LAKE THUNDERBIRD, Okla. (TNN) -There are many ways to catch a fish...whether it’s with a pole or with your hands.
But one of the more unique ways is to use a bow and arrow.
It’s called bowfishing, and it’s the latest edition of Makenzie’s Outdoor Adventures.
“You’re on the boat with lights, and you see the fish, and shoot the fish,” said Willie McGee, from Okie Outlaw Bowfishing.
It’s a combination of hunting and fishing...
“It’s basically fishing with an arrow and the bow,” said McGee. “There’s not a whole lot of people that do it, but the people that do, get hooked pretty quick.”
Bowfishing is usually done in lakes or rivers at nighttime.
“To me it’s just like being in the daytime in the water,” said Shayne Mcdonald, from Okie Outlaw Bowfishing. “We’ve got lights that light it up like it’s daytime.”
Willie McGee and Shayne McDonald have been bowfishing for about 5 years, and run a guide service together called Okie Outlaw Bowfishing.
“I started it to try to take first responders and veterans out,” said McGee. “And it kind of turned into a little business taking people out who don’t get the chance to go.”
McDonald says he loves sharing his passion of the outdoors with others.
“I grew up in the outdoors and some people didn’t have that chance,” said McDonald. “So to me it’s helped me along in my life, just bein out in nature getting to see things that you don’t get to see in the city. If those guys don’t have the means to come out and do it, we’re more than happy to bring them.”
You’re allowed to bowfish for non-game fish only..like carp, flathead catfish or alligator gar.
While it's fun, McDonald says he also does it to help clean up the lake.
“We really helps these lakes out by taking these fish out that are non game,” said McDonald. “They really are detrimental to the habitat population for all the sport fish, like the large mouth bass. They eat a lot of the grass and all their cover that they hide in and feed off of, they lay their eggs in.”
The fish we were looking for were close to the bank, so we floated the shallow waters for a while, and managed to get a few.
McGee says his favorite part about bowfishing is the camaraderie between him and the people he goes with. It also keeps him busy during the off season for hunting.
“Hunting is a short season, so you have to find something to do during the summer,” said McGee. “This is a great thing to do. You stay fresh with your bow and get to hang out with your buddies.”
Willie says it can be frustrating at times, especially for beginners like me. But you know what they say, practice makes perfect.