Washington State man sets new 6-pound test line class world record for Chinook salmon
John L. Beath, noted outdoor writer and photographer, broke a world record August 18, when he caught a 51.25/lb Chinook salmon using six-pound test line. The catch was no accident, as Beath began his quest to beat the current six-pound line class record for Chinook salmon in 2002.
“I fished for 30 days in August of ’2002 and ’03 and caught dozens of Chinook between 30 and 48 ½ pounds. This year I only fished with light line three times before making the record catch I was hoping for,” explained Beath.
Beath made his catch at Rivers Inlet Resort in British Columbia, Canada, within 200 feet of the resort's front door. Beath used an Islander single action reel loaded with Berkley 4-pound XT line that pre-tested into the International Game Fish Association’s six-pound line class. The rod used was a 10 1/2 ft. G. Loomis Canadian style-mooching rod designed for light line fishing.
John L. Beath, with his 51 lb 4 ounce potential world record fish.
In 2002 Beath made an instructional video titled, John Beath’s Secrets of the Pros, Whole Herring Magic. Staying with his video theme, he used a whole herring laced on twin stainless steel Mustad hooks. Beath also sweetened the herring bait with his own brand of attractant called Super Scent.
Immediately after hooking the fish, Beath asked his two fishing friends, Steve Pollack and Jamie Brownlow, both from his home town of Monroe, to sit down and just watch. Beath always runs his own boat, a 17-foot Olympic runabout powered by a Yamaha 90-horse main motor and 8-horse (Yamaha) outboard kicker. During the 55-minute battle, witnessed by a dozen people fishing the area, Beath used the kicker motor to position the boat for the best angle to fight the fish. When Beath finally finessed the fish onto its side alongside the boat, Pollack netted the chrome-bright fish.
“As soon as I saw the big fish in the net I knew my record quest had been fulfilled,” Beath said. “During the past 13 years fishing at Rivers Inlet I have taken 14 fish over 50 pounds and instantly knew this fish would break the current world record for that line class.”
The fish was weighed on a digital certified scale at Rivers Inlet Resort within three minutes of the catch.
“This was the catch of a lifetime on light tackle,” Beath said. Beath currently holds four other world records, and had already taken a 50-pound Chinook salmon on eight-pound test line. “I brought it down to six-pound line to challenge myself and the tackle to a degree most people never experience,” Beath said.
The previous record of 50 lbs, 4 oz was taken from the Kenai River in Alaska, and has been held since 1996. Beath’s new record application has been submitted and is subject to IGFA approval. The IGFA maintains all record catches for Line Class and All Tackle records.