IGFA "Released" by David A. Wirth
New circle hook released flag designed by artist David A. Wirth
The use of flags for signaling on boats has been around for thousands of years. As anglers increasingly adopt a conservation approach to their sport, marine artist and IGFA Representative David A. Wirth is creating a new chapter in a century-old legacy to bring awareness to the use of circle hooks and the safe release of fish. Wirth’s new circle hook released flag, featuring his distinctive ancient style circle hook design in white against a sharp red background, combines the tradition of celebrating a catch with the principles of circle hooks and safe release.
Flags signifying catches have been in use aboard sport fishing vessels since the Tuna Club of Santa Catalina in California developed and popularized the use of three flags in the early 1900s (blue for marlin, white for tuna and triangular pennant for broadbill). Then in 1938, the organizers of the West Palm Beach Fishing Club’s Silver Sailfish Derby had an innovative idea: a red release pennant to mark not only the catch but also the release of the Derby’s target. The release flag was a huge milestone that changed the nature of big game fishing. Today, many tournaments have adopted release formats and red triangle pennants are proudly flown from the vessels of conservation-minded sportsmen around the world.
As knowledge of marine science improves, biologists and anglers now recognize the need for safe release practices to ensure the best odds for fish survival once they are off the hook. Circle hooks, which have widely used by anglers both in and outside of tournaments, have demonstrated the greatest conservation benefit for survival after release. Wirth’s new stylish circle hook released flag brings awareness to this innovation in conservation and allows anglers to display their prowess on the water with their dedication to sound science and responsible sportsmanship.
“I wanted to design a released flag that would represent the use of circle hooks and the safe release of game fish,” Wirth shared. Passionate about both the traditions and the future of game fishing, he added “this ancient style circle hook is a way to connect with our past, provide us safe passage and good luck on the water in the present, and connect us with our future. This ancient style circle hook brings ‘the circle of life’ into our hands.”
The new circle hook released flag will be available in the IGFA store (http://store.igfa.org) beginning in April. Wirth will donate a portion of every sale back to the IGFA Conservation programs to further support the future of game fishing. For more information on David A. Wirth and his art, visit www.davidwirth.com.
10x15 IGFA Released Flag Printed
12 x 18 Released Flag Printed
12 x 18 Released Flag Applique Embroidered
Released Marlin Applique T-Shirt Slate Blue
Released Sailfish Applique T-Shirt Grey
Released Tuna Applique T-Shirt Yellow
Released Swordfish Applique T-Shirt Artic Blue
Released Tuna Applique T-Shirt Yellow-Long Sleeve
DW Swordfish Tee Short Sleeve White
DW Ahi Tuna Tee - Short Sleeve