Part fishing, part hunting – a tournament taking aim at a real issue.
GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – “Everybody’s going to be moving, everybody’s going to be trying to shoot the same thing that you’re shooting,” an announcer told contestants at a fishing tournament in Western Kentucky. “This isn’t about the tournament, it’s about us trying to remove as many fish as we can.”
Silver, big head, grass and black carp, all enemies to people on the water and the native species in the water.
“There’s a whole lot of Asian carp out there, and we really do need to get them out of here,” the announcer said.
Instead of fishing poles and lures, competitors are armed with bows and arrows.
With no rule on limits, teams of four head to the rivers and streams on a summer night.
Dustin Apple and his wife, Amy, put in at Lake Barkley where flying carp come out of the water and sometimes even jump aboard.
With a rod and reel, you can fish all night without getting a bite. However, on a smooth surface, with a bow and arrow, there are plenty of targets.
“Silver carp and bighead carp are light sensitive,” Dustin Apple, also known as ‘White Water Rambo’ said.
In total darkness and with great patience bow fishers scan the surface for movement.
It’s not until the last second the carp get spotted and then lit up on the business end of an arrow.
Make no mistake, it is not always as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.
When the sun came up the boats came in for the grand total, the weigh in.
“Ha, God, I don’t even know if I hit a fish tonight, it was awful,” Jacob Embry, one competitor told us.
With every scaly and slimy carp, never to grow and breed again, the state sees this as doing a real service – it’s always open season on the fish.
Almost the same weight shot in lakes and in rivers, nearly 17,000 pounds total.
“Even if we got to a hundred thousand pounds, there are millions of pounds out there,” Ron Brooks, Kentucky Fish, and Wildlife Fisheries Director said.
Tournaments like ‘Carp Madness’ are taking aim at a real population problem.