Evidence that bow fishing continues to grow in popularity will be on the water Friday and Saturday on Chisago Lakes area north of the Twin Cities.
Some 100 to 150 anglers are expected to shoot carp on 10 lakes in the Extreme Bow Fishing Tournament headquartered at Frankies Live Bait and Marine in Chisago City. Started by the Chisago Lakes Lion Club five years ago as a carp festival, the event has evolved into a tournament, with some anglers coming from distant states to shoot carp with a bow an arrow. Cash prizes and three G3 boats will be given away, too.
Last year, participants filled a dump truck with carp, an invasive species that causes havoc with lakes.
“I’m thinking we might fill two or three dump trucks this year,’’ said Frankie Dusenka, owner of Frankies Bait. “We had bad weather last year.’’
The interest in bowfishing for rough fish has blossomed.
“It’s really a growing sport; it’s amazing what’s going on,’’ Dusenka said. Why? “It’s a lot of fun, for one thing,’’ he added.
Steve Levey of Lindstrom, a Lions Club member and bowfisherman who came up with the idea for the event, said bowfishing has been fueled by the growing interest in archery.
“Look at the growth in the archery-in-the-schools program; we had 73 kids in it this year,’’ he said.
Movies like ‘‘The Hunger Games’’ only have added to the interest.
The side benefit to shooting carp: Invasive species are removed from lakes. “The lake associations love it,’’ Dusenka said.
The carp-shooting tournament will run from 10 p.m. Friday until 10 a.m. Saturday. Bowfisherman use lights at night to spot shallow-swimming carp. The harvested carp will be used as fertilizer.
“They’re not wasted,’’ Dusenka said.
For those who just want to see lots of big carp, check-in and weigh-in begins around 10 a.m. Saturday. “They’ll be some 40-pounders,’’ Dusenka said.
Cost is $150 per boat, and all fees will be paid out as prizes. For more information, call Frankies at 651-257-6334.