After finishing second at BASSfest, Kevin VanDam went directly to Big Cedar Lodge on Missouri’s Table Rock Lake for some R&R with the fam. Of course, he got some work in at the U.S. Open Bowfishing Championship.
KVD, an avid bowhunter who writes that he’s done his fair share of bow fishing, helped Bass Pro Shops’ John Paul Morris introduce the Archenemy Z-21, a Trakker tricked out for the nighttime endeavor.
Kevin VanDam and John Paul Morris with the Archenemy. (Courtesy Bass Pro Shops)
While VanDam and his twin boys got out one night to stick some carp, KVD also worked the World’s Bowfishing Fair in Springfield, where the 260 teams from 28 states registered.
Morris, himself keenly interested in bowfishing, has built the event to huge proportions, with a top prize of $30,000. A four-man team from Clinton, Mo., took that home after one night of shooting and reeling gathered 393 pounds of rough fish, including an event record 60-pound grass carp.
At the fair, the push to take out these species to help sportfish was furthered by an education push that carp are indeed edible if you cook them right. Things like carp burgers and chili-con-carp were on hand, as well as a chef for a campaign called “Eat MO Carp.”
The Springfield News-Leader even offered some recipes, like Jamaican Jerk Carp, Fried Asian Carp and Silverfin Carp Cakes, and polled folks if they would eat carp. Twenty-five percent responded no way, 20 percent said maybe and a resounding 54 percent said yes, if prepared in a tasty way.