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Continued: Anderson: A nighttime bowfishing prowl for carp

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 29, 2013 - 10:50 PM

“Couldn’t be a better night,’’ I said.

Coincidentally, while we looked for carp, a “summit’’ of sorts was held in the Twin Cities on the same subject, led by bowfishing advocates. The intent was to explore ways that laws and ethics governing disposal of carp by bowfishermen can be better adhered to.

Or, lacking that, more aggressively enforced.

“We want to educate more people who bowfish about the need to dispose of fish appropriately,’’ said Brian Petschl, president of the Land of Lakes Bowfishing Association.

Since nighttime bowfishing was first allowed in Minnesota beginning in 2008, the sport has grown significantly, Petschl said. Previously, bowfishing was allowed only during daylight, a restriction unheard of in most other states.

But now some bowfishermen — perhaps primarily those new to the sport, or dabbling in it, shooting the odd carp or bullhead when given the opportunity — are challenging the public’s tolerances by dumping fish at boat landings, or in ditches on the way home, a practice that perturbs no one more than Petschl, or for that matter Pete.

“My carp go to a friend who freezes them, then cuts them up to use for bear bait,’’ Pete said. “Either that or they go for fertilizer in farmers’ fields.’’

“It’s important to do it right,’’ Petschel said.

Midnight approached, and Pete, Cole and I had a half-dozen carp to our credit.

Taking one more pass in a shallow area where we had bumped a few carp earlier in the evening, Pete angled his boat toward shore. Again a bluegill appeared in the lighted water, and another, and also a bass.

Then …

There.

This was a carp, its oversized scales visible along its back, the entire fish appearing hulk-like and golden in the boat’s light.

Drawing back, Cole let an arrow fly. Chaos ensued, and soon another big fish was added to the plastic barrel in Pete’s boat.

 

Dennis Anderson danderson@startribune.com

 

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  • Bowfishing for carp, Pete Luke, left, and Cole Anderson prowled a lake near Princeton, Minn., on Wednesday night. The sport has become increasingly popular since night bowfishing was legalized beginning in 2008.

  • Luke brought a common carp to the boat after it was arrowed by Anderson on Wednesday night. The fish will be used as fertilizer or bear bait.

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