Bowfishing is a sport that requires skill, patience, and a bit of luck. And for Mitchell Dering, luck was definitely on his side when he shot a world record-sized fish during a recent outing in Missouri.
Dering, a Fairdealing resident, had been bowfishing in one of the ditches in Duck Creek when he came across what he initially thought was a bullhead. However, he soon realized that it was a brown bullhead, and a large one at that.
"I knew it was large for its size," he said in a news release from the Missouri Department of Conservation. "I got lucky honestly."
After requesting that his fish be weighed on a certified scale, it was confirmed that Dering had shot a 4-pound brown bullhead, qualifying him for state and world records.
In Missouri, Dering's catch beat the previous state record of a 2-pound, 7-ounce fish caught in May 1994. The bowfishing world record for a brown bullhead fish weighed 3 pounds, 4 ounces.
Dering, who has been bowfishing for quite some time and has won several tournaments in Kentucky and Tennessee, was thrilled with his record-breaking catch. He plans to mount the fish and has his sights set on breaking even more records.
"I'm working on getting me a collection of state records," he said. "I guess potentially world records now!"
The Duck Creek Conservation Area and nearby Mingo National Wildlife Refuge are the only confirmed locations with a self-sustaining natural population of brown bullheads, making Dering's catch even more impressive.
Bowfishing is a unique and challenging sport that requires both skill and a bit of luck. And for Dering, his successful shot was a combination of both. His world record-sized catch serves as a testament to the thrill and excitement of bowfishing and the rewards that come with the sport.