Avid angler hooks two world records on fishing trip

Mr Pang Kim Lock shows off a 5.3kg titan triggerfish caught on Christmas Island last November. It weighed more than twice the previous record. Mr Pang also caught a 5.61kg yellowmargin triggerfish.
Mr Pang Kim Lock shows off a 5.3kg titan triggerfish caught on Christmas Island last November. It weighed more than twice the previous record. Mr Pang also caught a 5.61kg yellowmargin triggerfish.PHOTO: COURTESY OF PANG KIM LOCK

A Singaporean angler went on a relaxing fishing trip in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and returned home with two world records.

Avid angler Pang Kim Lock, 56, now holds International Game Fish Association (IGFA) All-Tackle records for two species of fish: The yellowmargin triggerfish and titan triggerfish.

His yellowmargin triggerfish catch weighed in at 5.61kg - more than double the previous record of 2.75kg set by American Phillip W. Richmond Jr in 2010.

Mr Pang, the director of a private equity firm, caught both fish within a week of each other on Christmas Island, Kiribati, last November.

The island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is home to saltwater flats, where anglers can wade in knee-deep water to catch triggerfish and bonefish.

Mr Pang landed his prize on his sixth trip to Christmas Island.

He was fly-fishing across the flats with a guide, who pointed a yellowmargin triggerfish feeding on coral out to him.

It took Mr Pang, whose love for fishing started when he was 10 years old, about 20 minutes to subdue the fish.

"My mind wasn't thinking about fishing for a world record, so it was just normal fishing for me," said Mr Pang.

Only after Mr Pang nabbed his catch did he realise it was a big one with a shot at a record.

"The guide said, 'Hey, this is big enough for IGFA, you have to try.' So he started guiding me - take a picture like this, measure that.

"We had a weighing scale, but didn't even bring measuring tape. So we had to use our extra lines to measure the fish, bring it back to our lodge, and tally with a ruler there."

Mr Pang released the fish he caught back into the flats after it had been documented and photographed.

Six days later, he scored another haul - a 5.3kg titan triggerfish, which was also more than twice the weight of the previous record obtained by Japanese Masaaki Sudoh in 2011, which stood at 2.05kg.

Mr Pang submitted his pictures and documentation to the IGFA upon reaching home, and was delighted when the association verified and confirmed his records in March.

"I was very happy and overjoyed. For any fisherman, if you go fishing and enjoy fishing, it must be a milestone, an objective to hit," he said.

He joins the ranks of five other Singaporeans who have entered the record books of the governing body for game fishing since record lists were started in 1939.

lesterh@sph.com.sg