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wounded redfish from a bow hunter at night

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how is bow hunting legal at night for redfish?
why can't we hunt deer at night with lights?
whats the difference?
this is fish number 16 i have documented in the same area as all the rest of the fish. this area is being targeted every trip they make not counting the recreational bow hunter. 2 boats leave the dock with 6 hunters aboard each boat and pretty much limit out on redfish. thats 60 redfish a night in a few hours of shooting. 60 times 5 times a week thats 300 redfish a week and 1200 a month. thats only if they go out 5 times a week. more if its 7 times a week. they are hitting the same area everynight wipeing out the redfish in the area at a astonishing rate. needless to say what they are wounding like the fish in this picture.
"HOW IS THIS LEGAL"
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   BIRD DOG
Do you whine like this when someone loses a deer?Come on man just b/c you dont partake in a sport doesnt mean its wrong!
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   TP
Would it be any different if the fish had broke off and died from swallowing one of your spoons or if someone had ripped its guts out trying to get the hook out. Either way you are looking at a dead redfish.
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I am with you Capt Herk sorry guy's I don't think bow fishing is a sport. Just a slaughter.
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   bobbyg40
I went on 2 bow charters the first one was a blast the second the so called guide got lost if thats the chance i take for guide fishing i will never go again. But the only thing I can say is both charters stoped us form shooting fish because they said there to small so we passed. But you are right both trips were with the same charter group and the trips were 2 years apart and we went into the same general are there way to much pressure for the fish to thrive.
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   Capt Bob
I have not as yet bow fished, but the wife and I have been talking about going !!It just seems to me that someone is complaing about something others are doing leagly !! I have told some of the bow fishing guides where I red fish !( lots of ponds in Bayou Barre area} When they came on here and asked !! and let me tell you, I saw no dead fish, and I still catch all the reds my wife and I can eat !! Lets try and get along !! theres plenty out there for all of us !! try it you might like it !! Just my 2 cents Capt Bob
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1200 fish a month sounds a little extreme. Bow fishing is a sport just like any other. It takes time, skills, and money (put into the economy) to partake in this activity. Just like any other sport resulting in the harvest of wildlife, one or two will get away and die by other means. Do you feel the same when your lab cant find that wounded duck, or when your blood trail ends on that deer, or you gaff a huge tuna and he gets off at the last minute. All these mishaps result in dinner for a scavanger, coon, gator, coyote, or shark. Its the circle of life. Its what happens. You enjoy fishing and im sure you put a lot of time into it, ohers enjoy bow fishing. All in all its the same thing. Dont knock em for it.
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Every license holder can have a limit, how he gets his legal limit should be up to him. If you push to change the way he fishes may change the way you fish. Change is not always good,they might tell you what pound test and type of equipment you can use. It's best to have a choice. My opinion.
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You do realize that the same gripe can be made by recreational fishermen against charter capts. How many fish do you remove from the system every week? Nothing against you, just throwing in another perspective.
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   eman(R)
due to work, family and other obligations i get to fish maybe once a month. So that means that anybody that gets to fish once a week is catching to many fish and needs to stop.
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i would think it much easier to get a limit by rod then by bow. and i cant count the throw backs i have killed because they swallow the hook. charter capt catch limits ever day

now that limits are reduced there is no shortage of reds or specs, so fish on by night or day rideing around in a loud airboat ant for me but i dont care it just ant for me

the only real problem i see is the steady loss of our marsh

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The real problem is the Loss of marsh.

If you want to do something worthwhile, join Save our Coast.
The more members, the better chance we have of the State doing something productive to rebuild our marsh. We need slurry projects to get started ASAP.

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First of all let me say that I have never been bow fishing but do not have a particular problem with it if all is done correctly. I'm sure the guides make sure that fish are well over the size limit before they let someone shoot. The only thing I think about are the less experienced people that go out and are not as able to judge the size. There isn't such a thing as shoot and release. As so many have said, yes there are some undersized fish which are hooked and die using conventional methods, but I bet the percentage of that happening is way less than one that has been bow shot so I don't buy that argument. The bow fishers have the right to do their thing as long as they can keep it within the guidelines. But that goes for all of us no matter how we choose to catch them.
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You really should go bowfishing one night then come back and talk about how easy it was and how many undersized fish you actually shot at.
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How is rod and reel charter fishing legal? These charter guys run hundreds of trips per day, and catch thousands of fish each and every day. They use cell phones to tell each other when and where they are on a slaughter, and they will pound the same school day after day till the whole school is gone. They are highly efficient commercial fishing operations and they are wiping out the fish at an astonishing rate. With the surge in numbers of guides and ever more efficiency they aren't far from being just like gill nets...whats the difference??

