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State Record Update, Bowfishing 2015

Time for a state record update.  This is the time of year when we see the most activity in the spear-fishing and bowfishing state record categories.  I have a few bowfishing updates to share with you. . . .

Hybrid Sunfish

The first one is a hybrid sunfish, a green sunfish X bluegill hybrid that was taken on July 1 by Zachary Welch of Ainsworth.  Zachary found his 14.4 ounce, 10-inch hybrid sunfish in a private sandpit in Brown County.StateRecordArcheryHybridSunfishJulyl2015

Zachary’s fish edged out a 10-ounce hybrid sunfish we have had on the record books for twelve years.  His fish was a very nice hybrid sunfish, but it is possible that record could still push higher; hybrid sunfish in excess of one pound are certainly a possibility.

Grass Carp

There have been a couple of new state record grass carp taken by bowfishing–both of them by the same guy!

Donavon Uhing of Blair is no new-comer when it comes to bowfishing state records.  Back in 2002 he held the bowfishing state record for a 61-pound grass carp taken from a private lake in Washington County.  That record was bested in 2007 and then twice in 2010, but the grass carp were still present in Mr. Uhing’s lake, and they were growing all the time.  On July 5th he arrowed a 78 pound 14 ounce fish.


And then, in case that was not big enough, he picked up his bow and shot a 79 pound 10 ounce fish from the same body of water on August 18th.


You can see another picture of Mr. Uhing and his fish, and read “the rest of the story”, Blair’s Uhing making a habit of landing record fish.

A nearly 80-pound grass carp is a big fish, a REALLY BIG fish, but I still would not say that record is out of reach.  Grass carp are long-lived and can grow to incredible sizes.  I am betting that if Donavon Uhing sees a bigger one, you will be reading his name again!

Near Misses

That is the large of it, now I have to tell you about the small. . . .

Jim Foral is another gentleman that is no stranger to Nebraska bowfishing state records.  He holds the bowfishing state record for a rare fish in Nebraska, spotted gar, and used to hold bowfishing records for four other species until they were bettered by larger fish.  Jim is an avid bowfisher and I hear from him frequently, even more now that he is retired.  He gives me reports on what he is finding in a variety of Nebraska waters.  Last month Jim brought in an orangespotted sunfish that he had arrowed in a small stream in southeast Nebraska.  Orangespotted sunfish are a very colorful, but not a large fish.  How anyone ever sticks one with an arrow is beyond me.  In this case a bowfisher should get a record for being able to hit the smallest fish with an arrow.


Unfortunately, Jim’s orangespot weighed 0.5 ounces which only tied our existing bowfishing state record for that species.  Fish have to exceed an existing record by a full ounce in order to be recognized as a new state record.  Somewhere out there is a orangespotted sunfish that weighs 1.5 ounces, a real trophy orangespot, and my money is on Jim Foral to find it.

Those are the only applications to cross my desk in the past few months.  We typically do not see a lot of state record activity in the fall, but I will tell you fall is one of the best times of year to catch big fish.  So who knows?  There are trophies waiting out there for you to catch, and you darned sure are not going to get them if you sit at home on the couch.  Anytime you are on the water, that next fish could be a record!

Congratulations Zachary and Donavon!  Your state record certificates will be coming in the mail.

About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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