Armand Castagna is a world-renown angler, bay and ocean skipper, communicator and conservationist – 2015

Armand Castagna pioneered catch-and-release of world-record fish after releasing a world-record 32-pound, 8-ounce steelhead in 2000. Castagna’s filmed release of that world-record fish forced the International Game Fish Association to review and clarify releasing world records. Two years later, he released another world-record steelhead, 28.5 pounds on 8-pound line, and this time was awarded an IGFA world record, an iconic moment in the history of world-record angling. In the 1980s, he pioneered catch-and-release steelhead fishing to the disbelief of others.

Castagna runs special charter trips on his boat on San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean that has attracted celebrities from across America and many sports stars. Rather that running standard-timed trips, day-in and day-out, Castagna custom-designs each trip according to that day’s tides, feed conditions and fish patterns. Castagna is also a teacher. He has produced and released two films on steelhead fishing (where all the fish are released), published more than 40 articles, provided free seminars across California and the Pacific Northwest, and donated fishing trips and equipment to youth organizations. He promotes a conservation message in everything he does, from fighting for correct river flows on the Trinity River to the net pen releases of juvenile salmon in San Francisco Bay. He is world-renowned for his fishing expertise and leadership in catch-and-release, yet his impact with people, one at a time, is also recognized by anybody who has met him.