by Bret Amundson
“Do you want to go shoot carp before it rains?”
Chuck Ellingson’s voice pinged with anticipation. He’d just gotten his boat outfitted with a shooting platform and the nearby Lac qui Parle offered numerous shooting opportunities. Fishing during the day on a calm, sunny afternoon has been the usual tactic as the muddy water of the Minnesota River can prove to be tough any other time. (That won’t stop us from trying it at night as soon as the lights are installed however.)
“Yes!” I replied as I drove through Willmar. I still had 45 minutes to go and knew that I had one or two radio interviews to work on before I could hit the water.
“I’ll call you when I’m ready.”
My speedometer tickled the a click or two above the posted limit as I knew that I had a new platform to shoot off of soon. I’d only been bowfishing once so far this year and it yielded one of my best outings. It was with Matt Kargas and Jeremy Lewerenz from Minnesota Archery and you can read the story in the latest issue of Minnesota Sporting Journal magazine.
I arrived at home and was just about to record an interview with Mandy Urich, when my phone rang.
“I’ll be at the landing in 10 minutes, grab some gatorades and I’ll meet you there.”
I told him I had to finish up some work and hung up the phone. I had driven by the lake on my way home and you literally could walk across it’s surface, using carp as a finned-bridge. This would be a slaughter.
Chuck, from the Watson Hunting Camp, launched his boat and picked me up further south on the lake. As he arrived at the shore, carp scattered and he mentioned that he unintentionally “hit 5 carp along the way!”
The shooting usually came in pairs. We’d sneak up behind the “pods” of carp swimming upstream, their backs breaking the surface and giving away their location. The carp grouped up and it was like shooting fish in the proverbial barrel. We’d shoot numerous doubles, or one would connect and while that fish was being dealt with, the other would find a target.
I knew this trip would be short-lived and soon it was back to the landing-35 fish later. All the carp were good sized fish, but two fish stood out. One that was still full of eggs and another: A mirror carp.
There are plenty of lakes offering bowfishing opportunities and many lake associations will gladly welcome ethical carp shooters to help eradicate some of these invasive species. There are also many tournaments, including one this Friday night put on by Kruger Farms.
Here is the info: