Jarad Poole of Clinton with three big smallmouth buffalo and a big common carp. The non-record fish were taken home by some shore fishermen.
Big Fish Fridays: Bowfishing records
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Jarad Poole of Clinton may have just started bowfishing last summer but he’s been making up for lost time. He already has a boat rigged for bowfishing and now, in the space of three days, he has bagged two Illinois Bowfishers Club state record fish.
Bowfishing in a flooded creek near Springfield, he found a honey hole of giant spawning buffalo fish. He said some were so large it looked like there were dolphins cruising the shallows.
He shot a 33-pound, 5-ounce bigmouth buffalo on April 30 (pictured above) while wading and a 48-pound, 8-ounce smallmouth buffalo on May 2 when he came back with his small johnboat. Jarad said the larger fish (pictured below) pulled the boat around pretty good and he used the trolling motor to follow the fish so it wouldn’t take all of the line in his reel.
Jarad was using a Cajun bowfishing arrow, a spincast reel and and old compound bow.
He had them fish weighed on a certified scale. Jarad said finding a certified scale on a weekend that would let him weigh large fish was almost as much of a challenge as catching the fish. He said he spent a small fortune to ice the fish down in a barrel because they wouldn’t fit in a cooler. He finally found an accepting scale at Heinkel’s Packing Company in Decatur.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources does not recognize record fish taken by means other than pole and line fishing so the Illinois Bowfishers Club keeps records for it’s members. Click here to learn more about the club. The previous club record for a bigmouth buffalo was 24-12 taken from Rend Lake by Jeff Pigg. The club’s previous smallmouth buffalo record was 36-11 taken in the Ohio River at Golconda by Joseph Ewing.
The bigmouth buffalo is now frozen while it’s future as a taxidermy specimen is being decided. A few scales have been removed from both fish and will be sent off in order to get approximate ages of the fish.
There are certainly bigger buffalo out there but as with all records, getting such a fish in hand is no small feat.