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#11699404 - 07/01/16 10:17 AM Bow "Hunting" Carp
texasflycaster Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/18/08
Posts: 1400
Loc: Texas Water
Some of you may have read the beginnings of my questioning the motivations of folks who "hunt" carp with a bow - in last Friday's article. I certainly received no negative comments related to that article (on Texas Fly Caster website). And today I ran a second article on the actual regulations surrounding bow "hunting" carp, and the idea of pushing for regulations on Lake Ray Roberts, Texas (as there is precedent in Texas). I am not going to pimp links here, just go and read if you are interested in the TPWD view on how they regulate the disposal of fish killed by bow-arrow, their fair historical view of carp and more. I am trying to condense it all down into one easy place to find this information. I sure would like to hear the other viewpoint of this, as there's no real "debate" so far.

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#11704283 - 07/04/16 04:47 PM Re: Bow "Hunting" Carp [Re: texasflycaster]
WoollyBugger Offline
Angler

Registered: 06/07/08
Posts: 444
Loc: Abilene, TX
I don't personally feel the need to question another person's motivations or reasons for enjoying bow fishing. As long as he/she isn't breaking the law, then more power to them. There are things that some people enjoy that I don't care to participate in, but I'm not going to campaign to make it illegal for them to do what they enjoy just because I don't enjoy it or understand why someone else would. I don't know if that's your goal or not. If so, that's your right. But I don't have any interest in joining that kind of campaign. No hard feelings or anything. I'll just simply choose not to participate in the things that I don't enjoy and leave others to live their lives as they choose as well. smile

TPWD classifies carp as a non-game species, and they're legal to shoot with a bow (no size or daily bag limits) as long as you don't put a shot fish back into the water or leave a dead one to waste on the bank. If people want to use them for bait or dog food or eat them after shooting them with a bow, I don't have any problem with that. Personally, I wouldn't have a problem if TPWD said it was OK to feed shot carp to the turtles and buzzards either. I saw some buzzards eating a dead carp Saturday morning on the bank of a remote stretch of Pecan Bayou as I was catching needle nose gar on my fly rod, actually. It was a great morning to be in the kayaks....







I love to catch carp on my fly rod too, and there are plenty of them to cast to in just about every body of water I've been to in Texas. TPWD could put a daily limit on them if that were ever needed, but it doesn't appear to be needed at this point. There are lots of people that bow fish, but their numbers are minuscule compared to the number of people fishing for game fish with rods and reels. Carp numbers don't appear to be declining anywhere that I've been lately. They're everywhere.

For the record, my son enjoys bow fishing (they make good gar and catfish bait). I don't have a bow fishing rig. I'd rather spend my precious time on the water with a fly rod in my hand. I save my bow for deer and hogs and turkey. But I sure don't lose any sleep knowing other folks enjoy bow fishing.

I have been telling all my fly fishing friends about how much fun it is to catch carp on a fly rod too. What a great fish for fly fishermen! You can catch them tailing in shallow water or on topwater anywhere you can find them surfacing, and they put on a great fight. Very spooky and challenging fish as well. They're ugly and slimy, but they are loads of fun to catch. I release all the ones I catch on a fly, by the way. smile

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#11704372 - 07/04/16 06:11 PM Re: Bow "Hunting" Carp [Re: texasflycaster]
winchester44 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 863
Loc: Fort Worth
Great and informative articles. Head on over to check them out.

Ray Roberts is a favorite lake for bow fishers with large tournaments held there. I'm seeing fewer big fish these days there and far far fewer long nose gar as well.

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#11704431 - 07/04/16 07:07 PM Re: Bow "Hunting" Carp [Re: texasflycaster]
WoollyBugger Offline
Angler

Registered: 06/07/08
Posts: 444
Loc: Abilene, TX
If carp populations are on the decline in Ray Roberts, I can definitely see the need for a daily and/or size limit on carp and/or gar for that lake. Hopefully that kind of thing would be handled on a case-by-case basis and not statewide. Lakes in and near big cities definitely get a lot more traffic than lakes in more rural areas of the state. I try to avoid the crowded cities and lakes near them, so my perspective on the issue is based on spending time in more rural areas. Few people would be in favor of decimating common carp or gar populations. Some people are against bow fishing just because they don't like the thought of shooting a fish with a bow for fun, even where populations of fish are thriving.

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#11704840 - 07/05/16 07:53 AM Re: Bow "Hunting" Carp [Re: WoollyBugger]
winchester44 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 863
Loc: Fort Worth
Well said, agreed on all points

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#11704925 - 07/05/16 08:59 AM Re: Bow "Hunting" Carp [Re: texasflycaster]
Lloyd5 Online   content
Angler

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 325
Loc: Bosque County, Texas
Bowhunting carp/gar is a lot of fun, loads of fun. If you've never tried it, and condemn it, then try thinking about it again, maybe give it a "shot", then base your opinion on experience and not theory. Check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEIu4l4mNVQ

Wasting the killed fish is bad. If you kill it, use it somehow. It may be inconvenient to take the carcasses home with you and use them, but there's always a responsibility that is incurred when killing wildlife. Otherwise you're doing something much worse than littering. I don't agree that feeding turtles is a good use for killed fish in this situation, I see that as a poor rationalization to be lazy.

