Wanda Taylor is considered one of fly fishing’s female pioneers. The TFO advisor has now further etched her name in angling lore. It’s there in black and white.
A world record.
Propelled by the guidance of fellow TFOer Jake Jordan, Taylor set the IGFA mark in early February when she bagged a 33-pound spearfish off Kona, Hawaii. Official confirmation came from the IGFA late last week when Taylor received a certificate, which noted the tippet class (20 pounds), along with the weight and date of the catch.
For the record, Taylor used TFO’s heavy-duty Bluewater rod with a pink and white Jake Jordan Big Popper Marlin fly.
“I’ve never been one to chase world records, but I had the opportunity to (do so),” Taylor said. “I know what it means to Jake and the team. It was pretty special and for women in general. There are people who have a passion for it. I’m not sure I have a passion for it. I count it as a blessing to have that opportunity to do it. It wasn’t something where I woke up and wanted to break a world record.”
Jordan and his crew suspected the fish was a possible world record moments after the catch, but had to wait nearly four months for the IGFA to navigate the approval process.
“I had never experienced this before,” Taylor said. “I didn’t know if it was going to be a long wait or a short wait. I didn’t realize the process of a world record is from around the world, not just from Florida, Georgia or Hawaii. They have thousands and thousands of entries. It just takes a while to test the leaders, to make sure everything was correctly done. With all that in mind, it was really a short wait.”
Turns out, the wait was worth it.
“I was surprised how beautiful (the certificate) is,” Taylor said. “They are so well done. The fish is on the document. It’s raised, really beautifully done. I was really relieved for the captain (and crew). They had a lot of records on conventional tackle. This one was on fly and one that’s rare as a short-bill spearfish.”
The trip to Hawaii came as a part of Jordan’s Spearfish Fly Fishing School. All were aboard Captain Kevin Nakamaru’s 37 Merritt “Northern Lights.”
Give Taylor credit for landing the fish; give the captain and crew credit for putting her in proper position.
“They were huge,” Taylor said. “It makes a difference if you have a captain that knows what he’s doing. It’s a team effort. The key is keeping your watch angle, so the captain can see what you’re doing. You have to keep calm, so you can hear what the captain is saying and know what he’s seeing because he’s the one with the view. You don’t have that view because you’re in the back of the boat. It’s important to have that communication.”
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