bowfishing for stingrays

Back in early October, when the deer hunting was a little slow, we joined some friends for a fall-break trip down to Perdido Key, Florida. During the day, we spent some time catching flounder, eating Po’ Boys, and roasting on the beach. But the highlight of the vacation was the night of bowfishing we booked with Captain Jason Mallete in nearby Orange Beach, Alabama. Mallete’s operation is called Liquid Trails Bowfishing, in case you’re inclined to look him up.

We do a bunch of bowfishing for carp and such here in Kentucky. But I’d never shot an arrow at a saltwater fish. Stingrays are the primary target in the surf, and there are plenty of them. In fact, I’d say the average beach bum would be startled to know just how many stingrays with 8-inch serrated barbs are lurking underfoot. Some of our best shooting happened within sight of our condo.

Though a big ray can top 100 pounds, they’re deceptively difficult targets to hit. The water is gin-clear, and the flat rays hug the bottom, making the aiming compensation for light refraction difficult to judge. We caught on, though, and had a ball. Even the little rays are amazingly strong. That’s my buddy Tim in the photo with a 30-pounder that required a second arrow to land.

Enjoy the video. And yeah, of course I set it to luau beach music.


Bowfishing for Stingrays