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Posted In: Fishing

Bowfishing for snakeheads

@richmondoutside
June 23, 2013 11:34am

There wasn’t room for a picture or two with my column in today’s Times-Dispatch, but I’ve got a bunch of good one’s so I thought I’d share them here.

The spotlight finds a longnose gar in Austin Run. Credit: Lance Rosenfield

The spotlight finds a longnose gar in Austin Run. Credit: Lance Rosenfield

On Thursday night I met a photographer friend, Lance Rosenfield, at the Hope Springs Marina in Stafford Co. on Aquia Creek. Until about a month ago, this tributary of the Potomac River was known as a great place to fish for largemouth bass. Then, earlier in June, an angler in a bass tournament hooked a (pending) world record snakehead fish — 17 pounds, 6 ounces. But that same night a youngster named Cody Dent, out bowfishing in a separate tournament, arrowed a snakehead well over 18 pounds. The International Game Fish Association doesn’t recognize fish not caught with a hook and line, but, needless to say, this was still a noteworthy catch. And by the way, he was bowfishing. I’d seen plenty of videos of people bowfishing on lakes and rivers in the Midwest, by I had no idea people bowfished in Virginia.

Mike Brookover, left, and Matt Wroe, bowfish on Aquia Creek. Credit: Lance Rosenfield

Mike Brookover, left, and Matt Wroe, bowfish on Aquia Creek. Credit: Lance Rosenfield

It turns out, there’s a mini bowfishing boom going on there in the Aquia Creek area, fed largely by the explosive population growth of the invasive snakehead. Lance and I met Mike Brookover, the godfather of Aquia Creek bowfishing, and his friend Matt Wroe to get a sense for what bowfishing for snakeheads in the home of the world record “Frankenfish” is like. Click here for the link to my column.

 

Matt Wroe holds a gar he shot while bowfishing in Aquia Creek. Credit: Lance Rosenfield

 


About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?


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