FORT COBB STATE PARK, Okla. (KFOR) – Right about the time most bait fishermen are coming in for supper, Willie Morgan is launching his specially-altered duck boat lit up like a Christmas float.
“I get excited every time I see a fish,” he says.
Tonight, and any night he can get free, he’s bow fishing on the big lakes of Western Oklahoma.
Morgan explains, “I like to cruise around the shallows and coves out of the wind where the water looks like glass. We light them up and the fish will stand out.”
As a kid, he used to carry a recurve bow and broadhead arrows up and down the length of Sugar Creek near the town of Gracemont.
“I’d shoot every fish I saw,” he recalls. “The fish couldn’t outrun me in the water, so I’d dive in and catch them.”
As a grownup, he is the Willie of Willie’s Bowfishing Guide Service, taking customers into the netherworld of shallows and shadows in search of underwater prey.
“You see so many things like raccoons and beavers, swans, cranes, and ducks. Just so many different types of fish in the water. It’s really amazing all the things you see,” he said.
He spotlights carp, gar and the occasional flathead catfish.
Bow fishermen look for a shadow and act fast.
No time for careful aim in this sport.
“Absolutely,” he says. “If you can’t catch’em, shoot’em. There’s no fishin’ like bow fishin’.”
It takes a lot of practice, a lot of missed shots.
But Willie says that first fish is a pretty good feeling whether you’re going to eat that fish or not.
“The fight is on and they’re reeling it in; the excitement they have makes my day every time,” he said.
It’s a brand of fishing that involves watching and waiting and a wormless hook that never lets go.
Willie takes customers bow fishing on Fort Cobb or Foss Lake year-round.
If you’re interested, he has a Facebook page here.
‘Is This a Great State or What?’ is sponsored by WEOKIE.