Kill it, then use it.

Leaving piles of dead fish will get your sport banned eventually, so you're not doing yourself any favors by leaving killed fish on the bank or in the water.
_________________________
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#11705970 - 07/05/16 05:33 PM Re: Bow "Hunting" Carp [Re: texasflycaster]
hook-line&sinker Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 8989
Loc: Bryan, Texas
Does anyone harvest the fish they shoot? From what I've seen and smelled around here I'd say not... That's the primary reason I don't bow fish anymore, there is nothing to do with the fish after you have shot them and there are few things nastier than a boat full of dead fish..

The "problem" as I see it with shooting rough fish can be compared with the excessive littering of plastic bottles and aluminum cans. Once the fish is shot the carcass has little to no value just like the pop bottle or can. As long as these spent items have no value the waste will continue. Punishment & fines or the "threat of those two" doesn't seem to stop the practice. Maybe if we were to monetize/tax the harvest and/or use of resources like plastic and aluminum (to add value) then maybe the wasting of these resources will be curbed.

As far as littering of cans and bottles go other states use the deposit/tax to add value and thus create the incentive to return the spent cans and bottles for the refund. I don't know how a system would work for harvesting rough fish and maybe it belongs in the private sector but there is a business opportunity there somewhere. I know lots of bow fishers that would love a few dollars to offset the costs of a night spent under the lights.. Hey Honey.. I'm off to shoot up some beer money! wink
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#11706022 - 07/05/16 06:01 PM Re: Bow "Hunting" Carp [Re: Lloyd5]
winchester44 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 863
Loc: Fort Worth
I don't think anyone is condemning the sport overall.Sweeping generalizations like bowfishing = bad or bowfishing = fun don't help the conversation. The original poster was talking about a unique body of water that has some special things going on

1. Close to a major metro area
2. Relatively shallow and with thousands of acres of flats
3. Extremely clear water
4. A long term reputation for producing large carp and large long nose in good numbers
5. These combine with to make the lake quite popular with fly fishers
6. They also make it quite popular with the bow fishing community including at lease one large annual tournament.
7. When people who have been making regular visits there for years start to see #4 decrease and #6 increase it leads one to at least ask the question if regulations might be in order. That is all I think the orignial poster was doing. I would encourage all to read the articles first before commenting.


A comparison that you might relate to would be the relative abundance of alligator gar in the Brazos below Whitney where access points are fewer and farther from DFW. Above Whitney close to DFW there are dozens of access points and while alligator gar do persist I can count the number I've seen on one hand despite hundreds of days on that stretch. I've only spent a few days on the stretch below Whitney, but saw them dozens. They were extremely common in that in my Grandfather's day throughout that river and TPWD biologist have confirmed this to me. Do I blame the dams and flood control for 90% of that decline as it severely curtailed spawning? Yes definitely. However, I've also followed enough air boats down the river and seen the trail of hundreds of pounds of slowly dying fish they leave behind wonder about their impact too.

I think most are open to hear informed opinion one way or another. For example, I'd bet there are other bodies of water where enlisting the bow fishing community to help control Snakeheads, Plecos, Tilapia, Rio Grande Cichlids and other non-native species when the biologists conclude harm is occurring. In fact the bow fishing community loves to tout these types of events as making a real difference. Perhaps there are even situations where an overabundance of the non-native common carp could be crowding out native benthic feeders like Drum, Buffalo, Red Horse Suckers, etc. where concentrated bow fishing could help.

Anyhow, just trying to keep the conversation focused on the original posters question. These are tricky questions

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#11706096 - 07/05/16 06:43 PM Re: Bow "Hunting" Carp [Re: texasflycaster]
texasflycaster Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/18/08
Posts: 1400
Loc: Texas Water
Somebody told me the other day that carp used to be harvested by the tonnage out of Lewisville Lake - Lake Dallas, by a large netting boat. Harvested, and processed into ... fish sticks. Ever wonder what that "whitefish" was they were describing on the fish stick label? Beats soylent green at least.

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#11706593 - 07/05/16 10:19 PM Re: Bow "Hunting" Carp [Re: texasflycaster]
Dtheg Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/28/14
Posts: 198
Loc: Wylie, Tx
Taaaabooo subject I learned my lesson.......lol. Seriously valid points by most. Guess my issue is those who kill and just leave them behind. I grew up and teach my daughters you kill it you use it or eat it. I had to eat some nasty stuff growing up; lol but it made me think of the life I take. Hunt fish we all must answer for what we do, hard to explain killing just for fun as (use the term loosely) adult.
_________________________
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”

&#8213; Hunter S. Thompson

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#11706667 - 07/05/16 10:48 PM Re: Bow "Hunting" Carp [Re: texasflycaster]
lambcotx Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 12/04/10
Posts: 214
Isn't there a trash fish section?