As far as ethics go, charters brag and advertise about "caught and released over 100 reds today" when they know darn well that catch and release has a percentage mortality rate. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

You post a grisly picture of an unfortunate lost redfish but the fact is rod and reel fishing loses many more. Why don't you post a picture of the 20 you killed by gut hooking undersize fish every time you post "we had to pick thru a lot of throwbacks today but finally filled a 5 man limit of reds".

For a charter guide, who is basically a commercial fisherman, to tell us recreationals we can't bowfish is a crock of bs...among other things it makes you look very greedy.

I support the commercial fishing industry and it is a huge part of our La. heritage but just think: if you and your grisly pictures get my bow taken away from me how long till your style of fishing is deemed inhumane, unethical, unsustainable, "wiping out the resource at an astonishing rate", or otherwise not acceptable?

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what i can't figure out is how do you measure a 16" fish while its in the water.everyone else has to measure them while they are alive and release them if they don't make.you can't tell me they guess right on every fish.
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   BIRD DOG
Well Capt.Herk I think you might have stepped on some toes here.You do take alot more reds than any of these bowfishing groups.
basinhunterfisher you said that you would like to know how they tell if they are 16" when they are in the water but I am sure they dont let them shoot unless they are well over 16.Its kind of like duck huntin,do you stop the inexperienced from goin duck huntin b/c they dont know what there shootin at yet?Dont think so!
Basically what it boils down to is if you want to pick on someone it should not be a fellow sportsman!Why dont you go pick on some animal rights activist?Unfortunatly thats what you are starting to sound like!
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First off i go bowfishing a few times a year as my buddy runs a charter and it is a kick and not easy. We have never shot a fish under 16", not so much cause the guides tell you not, cause u can't hardly hit the small ones, they swim too fast and are just a smaller target. Surely it happens but not nearly as much as a hook gets in ones stomach and it dies. It is pretty tough to hit them when they are moving and you are moving, and the refraction from the water.

I can understand the concern in a sense cause it does seem that alot of fish are being taken, but most the guides run 3-4 trip per week and usually don't limit. I would say the average for a 6 person boat is more like 20 reds. But even still that can seem like a lot.

BUT--- When you consider how many rod n reel guides there are out there that are taking there limits daily i am sure their catch miniscules the amount of fish being taken by bowfishing.... So you are barking up the wrong tree cause everyone can see this...

I think all those that are against it need to try it once and then form an opinion caue you really don't know what you are talking about...

I think people need to chill out about complaining about sports that they are not interested in cause it just infringes on others rights. If it started having an effect on the fish then i could understand but in that case charter fishing in generel would need to be closely looked at Capt herk, cause surely it has a far more devestating impact... So think about that before you start whining
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   boatmotor
First of all I can't bow fish due to injuries to both elbows. But how can you tell this injury was caused by an arrow? There are plenty of "professional fishermen" ,i.e. egrets, herons and those dreaded cormorants, that enflict this same damage to a fish.
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I do not bow fish for reds, but in my opinion a limit is a limit. Doesnt matter whether its done on a rod an reel or bow and arrow. Now its true that some will be hit and lost just as its true you may gill hook or stomach hook a red and have to turn it back because of size or other reason. My point is just because its not your cup of tea, dont bash it. If everyone hunted and fished the same way, or the way you do, it would be chaotic.
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pretty clear from the picture that redfish was not floating.even though it was shot,nature always finds a way to survive.what you are doing here is trying to bash bowfishing,but yet you caught the one that got away.how many more fish do you catch that had been shoot with a bow?you mentioned 16 so that means that these fish are not going to waste after all.i bowfish tournaments all over the country,and have won 2 world titles by shooting gar an carp that destroy habitat for the redfish environment.in the area your saying is being wiped out by bowfisherman,you sure are fishing it on regular basis catching fish.man you need a lesson on how many fish are really out there.there's enough out there for everyone.
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   smelly
Seems like everyone got on the wagon barking at the wrong wheel. The OP didn't say anything about banning bowfishing. His question was about doing it at night and why was that legal when you can't do it for other game.
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   terryf
I doubt any bowfish charter is running 5 days a week and then running 6 fisherman per boat every time. But thats not the issue. The limits will be adjusted if the fish are being hurt but it was the nets that really dented redfish populations. When they stopped that the pop bounced back. Point is you cannot outfish a species with rod and reel or bows. You just cant do it.
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You can fish at night, you can't hunt land animals at night but there are reasons for that other than there would be for shooting redfish at night. You can spearfish at night!

