The 2nd Annual U.S. Open Bowfishing Championship is in the books and a team from Georgia has claimed the first place prize of $10,000.
With 376 pounds of fish in the boat, a team from Georgia claims the first place prize money of $10,000 at the US Bowfishing Championship. John Hood, Greg Campbell, and Brian Ellenburg form the three man team that took the top honors in a tournament field featuring 236 boats and 900 bow anglers. With that many boats, the US Bowfishing Championship, held May 2-4 on Table Rock and Bull Shoals Lakes, is the biggest bowfishing event ever.
"I’ve been bowfishing since 1993 and this was the most organized and complete tournament I’ve ever been to,” said John Hood from the winning team. Two Oklahoma teams claimed prizes for biggest fish and longest gar. At 62.5”, a gar taken by Upright Bowfishing earned the team a cool $5,000. Midnight Mafia, captained by Matt Rush, scored the biggest fish at 45.55 pounds. The giant fish netted the team $7,000. Ben Patterson, also from Oklahoma, went home with a Tracker 1860 Bowfishing Boat valued at nearly $19,000.
Tournament Director Mike Webb said over 40,000 pounds of rough fish were removed from Table Rock and Bull Shoals Lakes. The fish were processed by SF Organics, a Division of Schafer Fisheries. They had a truck on site that created environmentally friendly fertilizer. This fertilizer is liquefied fish that is utilized by organic farmers and home and garden purposes.
Not only did the event help clean up area lakes and provide high quality fertilizer for area farmers, it raised serious cash for river conservation. Over $8,000 was donated to the James River Basin Partnership to help fund clean-up efforts. The James River Basin Partnership is a non-profit organization improving and protecting the water quality of the entire Southwest Missouri James River Watershed including springs, streams, rivers, and lakes.Sponsors of the 2014 U.S. Open Bowfishing Championship included Bass Pro Shops, Tracker Boats, AMS Bowfishing, Muzzy Products, Cajun Bowfishing, PSE Archery, and Rinehart Targets.