See a more recent update on this bow here.
It’s happened to any bowyer that splits their own staves. You start with a halved or quartered log and analyze the grain. You find a straight area that looks long enough to hold a bow. You position your splitting wedge or hatchet at the exact spot that you think will yield the cleanest stave. You swing back your hammer and plink! The log splits across the grain, running off the edge halfway down the log, while dirty words frolic around your mind.
But that doesn’t always spell disaster.
Flu-flu arrows have broad feathers intended to slow the arrow after a short flight, usually around 40 yards. The feathers stand high off the shaft and flatten just after the arrow is loosed and it has its highest velocity. After dropping below a certain velocity threshold the feathers stand back up and provide a sudden increase in drag, bringing the arrow to a halt. The idea is that you can shoot into trees at squirrels or birds and your expensive (or labor-intensive) arrow won’t fly into the unfathomable depths of forest. People also often tip these arrows with blunt heads to keep them from burrowing into the ground or penetrating deep into impromptu targets when roving.
But why the funny name?
Catfish is an Osage selfbow. He originally pulled 43# at 27″, and was 67″ nock-to-nock. He was the first bow whose back I exposed from a stave. He taught me to pull the drawknife slowly or risk ruining the ring I’m chasing. He has proven himself as a successful bowfishing bow. He bears the burden of a beginner’s poor tiller like a champ. And he shines up well to boot.
But he’s also a bit of a butthead.
Update: You can see the underwater lights in action in a clear freshwater lake here. The lights come on at about the 2:00 mark.
Many claim that bowfishing is strictly a nighttime activity. While I certainly don’t hold this belief, I still like to take a bow into the darkness from time to time in search of fish. That’s why I decided to build an underwater light setup for my kayak.
It’s 7:00 AM on July 5th and already 90 degrees. My thoughts are as foggy as the air hovering over the open waters of Toledo Bend, cloaking the distant shores of Louisiana miles away. Fleeting memories of the Independence Day celebration from the night before remind me why I feel the way I do. Beneath me the kayak slightly wobbles, and the movement is magnified in my gut. Nonetheless, I am determined to shoot the breakfast I spotted from the pier at first light.