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Illinois hunting and fishing

Slam-time here for Asian carp

July 23, 2009 at 07:37 PM

The arrival of late July often spells an end to prime fishing for most species in Illinois.

Not so Asian carp. If anything, hot summer weather is the best time to snag, shoot and otherwise boat these invasive nuisances that have overrun the Illinois River.

Proof of that came last weekend when 31 boats in the Innerloc State Bowfishing Championship out of Henry hauled in an estimated 18,000 silver carp.
Many of those fish were not shot, but merely jumped into the boats of the bowfishermen. While the weather was not hot, the carp were. The fish went so crazy that the winning boat accounted for 4,150 carp in 12 hours.

Most of the fish were smaller, as big fish for the tournament weighed only 16.3 pounds.

“Conditions were perfect on the Illinois River for jumping silver carp. The water was low and there was nowhere for them to go but up,” wrote Ed DeVries of the Bowfishing Association of Illinois.

Those perfect conditions help explain why Wisconsin tele-angler Pat Reeve Illinois hunting and fishingwas in town this week to shoot flying carp with Chris Brackett. Reeve, whose show Driven TV is now on the Outdoor Channel Sundays at 8 a.m.,  said he hopes to air the show later this year.

Weston and Jodi Clark also filmed a show two weeks ago for their Higher Ground Outdoors Show. That show should also air before January.

“The river is a little low, but they’re crazy jumping. It’s pretty much slam-time now,” Brackett said. “Once that water gets up it doesn’t matter if it fluctuates some. They’ll keep jumping. It should be good now until we flood again.”

Improving conditions on the Illinois River also explain why “Photo Joe” Egli of South Pekin is smiling again. Photo Joe is as hard-core as they come in terms of snagging, so it’s been a rough spring and summer for him what with all this high water.

When the wickets finally went up last Wednesday, I was surprised not to hear from him. Turns out Photo Joe was on Lake Michigan catching salmon. But as soon as he got back he headed to Peoria Lock and Dam for a Wednesday outing.

He reported snagging was “very slow.”

“We couldn’t catch them by the dam but get them off the rocks on the Peoria side, deep,” Photo Joe said.

He was accompanied by first-time snagger Kurt Karnes of Groveland, who he said is hooked after tying into a few 16-pounders.

Snagging should only improve in the months to come as more fish mass below the dam. No question, snagging or shooting these hard-fighting fish is a good way to spend a summer day outdoors.

And the Bowfishing Association sure proved there are good ways to use the fish.

Several members took silver carp home to eat. Yes, Asian carp are a very good eating fish when properly cleaned. While they are bony, they have nice, white meat.

Several tons of fish also went to the new Heartland Processing plant in Havana.

And DeVries said an Indiana company also had special tanks on hand to haul carp to their plant where the fish are turned into a high-grade emulsion fertilizer.
Finally, a crayfish farmer from Wisconsin took a load home to feed his crawdads.

As DeVries noted, “While bowfishing won’t stop the spread of invasive fish, totals like these will surely put a dent in their population and hopefully give our native fish room to grow.”


Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Anybody interested in shooting some we have a fully enclosed pontoon boat rigged just for asian carp.
$400 for 4 people and we shoot all day.  Its more fun than a man should have with a bow in his hands.  We actually grew up runnin the Illinois river so we know where the big fish are.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 07/23 at 09:51 PM

Hey ilbowhunter, how have the carp been jumping in your stretch of the river?

Posted by Jeff Lampe on 07/23 at 09:58 PM

Great, getting some bigger fish north of us.  Video camera is coming out next week to film the fun.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 07/23 at 10:24 PM

you’re fortunate to be able to snag year round at peoria,here at pool 19 the asian carp are thick enough to walk on but snagging only runs from jan 1 to april 15(it’s usually flooded then)The DNR said its because the spoonbill population was being hurt by snaggers….why then can commercial fisherman still haul in hundreds of pounds of them to this day?but we can’t snag 2 a day year round..dnr can kma

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 07/23 at 10:50 PM

What is the prefered technique for snagging?
I’m imagining heavy line, a big treble hook and a few ounces of lead about 12 inches below the hook.  Any tips?

Posted by Clif on 07/24 at 07:10 AM

Bass, the answer to your question as to why commercial fishermen have no limit or season on paddlefish and a sport fisherman has a limit of 2 and a set season is twofold. One it the Commercial Fisherman Association and their political clout. The second is the commercial fishermen have a full time IDNR fisheries biologist assigned to look after commercial species and the interests of the commercial fishermen.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 07/25 at 07:25 AM

Ilbowhunter-  I have a group of 4 that would like to book with you.  how do I get in touch with you set up the date?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 07/25 at 08:54 PM

jcurri-call 369-2685. Bill we set ya up.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 07/26 at 08:20 AM

Slammed em big time today.  Lots of big fish even with 30,000 boats in the water.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 07/26 at 04:00 PM

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