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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Holy Gar Balls Batman!

Bowfishers heading out into the sunset at bowfishing hot spot, Rend Lake in IL

I’m guessing you’ve heard by now – because  we’ve been blabbing about it all over the social media scene the last few weeks, - the Great Carp Caper is growing near. Five of my colleagues and friends from Women’s Outdoor News, and The Hunter’sWife are heading to Illinois to learn about carp, to learn about the stinking flying silvers, to learn how to bowfish , and in general see what all this carrying on about carp is about.
Barbara Baird will be coming; she’s not only an award winning writer, entrepanuer, publisher of Women’s Outdoor News , and heck of fun gal to roam the water and the woods with, she brings great snacks. Chocolate snacks.  And Tammy Ballew – Camo Mom ; this woman has the coolest summer “cousins camp” with all of the young cousins each year.  They fish, hunt, sneak out at night to listen to the owls. I want to be a cousin. Stacey Houston- A Focus Inthe Wild will be showing us what sticky, sultry, swampy, southern Illinois in the summer looks like through her lens. I can’t wait to see my world through her eyes. The look she gives at hers every day is nothing short of amazing.  Oh Jody- The Hunters Wife ; The Jodster is funny and caring and should be on everyone’s must read list. Her look at the outdoors from the other side of the table is simply wonderful.  Jody has kept us in stitches during the planning process, I can only imagine her in the thick of things, tweeting from the scene of the carnage. Paige Eissinger – well she’s gone and Flown the Coop – she’s a techno social media, computer whiz..that likes to play outside! And of course I’ll be there representing Heartland, and giving folks a look Through the Lens at what hosting these ladies here in southern Illinois is like. 

My fellow teammates on the TeamSILO bowfishing team hauling in a Kaskaskia River gar

This batch of gals told their friends, who told their friends, and we end up here today with a couple of rough fish recipes from Jodi Smith - TheWild Kitchen, including – yes – GAR BALLS.  
Not only Gar balls, but this very interesting sounding Carp with Endive.

A gar giving us a toothy gar grin

If you dear friends and readers have your own favorite rough fish (carp, gar, drum, sucker, shad et al) recipe, please feel free to share them here.. the more folks we can convince to eat these fish, the more we can harvest and help clean up our fisheries. 

When quarters are tight and I'm traveling light, I use a slingshot/sling bow to go after the rough fish

No you'll have to excuse me, I think I’m going cruisn’ for some gar my friends, I’d like to give Jodi’s recipes a try. 

A succesful gar harvest from 2010
Bowfishers - saving your Bass..One rough fish at a time!


  1. I'm thinking I might actually have to start keeping the gar we end up with now!

  2. Gar balls? Geez, we have those ugly suckers in the river behind our house. Now I know I REALLY need to learn to bowfish when I get to the Carp Caper! I'd like to think they're more than just teeth.....

  3. Jodi and Paige - we seldom let anything go to waste around here - especially the rough fish - what we don't eat or put up, we use for fertilizer, donate to the wildlife rehabbers, or give to needy families as food source :) You'll have to give the gar a whirl - but what ever you do- don't soak the gar in water like you do other fish after it's cleaned's gets really mushy really fast!

  4. Fertilizer is what they're used for around here. There was a big gar gigging contest here the other day, and all of them went towards that use. Hopefully it made some sort of dent in them in my river. I seen one about 6' long the other day, but not the day of the contest, of course!

  5. Very cool blog- and great pics! I'm a female game warden and it always makes me happy to run across a woman out there fishing or hunting. Keep inspiring young girls to give it a try:) I'll link to your blog (I hope you will do the same!)