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#11707161 - 07/06/16 09:49 AM Re: Bow "Hunting" Carp [Re: texasflycaster]
Bass_Bustin_Texan Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/10/04
Posts: 23471
Loc: Longview
In Louisiana Carp is sold more frequently than catfish in fish markets. Ride down the Red River just south of Shreveport and take a smell of the dogfood factory, it's carp, loads of it. Some areas of the county are invaded with flying Asian carp. Even as close to us as Monroe, LA. I'm sure you have all seen the videos. Everything in nature needs "checked" to keep the reasonable sustainable process going.

We kill deer during deer season, people keep bass (eventhough I would rather win money off them in a tournament, I don't condone the eating of tasty baby bass.), ducks are kept in check (migration numbers by the Federal Government set regulations each year for each species, since they cross state lines. We could relate coots to this topic, limit is 15 and no one in their right mind eats them, except coonarses). Heck, even Obamacare is now limiting the care you can give to a human. Numbers Check! Anything that out numbers it's "house" will therefor impact everything else around it. Makes me think humans need "checked" more often...who is "checking" us besides ourselves (by gluttony, accidents, ect, ect)! (Now that is DEEP!)
_________________________
You can avoid having ulcers by adapting to the situation: If you fall in the mud puddle, check your pockets for fish. ~Unknown

Open your eyes & look within, are you satisfied with the life you´re living.

No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.

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#11707191 - 07/06/16 10:03 AM Re: Bow "Hunting" Carp [Re: hook-line&sinker]
winchester44 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 863
Loc: Fort Worth
Originally Posted By: hook-line&sinker
Does anyone harvest the fish they shoot? From what I've seen and smelled around here I'd say not... That's the primary reason I don't bow fish anymore, there is nothing to do with the fish after you have shot them and there are few things nastier than a boat full of dead fish..

The "problem" as I see it with shooting rough fish can be compared with the excessive littering of plastic bottles and aluminum cans. Once the fish is shot the carcass has little to no value just like the pop bottle or can. As long as these spent items have no value the waste will continue. Punishment & fines or the "threat of those two" doesn't seem to stop the practice. Maybe if we were to monetize/tax the harvest and/or use of resources like plastic and aluminum (to add value) then maybe the wasting of these resources will be curbed.

As far as littering of cans and bottles go other states use the deposit/tax to add value and thus create the incentive to return the spent cans and bottles for the refund. I don't know how a system would work for harvesting rough fish and maybe it belongs in the private sector but there is a business opportunity there somewhere. I know lots of bow fishers that would love a few dollars to offset the costs of a night spent under the lights.. Hey Honey.. I'm off to shoot up some beer money! wink


Small longnose gar in particular is not bad at all very flaky and firm with a very mild flavor. Alligator gar is prized in Mexico and is traditional meal served during lent and is popular as "gar balls" in East Texas an Louisiana. However several biologist have told me that like all long lived fish the larger older ones tend to have unacceptably high concentrations of heavy metals like mercury and should not be consumed. Roe of all gar species should never be eaten as its highly toxic. Tilapia and Buffalo can be found live for sale at many grocery stores. Some are definitely eaten, but most are not. Just looks at the photos out there on Facebook and try to find one cube of ice anywhere. The tournaments usually try to find a farmer in need of fertilizer, but the smell is horrendous. In conclusion would be willing to bet a large portion if not the majority are lined up for a photo, a weigh in and then dumped and sometimes buried. However, that could be a good thing on certain lakes and rivers. Such as the Asian Carp in the midwest or the Plecos in the San Marcos. However, we are talking about Ray Roberts here. Would be curious to hear what others have seen there who have been fishing there a long time.


Edited by winchester44 (07/06/16 10:05 AM)

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#11707204 - 07/06/16 10:07 AM Re: Bow "Hunting" Carp [Re: Bass_Bustin_Texan]
winchester44 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 863
Loc: Fort Worth
Agree completely on all points. Every species mentioned has a bag limit on it.

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#11707214 - 07/06/16 10:11 AM Re: Bow "Hunting" Carp [Re: texasflycaster]
Bass_Bustin_Texan Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/10/04
Posts: 23471
Loc: Longview
Fishing is has it's ups and downs. Some years the fish don't act right or show up.

Been chasing bass all over this state for many years for $$$.

One lake that most of you know is Lake Falcon, few years back a rookie bass guy could sack up some monsters, day in day out. Now, you have to be good and lucky to catch a few. What changed? Fishing pressure increased for a few years, filet tables were full, nets on the Mexico side (nets been going on for years before). Lake got very low for a long time. Gar numbers rose from what I heard (side note they said that was the only active fish in the lake).

Look at Lake Fork too.....years ago, sack em up. Now, you better have a good guide to get you on the fish. Lack of hydrilla? Invasion of White Bass (previously had no white bass)?

It's a cycle. My local Lake o the Pines cycles big time! Year to year, season to season. What was awesome last year, not so much this year.
_________________________
You can avoid having ulcers by adapting to the situation: If you fall in the mud puddle, check your pockets for fish. ~Unknown

Open your eyes & look within, are you satisfied with the life you´re living.

No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.

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