The Bowfishers of Arkansas

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The Bowfishers Of Arkansas
The Bowfishers Of Arkansas

Established June 1992!
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Shawn Hoelzeman Officer 501-269-1714
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by Last Place Ace on March 07, 2015, 11:51:27 AM
Abstract.—Bowfishing is an understudied method of fishing that appears to be legal throughout the United States. Therefore, species composition and harvest rates were determined at six bowfishing tournaments held in Arkansas at the lower White River, the Arkansas River at Lake Dardanelle, the Arkansas River at Piney Bay, Lake DeGray, Bull Shoals Lake, and Lake Ouachita between July 1999 and May 2000. A total of 3,280 fish were harvested at the six tournaments; of this total, 2,751 fish representing 19 species were identified. Total harvest per tournament ranged from 179 to 1,674 fish and from 6 to 12 species. Mean (6SD) harvest rate for tournament participants was 3.8 6 1.1 fish/h; among tournament winners, the harvest rate was 7.7 6 2.8 fish/h, which appears high compared with other sport fisheries (range ¼ 0.28–2.59 fish/h). Five species accounted for 84% of fish harvested: spotted gar Lepisosteus oculatus, common carp Cyprinus carpio, shortnose gar L. platostomus, spotted sucker Minytrema melanops, and smallmouth buffalo Ictiobus bubalus. Rank number of each species harvested at the tournaments was correlated (P , 0.05) for only 4 of 15 pairwise comparisons, which suggests that harvest often varies by tournament. Tournaments held at the Arkansas and White rivers had correlated harvest, as did spring tournaments held at the Ouachita River drainage reservoirs (i.e., Lake DeGray and Lake Ouachita). Harvest of fish smaller than published size-atmaturity estimates was generally not problematic but appeared to be of greatest concern for smaller-bodied catostomid species. This study indicates that tournament bowfishers have higher harvest rates than traditional rod-and-reel anglers. Results of this survey should provide baseline information that may assist natural resource agencies with management of bowfishing. Bowfishing is the use of archery equipment to catch fish. Bowfishing appears to be a legal method to harvest select fishes throughout the United States, and major tournaments are held in all regions of the country (BAA 2010). Bowfishing is regulated by state agencies with a diversity of harvest regulations. Most states appear to restrict harvest to fish species that (1) are not sport fishes (e.g., Kansas and Texas) or endangered species, (2) are very abundant and perceived to be underutilized (e.g., shads in Washington and suckers in Maine), and (3) are nonnative, such as common carp Cyprinus carpio (e.g., Washington). Often, there are no creel limits for those species that are legal to harvest (e.g., California and Washington). However, Nebraska has a limited permit archery season for paddlefish Polyodon spathula (Porter and Mestl 2010). States have adopted bowfishing seasons (e.g., Minnesota) and seasons for targeted species groups (e.g., Ictaluridae in Arkansas). The locations where bowfishing is allowed are often restricted. For example, Texas prohibits bowfishing in community fishing and state park lakes. Bowfishing is an understudied method of fishing, perhaps because it is highly specialized and infrequently used. Searches of the Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (2005) and Google Scholar (2009) produced only five scientific fisheries articles related to bowfishing, primarily for capturing grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella (Morrow and Kirk 1997; Morrow et al. 1997) and gars (Lepisosteidae; Tyler and Granger 1984; Tyler 1990; Buckmeier 2008). Estimates of how many individuals participate in bowfishing nationwide are generally not reported in national fishing surveys (USFWS and U.S. Census Bureau 2006) or creel surveys. There are no current estimates of the number of bowfishing tournaments held nationally, but at least 28 tournaments were held in Arkansas by major bowfishing clubs during 1999. Several states have changed harvest regulations in the past 15 years despite the paucity of published information concerning bowfishing. Recent regulation changes of which I am aware include allowing a bowfishing season at night (Minnesota), allowing harvest of catfishes (e.g., Arkansas, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania; Lee 2009), and reducing creel limits or requiring harvest permits for long-lived species such as the alligator gar Atractosteus spatula (e.g., Arkansas, Florida, and Texas). Bowfishing is a legal method for harvesting rough fish (e.g., gars, bowfin Amia calva, common carp, Asian carp Hypophthalmichthys spp., buffaloes Ictiobus spp., bullheads Ameiurus spp., and freshwater drum Aplodinotus grunniens) in Arkansas. A need to determine harvest during bowfishing tournaments in Arkansas developed in 1999, when the Bowfishers of Arkansas (BOA) requested that the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission legalize the bowfishing harvest of catfish. On the basis of professional opinions of agency biologists who participated in bowfishing trips with BOA members, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission adopted harvest regulations (effective 1 January 2000) that allowed the harvest of two catfish daily and an open season of 15 July to 1 May to protect spawning catfish. However, the need to better understand harvest by bowfishers remained. The objective of this study was to determine fish harvest at six bowfishing tournaments in Arkansas. I was interested in documenting harvest rates and how species composition varied among tournaments. Information collected from this survey provides baseline information that may assist with management of bowfishing, and survey results should be useful to natural resource agencies when faced with making decisions about harvest regulations for bowfishing. Methods The six bowfishing tournaments studied were held at the White River at DeVall’s Bluff on 31 July 1999, the Arkansas River at Lake Dardanelle State Park on 22 August 1999, Lake DeGray at Arlie Moore Access on 19 March 2000, Bull Shoals Lake at Lead Hill Access on 1 April 2000, Lake Ouachita at Shangrila Access on 30 April 2000, and the Arkansas River at Piney Bay Access on 7 May 2000. The Lake Dardanelle State Park tournament was the only tournament sanctioned by the Bowfishing Association of America (BAA). The BOA sanctioned the other tournaments. The BOA tournaments lasted 6 h (2000–0200 hours), and the BAA Lake Dardanelle tournament lasted 12 h (1800– 0600 hours). The impoundments studied varied in size from 5,422 to 16,228 ha (Table 1). Bowfishers were required to launch their boats in the river or lake at the access where the tournament was held. Tournament rules allowed the participants to go anywhere that could be reached by boat. Bowfishers usually registered as two-person teams, but rarely a three-person team was allowed. Bowfishers paid separate fees to enter contests for the largest fish harvested (by weight) and for the greatest number of fish harvested. Arkansas Game and Fish Commission regulations allowed bowfishers to harvest unlimited numbers of scaled rough fish, except that the daily limit for suckers (excluding buffaloes) was 20. Tournament rules did not allow harvested catfish to be counted at the weigh-in. All fish were identified, counted, and measured for total length (TL) at the bowfishing tournaments. Fish were measured to the nearest millimeter except in Arkansas River tournaments, where fish were measured to the nearest 25-mm length-group to expedite data collection. For descriptive comparisons, mean TL was calculated from the smallest millimeter of the length-group (e.g., 25–49 mm ¼ 25 mm). Therefore, mean TL for the Arkansas River tournaments should be considered a conservative, slight underestimate. At the Lake Dardanelle tournament, some bowfishers left before measurements of their fish could be collected. Therefore, total harvest of each team was determined from the tournament weigh-in board, and species composition was determined from a sample of teams (12 of 20). Pooled length frequency histograms among tournaments were made for each species harvested that had a minimum sample size of 30. Size at maturity for each species was determined from the literature (e.g., Etnier and Starnes 1993; Pflieger 1997) and was compared with the lengths of harvested fish to assess whether immature fish were possibly being harvested. Spearman’s rank correlation was used to determine whether the rank number of each species harvested (N; data from Table 2) was correlated between tournaments (Zar 1984). Tournaments with similar harvests should exhibit a positive and significant correlation. If harvests between tournaments were negatively and significantly correlated, then species with a high harvest at one tournament had a low harvest at the other. When the correlation was near zero and nonsignificant, then harvest at the two tournaments was considered to be independent. Results In total, 3,280 fish were harvested at the six tournaments; of this total number, 2,751 fish representing 19 species were identified (Tables 1, 2). Families represented in the harvest included Lepisosteidae, Clupeidae, Cyprinidae, Catostomidae, Ictaluridae, and Sciaenidae. The number of teams participating in the tournaments ranged from 6 to 21 (mean 6 SD¼9 6 6 teams). Harvest ranged from 179 to 1,674 fish/tournament (0.02–0.04 fish/ha), and the mean (6SD) harvest was 547 6 565 fish. The mean (6SD) number of species harvested per tournament was 9 6 2 (range ¼ 6–12 species/tournament). Five species accounted for 84% of fish harvested: spotted gar (24%), common carp (21%), shortnose gar (17%), spotted sucker (12%), and smallmouth buffalo (10%; Table 2). Mean (6SD) harvest rate for individual bowfishers was 3.8 6 1.1 fish/h overall and ranged from 2.1 to 5.3 fish/h among tournaments. The mean (6SD) harvest rate for individual tournament winners was 7.7 6 2.8 fish/h overall and ranged from 4 to 11 fish/h among tournaments. The rank number of each species harvested at the tournaments was correlated for only 4 of 15 pairwise comparisons, which suggests that harvest often varies by tournament (Table 3). Harvests from the Arkansas River and White River tournaments were correlated (P , 0.05; Table 3); these tournaments in riverine habitat were characterized by a high percentage harvest of spotted gars (15–41%), shortnose gars (12–41%), and common carp (9–23%). The two spring tournaments held at reservoirs of the Ouachita River drainage (Lake DeGray and Lake Ouachita) also had correlated harvests (P ¼ 0.002; Table 3) that were characterized by a high percentage harvest of spotted suckers (40– 87%), golden redhorses (5–9%), and spotted gars (4– 38%). Harvest of fishes at the Bull Shoals Lake tournament was not correlated with the harvest at other tournaments, being characterized by a high percentage harvest of common carp (75%), golden redhorses (11%), and black redhorses (6%). Tournament bowfishers primarily harvested fish larger than 400 mm TL (Table 4). The mean TL of fish harvested at the tournaments was greater than 400 mm for most species except the spotted sucker, golden redhorse, and black redhorse. Smaller fish were occasionally harvested. For example, the smallest individual river carpsucker in the harvest was 150 mm TL, the smallest freshwater drum was 175 mm TL, the smallest spotted gar was 200 mm TL, and the smallest spotted sucker was 219 mm TL. Between 89% and 100% of gars harvested by tournament bowfishers were larger than published size-at-maturity estimates (Figure 1). Size at maturity for shortnose gars was reported as 330 mm TL (Etnier and Starnes 1993; Pflieger 1997), and all harvested shortnose gars exceeded this length. All but six harvested longnose gars (91%) were larger than the reported minimum sizes at maturitygreater than 500 mm TL, which is the female length at maturity suggested by Pflieger (1997). Between 85% and 97% of harvested buffaloes and river carpsuckers were larger than estimated sizes at maturity (Figure 2). Between 82% and 95% of smallmouth buffalo males and females were greater than the reported sizes at maturity of 411–444 mm TL (Wrenn 1969; Figure 2). Among the harvested river carpsuckers, 97% were greater than the length at maturity (254 mm TL) suggested by Morris (1965; Figure 2). Bigmouth buffalo mature between 330 and 380 mm (Etnier and Starnes 1993); based on this size range, only a single immature bigmouth buffalo was harvested (i.e., 3%) during the tournaments (Figure 2). Harvest of immature fish appeared to be of greatest concern for smaller-sized catostomid species, although 73–91% of harvested fish were greater than the estimated size at maturity. Pflieger (1997) indicated that spotted suckers mature at age 3 at about 330 mm TL; 86% of harvested spotted suckers were greater than this length (Figure 2). Golden redhorses were estimated to become mature at age 3 (;250 mm TL; Meyer 1962); here, 91% of those harvested were greater than 250 mm TL. The smallest mature black redhorses in two Missouri streams ranged from 185 to 210 mm TL (Bowman 1970), and all tournament-harvested black redhorses were greater than these estimates of minimum size at maturity. However, Bowman (1970) also reported that black redhorses were generally not mature until age 6, or about 300 mm TL, which appears to coincide better with the typical sizes of spawning black redhorses observed in other studies (Currie and Spacie 1984; Kwak and Skelly 1992). Seventy-three percent of black redhorses harvested by bowfishers were greater than 300 mm TL. Immature common carp and freshwater drum were probably harvested infrequently. Swee and McCrimmon (1966) reported that the smallest size of mature common carp was 315 mm TL for males and 381 mm TL for females; however, common carp males and females were more typically mature at 356 and 432 mm TL, respectively. All harvested common carp were greater than reported size-at-maturity estimates for males, and 98% of harvested common carp were greater than reported size at maturity for females (Figure 1). Minimum size at maturity for freshwater drum was reported as 203 mm TL for males and 220 mm TL for females (Wrenn 1969), and 97% o (635 mm for males and 762 mm for females; Netsch and Witt 1962). Eighty-nine percent of harvested spotted gars were freshwater drum harvested during the tournaments were larger than these estimates. Discussion Mean (6SD) harvest rate for Arkansas tournament bowfishers (3.8 6 1.1 fish/h) was relatively high compared with statistics from traditional sport fisheries. Baccante and Colby (1991) studied 76 Ontario fisheries for walleyes Sander vitreus and found a mean catch per effort of 0.28 fish/h (maximum¼1.31 fish/h). Weithman and Haverland (1991) found that mean catch rates for all species (e.g., black basses Micropterus spp., crappies Pomoxis spp., catfishes, and white bass Morone chrysops) among rod-and-reel anglers in five Missouri Reservoirs were 0.88 and 1.02 fish/h when determined by telephone and roving creel surveys, respectively. During a statewide telephone survey of Missouri anglers, Weithman (1991) reported that anglers caught an average of 0.96 fish/h, but catch rates varied by species (black basses: 0.69 fish/h; crappies: 1.55 fish/h; catfishes: 0.33 fish/h; trout: 0.72 fish/h; sunfishes: 2.59 fish/h). Armstrong (1986) reported a mean angling catch rate of 0.94 fish/h for all species among nine Arkansas Game and Fish Commission lakes. Quinn (2001) suggested that the harvest rates of tournament bowfishers should not be extrapolated to casual sport bowfishers because tournament bowfishers appeared to be very experienced. Tournament bowfishers have suggested that location, season, and weather may influence harvest, and the rank correlation of the number of fish harvested at each tournament appeared to support their observations. Summer tournaments held on large rivers were characterized by the harvest of large numbers of gars. Suckers were commonly harvested in the spring tournaments held on large reservoirs. The distribution of fishes in Arkansas apparently influenced fish harvest. For example, spotted gars were not harvested in Bull Shoals Lake because they are not found in the Ozark Highlands (Robison and Buchanan 1988). A large thunderstorm, strong winds, and poor visibility may have been primary factors related to the low fish harvest rate at the Lake DeGray tournament. Increasing sample size would have been desirable to further describe factors influencing harvest, but BOA fishers did not want additional tournaments studied because of the time commitment and tournament logistics. Tournament bowfishing studies may not provide information needed for catfish management because tournament rules usually do not allow catfish to be counted. Only a single channel catfish was harvested at the six tournaments studied. However, bowfishers indicated that they could shoot between 8 and 13 catfish/night during the summer if this practice was legal (Quinn 2001). Further research concerning catfish harvest by archery is needed now that tournament bowfishers have organized and successfully lobbied to pass fishing regulations allowing catfish harvest in more than one state (e.g., Arkansas, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania). Tournament bowfishers harvested large numbers of rough fish, and the impact of these tournaments on fish populations is therefore a major management question. I compared area-adjusted harvests (fish/ha) from bowfishing tournaments to density and biomass estimates from standardized Arkansas Game and Fish Commission rotenone samples to further investigate the potential effects of bowfishing tournaments on each species (Table 5). This analysis was not done for the White River because it did not have a defined area or a comparable rotenone sample. Harvests at bowfishing tournaments were less than 1% of the estimated rotenone biomass for each species (Table 5); the exception was that 34 common carp were harvested from Lake Ouachita, whereas none was found in the three rotenone samples. Spotted gars were usually found at low densities (1–13 fish/ha) in most waters, yet this was the most harvested species in the study. The Arkansas River is a very popular tournament bowfishing destination, and Lake Dardanelle usually has at least one large, nationally organized BAA tournament (with a high harvest) every year. For example, 64 teams harvested 4,666 fish (0.34 fish/ha) weighing close to 12,700 kg (0.9 kg/ha) at the 1993 World Bowfishing Championship on Lake Dardanelle (Jimmy Hendrix, BAA, personal communication); this harvest is equivalent to removing all of the fish biomass from 12.9 ha of the 13,880-ha reservoir. For this study, the combined harvest from two Lake Dardanelle bowfishing tournaments was small (0.16 fish/ha) compared with long-term mean 6 SE rotenone density (22,509 6 15,167 fish/ha) and biomass estimates (981.5 6 112.6 kg/ha; Quinn and Limbird 2008). Long-term rotenone trend data from four Arkansas River sites suggest that the biomass of spotted gars and freshwater drum has increased over time (Quinn and Limbird 2008), even though the present results show high harvest rates for these species. Apparently, bowfishing is not impacting these species in the Arkansas River. The number of common carp has declined in the Arkansas River over time, but the change has coincided with large declines in backwater habitat (Quinn and Limbird 2008). High harvest rates (fish/h) suggest that tournament bowfishing is a potential threat to sustainable management of fishes that are sensitive to harvest, such as alligator gars (Ferrara 2001) and paddlefish (Boreman 1997). However, Porter and Mestl (2010) estimated that in 2009, 723 archer-days of fishing effort resulted in the harvest of only 69 paddlefish at the Missouri River below Gavin’s Point Dam, and archery harvest was less than 10% of the harvest by snaggers. A large bowfishing tournament in rearing areas for alligator gar juveniles would clearly be highly undesirable since in autumn the lengths of age-0 alligator gars make them susceptible to bowfishing harvest (i.e., 446–525 mm TL; Inesbit 2009). Due to the perceived threat to alligator gars, several states have reduced the creel limit or have implemented harvest permits for this species (e.g., Arkansas, Texas, and Florida; Buckmeier 2008). Managers in states with rare or imperiled suckers should be aware of the potential impact that bowfishing tournaments could have during the spawn. In Arkansas, tournament organizers appeared to schedule tournaments on large flood-control reservoirs during spring to coincide with spawning of suckers, although the sucker harvest is restricted to a daily limit of 20 fish. In the future, tournaments should probably be restricted from being held near any spawning areas identified for silver redhorses Moxostoma anisurum because this species is rare in Arkansas (Robison and Buchanan 1988). Bowfishing tournaments may help to reduce the abundance of nonnative common carp and Asian carp, which may be responsible for alterations in water quality, the food chain, and predator–prey dynamics. The common carp was the second most harvested species in Arkansas bowfishing tournaments. Common carp abundance has been related to elevated turbidity and reduced macrophyte abundance (e.g., Crivelli 1983; Parkos et al. 2003) and to growth reductions in juvenile largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides (e.g., Wolfe et al. 2009). Silver carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix and bighead carp H. nobilis were not present in the harvest of the tournaments studied, but these two additional Asian carp species are likely to be found in bowfishing tournaments on large rivers. Acknowledgments The cooperation of bowfishers during this study, especially Jim Beebe, Wesly Hebner, and Chris Youngblood, is greatly appreciated. Shawn Hodges, Chris Horton, Bill Layher, Bob Limbird, Jim Ahlert, Mark Oliver, Carl Perrin, Jason Phillips, and Stuart Wooldridge assisted with data collection.
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by Last Place Ace on March 07, 2015, 10:29:22 AM
Arkansas Team sitting on top of the Worlds……..TWICE! By: Mark W. Lee Upon any given weekend from spring to well into deer season, you may find Shawn Hoelzeman, or Nick Sanders atop the platform on their airboat cruising the shallows for rough fish. Both have been bowfishing since high school, and took the passion well past where the average bowfisherman tends to go. Recently, withing the last few years, both have strived to maintain their drive to achieve the ultimate goal of being one of the top teams in the nation. Winning a World Championship is not just showing up, finding the fish is the key to brokering that chance at a World Championship. One thing I have learned while fishing with these guys and others like them is that weather becomes optional. It is not uncommon for a few hundred a night be spent in fuel during the scouting process also. The thing that made the second win such a success is that on the first win of the 2005 Worlds at Guntersville, the team they had to beat were disqualified due to mechanical problems, so that win in itself was a win, but the next year, 2006, World, Shawn and Nick came in at Truman Resevoir with 235 fish, second place came in with 166. That solidified the World Championship for them. This team first started off bowfishing a local scene here in Conway, Arkansas in high school, when in a 12 hour night, 30 fish would title you top dog, and usually around $400.00 in prize money! Shawn and Nick shot against each other during that period out of their own boats, both flat bottoms with trolling motors. You could say that during this time period was their training days for ….well…for a lack of better way to put this….testing bowfishing equipment to its limits…..(as later seen at the Worlds 2006). Shawn got too close to a rock levy and went over it with his outboard….problem was getting back out! A lower unit later and a few weeks, he was back again! We had found a state club in Arkansas that we did not know of at the time, the Bowfishers of Arkansas. Once we started talking with them some, one of their teams decided to come shoot one of our Conway local shoots. Twleve Hours later, that team came in with 124 fish, and EVERYBODY thought that they had cheated, because 38 fish was the max ever shot in a 12 hour tournament in the area. From that next morning on, is where I believe the Champions were first born. Every shoot we had there was a major competition between Nick and Shawn’s team for the simple fact that they stayed neck and neck. We quickly dismantled the local shoots, and started shooting with the BOA. The first year with the BOA, Shawn and his partner was the team to beat! They could not be stopped. They ended up being ranked up to where they were eligible to compete in the BAA Sanctioned Champion of Champions on Lake Pickwick in Mississippi in 2000. This was Shawn’s first taste of being a champion, winning first place against other teams from other states! Now comes the year 2001. Shawn buys his first and ONLY airboat. It’s a 1999 Diamondback 18x8 that sat on the bottom of the Arkansas River for 3 months before they could find it. He spent 3 months in his back yard restoring this rig to its potential. Nick designed a fan on his new 18x72 flatbottom, and the battle is on again. This year, Shawn goes to the BAA Worlds in Lafitte, La., and places fifth in the numbers division in the open class. Nick goes to shoot Pat Mayes with Jim Bebee and I, and we take Numbers, big Fish, and Smallest fish. Now comes the year 2002. Again, another great year for the guys, still shooting against each other, one in an airboat, the other in a fan. Shawn ends up taking the BOA points champion this year, and Nick was close, but ended second due to a disqualification on one shoot because he did not make it back in at weigh-in within the 30 minutes. He and his partner had to fan back in because of outboard problems. They counted anyways and had Shawn and his team with numbers that night! Nick and Shawn decided to shoot the original Tri-State (tx/ok/ar) tournament out of Shawn’s airboat with us, being it was the top 3 teams numbers count for that state. During the first part of the night, nick and Shawn and Matt are shooting within ½ mile of us across a flooded road in a field. They come out and decide to pull up to our team, Bebee and myself with Dustin Harris. We talked amongst ourselves about letting them see the amount of fish we had, because if they did, they WOULD NOT let us beat them. We decided to motion them over, and started casually chatting about the night, and Nick jumped over into our boat and froze. We were on barrel number 2 and they had about ½ the amount of fish we had. They casually got back in their boat, and decided to go ahead and check out some places down from us. We told them to pass by this certain stump because it has 4 to 5 foot needles by it everytime. When