Chris Trujello of Jay, Okla., has a simple explanation of how he and other members of the Midnight Mafia bow-fishing team bring in the big ones.
“People always ask fishermen, ‘Are they biting?’ ” Trujello said. “Well, we make them bite.”
You won’t find tackle boxes filled with lures or buckets with live bait in this fishing boat. Bows and arrows are the only equipment they need.
Last weekend was the perfect example. Competing in the Bass Pro Shops U.S. Open Bowfishing Championship, they pulled into a cove at Table Rock Lake and saw a silver missile cruising through the water. Trujello fired the first shot and hit his target. But it took two other arrows from his fishing partners to finally subdue the monster.
Once the team brought the grass carp to weigh-ins, they found that it weighed 45.55 pounds. That ranked as the heaviest catch in the tournament and brought them a check for $7,000.
“Some fishermen don’t realize it, but these Ozark lakes have some huge carp in them,” Trujello said. “That’s why we like bow-fishing so much. You never know when you’ll come across a monster.”
There are some huge gar in the lake, too. One team brought in a sharp-toothed fish that measured 62.5 inches.
The Upright Bowfishing team took honors for the largest gar, a fish that measured 62.5 inches.