The second annual Missouri State Shoot Bowfishing Championship, organized by the Bowfishing Association of Missouri (BAM), will take place this weekend on several Missouri lakes, including Lake of the Ozarks.

The bowfishing community of Missouri is rallying in support of the family of Gary Michael, the Clinton Police Department officer killed in the line of duty earlier this month. Michael was a member of the tight-knit community of outdoorsmen.

The second annual Missouri State Shoot Bowfishing Championship, organized by the Bowfishing Association of Missouri (BAM), will take place this weekend on several Missouri lakes, including Lake of the Ozarks.

The BAM has been selling $10 raffle tickets to win a fully rigged Oneida Osprey bow donated by Scott and Ryan at Bowfishing Extreme as well as a two-day, three-night stay at Lakeside Resort and Restaurant on Table Rock Lake donated by Rick and Stephanie Kettles. Proceeds are designated for the Michael family. Members of the Clinton PD will be present at the weigh-in to receive the donations, according to BAM President Jeff Browning.

The tournament, headquartered at Angler’s Port Marine in Warsaw and scheduled for August 26, will feature a Big 10 format for the largest fish caught by two-to-four-person teams between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. Registration is $250 per team with a 100-percent payout for the total winner and individual largest fish. Bowfishers will descend on Truman Lake, Stockton Lake, Pomme De Terre Lake, Table Rock Lake and Bull Shoals, as well as Lake of the Ozarks.

Bowfishing season runs from January 1 to December 31, from sunrise to sunset with most archers choosing to go out at night when waterways are less crowded and fish can be illuminated using LED lightning and other navigational techniques. The unique method requires calculating the water refraction to the distance of the fish from the angle of the arrow.

The boats used for this kind of fishing come in all shapes and sizes from flat-bottom to pontoon to kicker styles using trolling motors or fans so the boats can cost through muddy flats and shallow areas. Most are equipped with some sort of platform to aim and shoot from as well as high-tech navigation and spotting equipment.

“We don’t target any spoonbill, bass, catfish, or any game fish or anything protected,” Browning explained. “What we hunt is grass carp, common carp, buffalo, gar, drum, shad. Some of these fish can get up to 40-50 pounds and there’s no natural predators, so when they get to foraging for food they can really destroy crappie beds.”

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, bowfishing plays an important role in invasive species management around the state in addition to MDC’s own efforts to control unwanted species that invade unnatural waterways and can cause harm to Missouri’s native species.

“Because nongame fish are pursued and harvested at significantly lower rates than game fish, their populations are typically abundant,” according to MDC’s website. “Invasive species control helps to protect native fish species in Missouri waterways.”

For more information, please visit http://www.missouribowfishing.com/contact-us/