Sun04202014

Last updateTue, 04 Nov 2014 9pm

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Somethin’ Serious Outdoors takes me night hunting

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Several Friday nights ago I stepped off a private dock belonging to a friend onto the decked out and tricked out boat of Logan Woodworth who owns the rights to Somethin’ Serious Outdoors. We were headed up the tributary to do some bowfishing for snakeheads. I wanted to tag along and see what this young, but up and coming, outdoorsman and businessman was onto when he said that arrowing snakeheads at night was the way to do the job correctly.

Woodworth’s boat was a simple duck or Jon boat, but he had designed and rigged an upper deck made of aluminum to “float” or stand above the original deck over the bow. It was sturdy, had two bass fishing type pedestal seats and provided bowfishermen a better angle to shoot from. Below the custom deck Woodworth had a series of high pressure sodium lights that were run by a generator that sat back by the transom. The lights were pointed outboard and threw bright light on both sides of the boat. Perhaps the best advantage to having the deck higher and the lights lower was that the insects that were drawn to the lights were kept down at foot level vs. in your face. A plastic barrel to drop fish in completed the boat rigging for bow fishing. It was simple, yet very effectively set up. He had his logo on the side of the boat in an eye catching manner. Woodworth obviously did not do much halfway.

Since the tide was very high and nearly slack, we took our time heading up the creek and got to know each other a bit. He described his ambition to become a licensed guide and take people out to bowfish for gar, carp and of course, snakehead. I was most interested in snakeheads. They eat fine on a grill, broiled and even fried.

As the tide started to turn a bit and the water slowly began being sucked back into the distant river, we saw more activity. The humidity was up but it was not unbearable. In fact, the swampy smell of the creek was a pleasant reminder of what I had been missing for years as I rarely get out to nightfish these days. Night herons croaked, a few fish splashed, and an owl hooted in the distance. My light hit a water snake, which slipped under and disappeared into the murky depths. Other than the tide being a bit high and slow moving, the conditions appeared to be perfect for being on the water. A slight breeze came up every once in a while to shove away bugs and cool us off.

Snakeheads love to be in the skinny water. I do mean the SKINNY water. A few inches of water with some vegetation and grass is all that is needed to do the job and make a home for them. During high tide the fish can go way up into the reeds, cattails and veggies. Taking a tide halfway out is probably going to be the easiest time to spot these ugly but tasty fish.

Woodworth and I scanned the banks as he trolled along chewing up aquatic real estate. When we saw the vegetation part and move, we knew a fish was close by. It was not too long before he had an arrow make a direct hit on a snakehead. It was a decent size fish but small by his standards so no picture was taken. The shot was perfect though and the fish did not move much until he got it out of the water. Taking shots during the day requires that you adjust for refraction of the water and light. At night you just aim low and cut the arrow loose. Woodworth was quick to shoot and knew his business.

We focused on the edges of vegetation, mudflats in particular and shallow water with weeds. While several fish were missed, a total of four were arrowed. One particular fish fought so hard that Woodworth had to lean out of the boat and pin it to the bottom with his arrow to avoid having it rip off. I scrambled for a gaff and handed it to him so he could get it in the boat. It was a beast of a fish too!

Later in the evening, just past midnight, we were turning the boat around and I spotted something slithering along the bank through some grass in mere inches of water. Excitedly, I pointed this out to my host and he whirled around and flung an arrow at the fish. It leaped out of the water and thrashed around for a bit before being wrestled to the boat. In the darkness the fight sounded spectacular. These fish are all muscle and like Olympians when they fight.  

Woodworth knew the water well and pointed out likely areas that we would see fish. Most of the time the fish scooted before we could get a clean shot, but we saw them or evidence of them. During our night hunt for the frankenfish, Woodworth shared that he is an avid bowfisherman and competes in tournaments all over eastern Virginia and into Maryland. He has taken hundreds of snakeheads, gar, carp and catfish. He also has gone out on the bay to shoot rays. He hopes to start guiding for waterfowl in the next few years as well. Check out his Facebook page if you have Facebook. It is https://www.facebook.com/SomethinSeriousOutdoors

I don’t have Facebook but I did get to view one of his hunting videos and it was impressive. Keep tabs on his Facebook page and don’t be surprised if he does not start guiding soon. I would recommend his services if he did, particularly the snakehead trips.

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