glare on the water makes it hard to see during the day.. if you couldn't do it at night, it would be pretty hopeless... If fish numbers were hurting from it than i would agree it would need to be looked at. As for now i don't think that is so

I think once the gill nets went away this is nothing to worry about. The marsh will be eroded away before this has an impact
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Do the airboats running the marsh erode away the marsh? I have been told by some it does....Does it wreak havoc on marsh?
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made to go,to my knowledge,i dont think any airboat is shooting fish on land,lol...
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   Splitlog
Fish and deer are so totally different!!!!
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   Splitlog
lets see the other 15 documents!!!
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have you ever tried to bowfish?? its not that easy to hit a moving fish while YOU are moving as well. anybody can cast from a boat and catch a limit. bowfishing is a real test. go try it before bashing it.
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   BullNutz
Your first question:
"How is bow hunting legal at night for redfish?"

Well, the dedicated biologists who work for the LDWF have, so far, determined that bowfishing has no notable impact on the populations of redfish in a given area. The CCA, acting as a watchdog group has found no logical reason to oppose the activity either. So far the only opposition comes from emotional people who lack experience and knowledge. The fact that redfish populations are not hurt by bowfishing activities is somewhat evidenced in your own uninformed rant by the fact that you fish an area popular with bowfishermen and still consistently catch fish. Our redfish populations are healthier now than they have been in over twenty years. Unlike bass, redfish are not territorial. They're constantly wandering in our coastal marshes. When a vacuum is created, it is quickly filled. Think about how much pressure they get from fishermen of all stripes in some areas and take a moment to realize how despite the numbers of redfish taken from relatively small areas, there seems to be nearly instant replenishment.

Your second question:
"Why can't we hunt deer at night with lights?"

Night hunting for deer offers an unfair advantage against a resource that does not replenish itself as readily as redfish. You're attempting to compare apples and acorns here. Be careful of the slippery slope... stop bowfishing at night because of the lights? What's next, stop trout fishing under lights at night because of the unfair advantage those lights offer?

I've only been on about six bowfishing trips. Five of them were a lot of fun. One trip with a popular guide in the Leeville area was a bust. Won't do business with them again. Meanwhile during the other five trips I can honestly report that not a single undersized redfish was shot. Very few were hit and escaped. If I had to take a stab at assigning a percentage to the number of fish that were shot, hit and escaped I have absolutely no doubt it was less than 3-4%. It was rare that we even needed to pass up a shot. In the ultra-shallows I typically find reds that measure between 20-30". Smaller redfish seem to prefer hanging out in water that is deeper than the areas targeted by bowfishermen. I usually target redfish in a kayak in ultra shallow waters. It's very unusual to see smaller "crawlers" in the ultra-shallows. I'm convinced that redfish under 18" typically stay out of the ultra-shallows becasue they fear predators. Once they reach 18-20" they start to lose that fear and will hit the mudflats and grass lines in the marsh.

You have questions? We have answers. You might not like the answers but if logic rules the day, your emotionally based argument should go away.
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Very well stated. Kudos BullNutz.

Kirby
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Excellent Bullnutz. Lets save this response and make it automated for the next complainer that addresses this topic so we can quit going through this.....
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And about the airboats eroding the marsh. Yes i believe they are hard on the marsh, but so are mudboats, go-devils, surface drives, etc... But airboats aren't limited to bowfishing, in fact the state and the oil companies use them more. The fact is nonne of these are a fly on the way compared to the saltwater intrusion. So if they don't mitigate that then it doesn't matter.

I would classify the airboat issue as seperate from bowfishing....
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   timnduson
I think they should establish a shoot and release law for bowfishing.....errr wait...oh nevermind
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BullNutz

Let me start by saying that I am not a dedicated biologist for L.D.W.F. With that out of the way, let me also say that these same trained biologist you speak of used to let large boats purse seine huge schools of redfish in the gulf and used to let redfish be gill netted in the interior marsh. I wonder what kind of notable impact this would have had on our redfish population, state wide, if it had been allowed to continue. I am not bashing biologist. I am just saying that some of the worse losses of wildlife and fisheries in history have occurred under the watchful eye of degreed biologist.

You say that, “Night hunting for deer offers an unfair advantage against a resource that does not replenish itself as readily as redfish.” What about night hunting for rabbits? This is not allowed in our state as well, and I can say, without a doubt, that the rabbit is a very prolific species. I can also say that redfish are undoubtedly of much more economic importance to our state then are rabbits.

It is my opinion that most people have a problem with bow fishing for redfish because of one important fact that you neglect to mention. When you shoot at a redfish with a bow, the fish don’t have to bite in order to be taken. one bow fishing service that advertises on this site boasts on their web site that, "Fish don't have to be biting
...to get 'em in the boat!" Is this not an unfair advantage?

When I or any other rod and reel angler targets redfish, we don’t always catch them. I have been in schools of redfish more times than I can count and not caught a single fish. Why? Because the fish did not want to bite and there is nothing that can be done about that.
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   CaptJS
I would add this like today the reds were going crazy on some storm minnows.There is no catch and release here. They were to big to keep took my hooks off for great top water hits. Also what about jug lines and drum sets I am sure they kill many reds. Do you think the poggie boats kill a few. I don't think we have too many bow hunter now but it could get out of hand fast.
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Some of you people act like bowfishing is as easy as getting some lights a boat and a bow and you can go out whenever you want and have a chance to shoot as many as you want. Just like you can go out and not catch fish if there not biting you can go bowfishing and have it so muddy you cant even see the fish are that there just not where you are. Just like rod-n-reel your not always gunna have a chance to go home with fish.
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there's no easy way about whether you are fishing or bowfishing.both take time,money and equiptment when it comes to doing what we all love to do.i guess we all have different opions about what sport is better or fairer,but the bottom line is here is no decline in the redfish populations here in la.there is enough for everyone to have good trips.what upsets me here is this guy capt herk gets on here about a bow shot redfish that ate his bait even though the fish still had a hole in his belly,starts a big debate and never comes posts against what he started.if it was a honest question,then finish what you started here.
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Captain Shane, two points here. You mention that you can't shine for rabbits. Well a big reason for this is that at one time it was done and they were truly being slaughtered due to their feeding activities. So yes it was an unfair advantage and it was having to much of an impact. Also it isn't allowed due to making enforcing it on other game difficult, mainly deer. Think about it, it would be quite hard to catch people shining for deer if the woods were full of hunters shining for rabbits. Not to mention its much more dangerous to humans. This is the same reason you can't shine for hogs. they are a nuisance and are encouraged to be killed however not at night, and its due to these previously stated reasons...

Bowfishing at night doesn't face any of these issues which is why its allowed... Plus unlike shining for animals, conditions do have to be right to shoot reds and they don't freeze under the light as land animals do, thye are usually on the run. The light doesn't seem to affect them at all, it just helps us see.... And you compare it to fishing saying the fish has to bite. Well when you are hunting the animal doesn't bite, you simply shoot it if you can. Same with reds when you come along they take off, they don't freeze so the sport is in your shot just like with hunting.

And this is why comparing it to hunting animals at night is not a valid comparison.

Having said that, if bowfishing became huge and the marsh was full of them, then yes i agree they would need to regulate it far more. A per boat limit or something. Right now the rodnreel guides put far more of a hurting on the reds then bowfishermen..

I think you guys that are against it need to give it a try or atleast see it done so you have a realistic opinion becuase right now you simply don't like it and don't wnat it done for that reason, because at this point there is little impact.

Like i said though if it keeps gaining popularity like Capt John said i could see it becoming more of an issue and would need to be looked at...

