Where do you think three normal 18 and 19 year olds would be on a Friday night? Bowfishing probably wasn’t your first answer, but it produced a memorable reward for Zack Seitz, 18, of Campbellsport, Wisconsin and his two friends.
Seitz and his friends Nic Gerhartz, 19, of Kewaskum and Matt Nelson, 18, of Campbellsport were all out bowfishing in a 14-foot jon boat through a back channel of Long Lake in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin on May 25, 2012. Bright lights illuminated the water below.
Two carp swam out in front of their boat and Seitz and Gerhartz pulled back their bows in preparation. Then Seitz noticed something else. “I saw a huge, glowing shape out of the corner of my eye,” Seitz said to the Journal Sentinel.
Even though the second carp was further away, Seitz shot at it, hitting it near the dorsal fin. Five minutes later, the fish was reeled in and Seitz was amazed at its mass. He has taken in hundreds of carp over the last few years of fishing, some even weighing 30 pounds, but this was by far the largest carp he, or any other alternative method fisherman for that matter, has reeled in in Wisconsin.
Just minutes later, a thunderstorm rolled in so the boys put Seitz’s fish on ice, thinking they had a chance at the record. The next day it was weighed on a certified scale at Loehr’s Meat Market in Campbellsport.
The fish weighed an even 59 pounds. It was 46 inches in length and its girth was 32.5 inches. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Biologist Travis Motl verified the fish’s weight and cut it open to check for foreign objects. The carp passed inspection and Seitz, a recent Kewaskum High School graduate, became an official state record holder.
His fish beat the previous alternate method (spear or bow and arrow) carp record set in 2006 caught in Lake Geneva in Walworth County. That fish weighed 51 pounds and measured 43 1/4 inches and was taken by William Hoyt of Delavan.
Seitz’s record even beats the Wisconsin hook-and-line record for carp, which is currently 57 pounds, 2 ounces caught in Lake Wisconsin in 1966.
Image copyright Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources