PORT ARTHUR — Moore and I had been bowfishing in this canal for the several years and always did well on carp. The one he shot that day probably weighed 20 pounds, but we have shot bigger ones there.
Some mistakenly look at bowfishing as a sport mainly for the marshy, coastal areas but it thrives throughout the state and according to bowfishing expert Jeff Stewart the dense creek and river bottoms of East Texas are a prime place to shoot a variety of fish.
“I’m all about hunting the gar in the Sabine River drainage and there are plenty of carp, buffalo and other species throughout East Texas to hunt as well,” Stewart said.
“Bowfishing opportunities abound state-wide and if someone really wants to have a good time I suggest giving the sport a try. It’s good, clean fun and gives bowhunters something different to do in the off-season.”
If you plan on getting into bowfishing, I highly recommend getting a “retriever rig,” which consists of a jug-like canister that attaches to the bow, or one of the reel-style bowfishing reels. Some retailers still sell a cheap rig that is basically a round piece of plastic on which the string is wound.
When I first started bowfishing, I used one of these and the string got tangled on the plastic piece. I watched an arrow shoot out about 10 feet then slingshot back only inches from my face. I could have been blinded or worse. The retrievers and reel-style rigs are more expensive, but well worth the cost in terms of safety.
There are rough fish to pursue in ever water body in the state and getting set up for bowfishing is pretty cheap in comparison to other aspects of archery. You can use an old compound or recurve with a good fishing rig and be ready to start immediately.
Be careful though. The sport is reportedly addictive.
(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at email@example.com. You can hear him on the radio Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on “Moore Outdoors” on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com and watch him Saturdays on GETV.org on “God’s Outdoors with Chester Moore”.)