Woman archery fishing in the dark breaks record in Oklahoma

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Jaci NeKoda was bowfishing with Shyloh Powers and Dustin Statton when she caught this 9-pound, 7-ounce river carp at Fort Cobb Lake.

Photo by Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

A woman fishing in the dark with a bow and arrow just broke a state record in Oklahoma.

Jaci NeKoda was on Fort Cobb Lake on Sunday when she caught the 9-pound, 7-ounce river carp, according to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. That’s about half an ounce more than the previous record set in 2015, Game & Fish reports.

NeKoda told McClatchy News that she and two friends were an hour into their bow fishing trip when the boat’s searchlights revealed a school of diverse fish “swimming in all directions as fast as they could swim. “.

She aimed at one and fired, triggering an arm wrestle that pulled her off the deck and along the side rail of the boat.

“I ended up having to reach into the water to catch my arrow with the fish still on it. There was no way I could wrap it all the way around the side of the boat,” she said. declared.

The trio, which included NeKoda’s fiancé Dustin Statton, continued fishing for hours, not realizing they had caught anything out of the ordinary. The average carpsucker is around 4 pounds, depending on the state.

“It wasn’t until the end of the night that we realized how big that fish was,” she said. “All together we probably shot five each that night. There was a storm coming in and it started to spray so our trip was cut short.

She donated the fish to the Oklahoma Fisheries Research Laboratory in Norman, state officials said.

Bowfishing is a cross between traditional fishing and bowhunting, using a bow and arrow rather than a rod and reel, according to The Fisheries Blog.

“You spot a fish hiding in the shallows, approach carefully, fire your specially equipped bow and arrow, aim, then let it fly,” the blog reads. “If your aim is true and your barb point arrow hits the mark, you reel in your fish by the line attached to your arrow.”

NeKoda says she started bowfishing six years ago, when “someone handed me a bow and said ‘Here, fish’.” Its targets are usually invasive fish, known to harm the state’s waterways, she says. Sunday was her first time at Fort Cobb Lake, she said.

“I love sports, but more importantly, I love fish,” she said. “The sport of bow fishing is very energetic and challenging.”

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Mark Price has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1991, covering topics including schools, crime, immigration, LGBTQ issues, homelessness and nonprofits. He graduated from the University of Memphis with a major in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.

Earnest A. Martinez