I just think to many people now want to much governed without needing it based on their own desires...
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   MoRedd
shooting redfish is a harvest only activity, it is a unfair advantage or you would not do it at night, alot of effort went into restoring redfishing I would hate to see it backslide because someone shoot what they can't catch with a rod and reel...for one I am tired getting woke up by bright lights shouting and the sound of a frickin fan boat at 3 am, then going fish and see the "culls" you leave behind because you cant stay out all night when you shoot your limit in the 1st hour your on the water...wish that they slap a 2 fish limit PER BOAT so it would take the poachers who sell fish off the water
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Mo the reason for going it at night is cause u can't see in the water during the day, use some common sense. I didn't say there wasn't an advantage in going at night. What i said was it doesn't freeze the fish the way shining animals does... And to disagree with you it is not a harvesting activity its more of the thrill of shooting moving targets.
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I dont understand why this post is so big. It was probably an accident im sure the guy didnt shoot the fish, reel it in, and throw it back in the water. Im not a bowfisherman but geez yall grilling this dude for prolly an honest mistake.
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   Capt Bob
All I know is in the 9 yrs Ive been fishing down the bayous,below Houma. The amount of red fish have increased a BIG BUNCH !! The wife and I have been able to catch and release 3 or 4 limits almost every time we go out fishing !!And I see where many others both guides and non guides have been doing the same !! The duck ponds have been full !! and still are !! We have a couple of high class bow fishing outfits down here and Ive never seen any dead floating fish !! Come on guy's can't we let others have fun their way ? if we do maybe they will let us have fun our way ?? sometimes folks on here act like 4th graders !! Go have some fun !! it's better than just snilveling on here !! My 2 Cents Capt Bob
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   chefronT
I have never done it but would like to try it. As far as it being easy I don't think so. Have you ever shot a bow? Its not the easiest thing to master and to think about shooting an arrow at a moving fish and shooting so that the water does not change your point of aim, Its got to be really hard. As far as judging size thats probably hard to but I'm sure the guides police the shots-- They don't want tickets either. I can remenber a day not that long ago when just to catch redfish was a rarity the fact that the nets have been banned turned that tide. there are more reds in LA now than probably any time in recent history. I think its OK as long as limits are being obeyed. If not then that is an enforcement issue and there are penaltys for catching too much and wanton waste. Ultimatley if you want to fish and hunt then you had better stand up for EVERYONES right to fish and hunt. United we fish divided we will only have TV to watch cause there are many who want us to eat carrots and tofu and ban all hunting and fishing!
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We better enjoy our hunting now. There is no telling with all these animal activists and liberals in congress what will happen with our gun rights. Never know one day it might be illegal to own a gun so i say everyone just go hunting and enjoy as many days as you can.
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   Tobias
If you could put people on limits daily with rod and reel, you would have no problem. Redfish populations are through the roof now. Ever tried to bow hunt fish? It is not easy and you miss more than 100 times you hit. Just a fun sport plus those who don't like rod and reels still donate to the fisheries by purchasing fishing licenses. You people piss me off. I bow fished once and was surprised how difficult but fun it was. Keep posting and maybe the state will take another fishing right or limit away.
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Do you realize how many bowfisherman there are as compared to how many fisherman that loose a stainless hook or jig or any other hook in a redfish mouth so the fish will starve to death.you cannot look at one fish and try to put a band on bowfishing without looking at all the other fisherman that hook and release with good intentions but some fish do not survive the swollowed hook or the torn lip.I do not bowfish but I do fish and as with all the undersized reds that I have caught,im sure some have not survived.
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"quote" "why can't we hunt deer at night with lights? whats the difference?" unquote. are you serious?
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Capt. Shane, I'm sure your a nice guy and a very knowledgeable fisherman but your "unfair advantage" idea is most times bass ackwards.
Example: I went bowfishin 2 fri. ago and in 2.5 hours saw and missed 1 red...the water was kinda dirty and the fish just weren't around. The next morning I caught 5 reds in 5 casts in 10 minutes right off my dock.....could have caught 100...easy... I stopped fishing because catch and release KILLS. The fish did not have a chance....rod and reel is so much easier than bowfishing. It's so much easier to catch reds w/ a pole, especially if you have a crew and need 20, 25, or 30 to limit out.

Kudos to Capt JS who removed the hooks for catch and release....that is sportsmanship folks.
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quitchabtchin
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lets look at the board here across the state.there are probaly 500 recreational fisherman an guides to every 1 bowfishing boat who fishes for redfish.so,who do you think takes more redfish out of the marsh,but yet because we use lights at night,bowfishing is considered shining?but let me get this right,you are able to fish under the lights that attract baitfish at night,and are able to keep what you catch.i believe thats calling the kettle black.i have respect for the good fishing guides out there,who go out day in an day out an put there customers on fish regular basis,but the ones who complain about the bowfishermen,need to compare apple an ornge's here.
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