts made. Another good reason to choose this size of Sage SALT fly rod, designed to handle large tarpon, sailfish, and marlin, was to tire the fish quicker when hooked so it would be a lot less stressed, and have an excellent chance at a good recovery. These fish can die if not handled properly, or played too long on light or inadequate equipment.
In addition to the world record arapaima, Hart's catch would also qualify as the largest freshwater fish caught on the fly ever. If the IGFA certifies the record, which is expected, Hart will have a hard time ever topping this feat. I don't that is going to stop him from continuing to target big fish though!