they started leaving they passed by it, and picked up a nice 5 footer. The rest of the night, all you could hear was that airboat screaming from hole to hole! Weigh-in the next morning total ended up being Shawn and Nick with 236 fish total, and us with second…..235. It’s been 5 years now and yes we still get to hear about that one! Now comes the year 2003. Again, Nick and Shawn are battling between each other, friendly of course, since they both are working on each others equipment since their beginnings in bowfishing, and again, they are neck and neck with points for the BOA, but again, Shawn takes it for the year with the BOA. Nick takes Third Place at the BAA Worlds in the numbers division in Guntersville, Al. Shawn shoots the Texas State Shoot on Toledo bend with Bebee and I , and we end up with First Place. Nick shot with his partner, and to this day swears that we sent him to the dead sea of lilly pads. (I still hear about that one also). By this year, we, as well as a lot of the BOA members are still trying to get nick and Shawn to team up, and they finally decide to for the next year. Nick has finally decided to purchase his own airboat. A 2003 Diamondback 18x8 with a 454. Now comes the year 2004. Shawn and Nick have decided to team up to see what they can accomplish together. On their first year with shooting together they place Second Place in the BAA Worlds weight shoot at Lake Texoma, Ok. Second Place at Anahuac Texas State Championship, and Second Place at the Arkansas State Championship numbers division. They also accomplished the BOA points champions. Now comes the year 2005. This is their first year to shine and their second year to shoot together. They Place first in the BAA Worlds Championship-numbers in Guntersville, Al., First Place in Anahuac Texas State Championship-numbers, Second Place at Arkansas State Championship- numbers in Pine bluff Ar., and were the BOA Points Champions, as well as the Runner up BAA two man team of the year! Now is the year 2006. They are well seasoned and have two airboats at their disposal with vastly amounts of equipment. They are primed for the season to see if they can take another first place in Worlds! Total for the year is First Place BAA World Championship-numbers, Truman Resevoir, Mo. And First Place Anahuac, Texas State Championship. They were the only Arkansans to go to the Texas State Shoot, and the only out of state team to take first there twice! They also got…yes….again…the Points Champions for the BOA. Now the feat of winning the BAA World the second time in a row is extra special for the fact that the night before the World Shoot, Nick and Shawn blew their motor in the airboat, (Shawn’s), and Nicks was in North Arkansas getting a new motor put in. They called the guy who was working on Nicks boat and got his together to run, but had to take the radiator off Shawns boat so they could use Nicks boat to fish Worlds. They accomplished this in the Wal-mart parking lot in Arkansas where they switched out the two boats, on Friday night. With these accomplishments through out the last few years for these two Arkansans, it becomes apparently impressive when you realize that Shawn as of this date is only 26, and Nick is 25. Shawn has held the State Record for the Alligator gar in Louisiana until here recently, and also had the World Record Common Carp Record for the BAA. They both started out with trolling motor boats, and progressed up to fan boats, and now to airboats., and they both only shoot Oneida bows. Nick was the only Osprey shooter until he got a new one to take to World, and Shawn tried it out before Nick got a chance to use it, so now Shawn is an Osprey shooter, with Nick’s new bow! Their arsenal consists of Ospreys, Black Eagles, Screaming Eagles, and an old Aeroforce, so they are a bit partial to the handling performance of the Oneida bows. Both also were officers in the Bowfishers of Arkansas club, with Shawn the President, and Nick the Vice-President for the last 3 years. Both have recently married this last year, and both have recently purchased their first house, so they are both selling their airboats and taking up golf…….not really, they are both getting ready for World in Kentucky this year, and are going to attempt a third win!! If they win a third year they will be ranked up there with only one other team to accomplish that feat.
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by Dann-o on June 22, 2014, 01:18:12 PM
What is the best way to get on a gator gar in arkansas? I've been bowfishing for a couple of years and as far as I know I've never even seen one. Not looking to move in on anybody's area, just want to kinda know what to look for. Thanks
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by Dann-o on April 21, 2014, 11:54:22 PM
I saw a bunch of carp spawning in the shallows of the lake I work on. Has anybody else seen em spawning yet?
2902 Views | 4 Replies
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