Tonight I welcomed returning bowfisher Jess D. of Round Rock and her super-trooper mom, Jenn, aboard for Jess’ second bowfishing trip this season. I call mom super-trooper because she sat through 4+ hours of insects, high water, and sleep deprivation to make this trip happen for her daughter between the hours of 8pm and 1am.

Jess’ new lake record Common Carp taken by bow weighed in at 5.25 pounds and measured 22.5 inches.

This thin Longnose Gar (no easy archery target!) weighed in at 1.00 pound and taped at 19 3/8 inches.

On Jess’ previous trip (her first bowfishing excursion) just a few weeks ago, Jess landed her first fish taken with archery equipment, a nice smallmouth buffalo. She was now ready for more.

We had a few more things going for us on this trip than we did last time including 1) the fact that Jess now had some experience and the confidence that goes along with that, 2) we used our “lessons learned” from the previous trip to get her sight set well before leaving the dock, 3) we had a good practice session before launching using a stationary target, a stationary shooting platform, and a submerged target, and 4) Jess invested in an AMS Pro Retriever bottle-type reel which worked like a dream.

As we got on the water, we began to get a feel for how the flood water impacted fish behavior. We found nearly all of our fish in slow-tapering areas with flooded grass. Steeper areas and flooded brush held few fish other than the occasional gar.

We found fish in 4 general locations including Areas (BOW) 006S to 007S, Area (BOW) 008S, Areas (BOW) 010S to 011S and Areas (BOW) 012S to 013S. Of these, the first and the last were the most productive.

By the time our evening came to a close Jess connected with 6 fish, and we brought the four largest back to the dock for photographs — 2 carp, 1 longnose gar, and 1 buffalo. Of these, two qualify for waterbody records, as no entries have yet been made by a Junior Angler for the longnose gar nor the common carp.

We definitely saw some improvement over our last trip in both Jess’ accuracy and in her equipment. To her credit, although we still missed more fish than we hit, Jess never got irritated, flustered, or down – she just kept at it with a level head and a persistent attitude and it paid off.

Congratulations on two more fish for the record books, Jess!!

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