Bowfishing Tourney With $50,000 Payout!

Backwater Outdoors has been organizing bowfishing tournaments for 10 years, so to celebrate the anniversary, they’re creating a one-of-kind contest in Guntersville, Alabama.

What makes this one unique? The March 20-22 All Out Carp Out Bowfishing Tournament will pay out $10,000 for the heaviest overall common carp, and boats are not required. The big fish format enables participants to be more selective of the fish they shoot, because only common carp will count toward the big fish winnings. With multiple categories and several weigh-in times, the tournament gives every participant a chance to win. Door prizes and open drawings will be held each day. Tournament sponsors include some of the biggest names in bowfishing, such as Muzzy, AMS, and Oneida. The deadline to enter is March 8, 2015.

Weigh-ins will take place at Lake Guntersville Harbor Marina Pavilion throughout the weekend, with four weigh-in times per night. Prizes for the first 20-pound and 18-pound common carp will be given away at each weigh-in.

The tournament locations are Wheeler Lake and Lake Guntersville, which are known for some of the best bowfishing in the nation. The focus of this tournament is the common carp, because it is an invasive species. Backwater Outdoors hopes to bring attention to the growing problem of invasive species in local waterways. The tournament will also promote the sport of bowfishing, which has proved effective in reducing the numbers of invasive species.

Common carp (above) originate from Europe and Asia and are often confused with the native Buffalo species, including big mouth, small mouth, and black. These are members of the sucker family. The biggest distinguishing feature of the common carp is the barbel, or whisker, on each side of the mouth. Common carp also have golden colored eyes, while buffalo have dark, almost black, eyes. The heaviest recorded common carp caught while bowfishing in Guntersville is 45 pounds.

The tournament will have an optional grass carp prize category, and the heaviest grass carp will win $2,000. Grass carp (photo below) is another species introduced into U.S. waterways to control aquatic weeds. It's long, torpedo-shaped body and short dorsal fin set it apart from common carp. The heaviest recorded grass carp taken by bowfishing in Guntersville is 87 pounds.

Facebook update from tournament organizers: We are less than a month out, and we are very excited about this tournament! It's going to be a huge event and a ton of fun! We already have teams from 25 different states signed up including Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Virginia, Maryland, Iowa, Arizona, Arkansas, and more! This will be a great chance to meet bowfishermen and women from across the country and win some huge money and prizes valued at over $50,000! Looking forward to it and we got a lot more prize announcements coming soon!

Editor’s note: If you’ve never shot roughfish before, you might have trouble hitting them the first few times you release an arrow. Watch the video below for tips on dealing with underwater targets.

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