News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 27, 2012

REDNECK QUAKER: Wabash Valley duo gets hooked on bow fishing

Kenny Bayless
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — I would like to introduce you to a couple of fine, very polite young men, Eric Taylor and Craig O’Neal.

It is refreshing to hear young men say “Yes, Ma’am” to a lady. Their upbringing and living life to the fullest in the outdoors has molded a fine reputation.

An interview was scheduled at Benjamin’s Restaurant and their truck was easily spotted from the hunting and fishing decals, and a 55-gallon drum in the back for holding fish.

Two years ago Eric and Craig started bow fishing and they got bit by the bow fishing bug along with a thousand mosquitoes. They bow fish every weekend when the weather gets hot, like in July and August. They start as soon as the sun goes down and don’t quit until the sun comes up.

The Ohio River near Evansville, Patoka Lake and the tail waters of Barkly Lake are some favorite spots.

Eric’s favorite setup is a recurve bow with an A.M.S. Pro Reel mounted on it, shooting carbon arrows flitted with A.M.S. long-barbed fishing tips that has three-blade interlocking heads.

Eric has a 17-foot bass boat with a trolling motor that sports a 55-pound thrust. Eric says with Craig’s big carcass in the boat it is like the song ‘Don’t Rock the Boat Baby’. If you make too much noise or wave the Silver’s or Big head, Asians will go to the bottom and stay for hours, they’re very skittish!

The Asian’s will jump out of the water but ironically they do not do it in their native country. A 42-pound big head Asian was taken, so imagine going upriver and get hit by it. There was a report of an unfortunate lady being killed from a fish jumping and breaking her neck!

One of their best nights was putting 32 fish in the boat or a 55-gallon barrel with the average weight of 20 to 25 pounds for the Silvers and Big Heads, which is a species of the Asian and the regular American Carp and Buffalo weighing an average of 10 to 14 pounds.

Unfortunately any lake that is fed by a river or stream has the Asian carp in them. They are destroying the ecosystem wherever they exist from multiplying so fast and depleting the food source for other fish. They are a very versatile fish, being able to eat the algae or moss floating on the water’s surface.

Eric says it is awesome on a calm summer night to get down and look across the surface of the water with hundreds of fish feeding on top water.



Kenny Bayless can be reached by e-mail at kwbayless@aol.com.