Proud dad Tom Brooks had more on his 10-year-old daughter Emily shooting a Bowfishing Association of Illinois-record grass carp, a 56.7-pounder, from the Des Plaines River Monday night.
Here’s the Plainfield’s tale of his young daughter’s journey into bowfishing.
Dale, yes we have been shooting together since last year. She went out with me a few times last year but did not connect. This year we got her a new bow and she has taken off in the sport. She shot a 26# grassy earlier in the year and has been slowly checking off each of the different species legal to shoot. She has shot commons, buffalo, gar, suckers and last night was really trying to shoot a dogfish when we came upon this monster. I heard her shoot and the fish take off. I knew it was big, but had no idea it was the size it was. I shot a 30# earlier in the year in this same area and when I saw this fish, knew this was WAY bigger! It took us about 20 minutes of carefully working the fish close enough to gaff it and get it in the boat. I took a ton of pics if you want to see any of them.. Honestly though, the picture just doesn’t do this fish justice, it is really a mammouth of a fish. Until this year, I ran a charter boat out of Winthrop Harbor and I’ve seen some big kings in my day, but this fish makes even the biggest of those pale by comparison… Amazing we have these fish right in our back yard and hardly anyone knows they are even there! We also saw a gar last night that was over 5′ for sure, probably very close to 6′, but I missed! We have always been avid hook and line fishermen and while we still enjoy it occasionally, bowfishing has taken over as our favorite fishing method by far! Thank you for including this in the online edition, Emily is absolutely thrilled!