Redfish, speckled trout and flounder aren’t the only things that Dale Collins of Fish or Die Charters targets in the waters around Swansboro.
In fact, the word “target” takes on an entirely different meaning when Collins, who manages the fishing department at Dudley’s Marina, leaves his rods and reels behind and loads his boat with archery equipment — and not for a trip up a river somewhere to kill a whitetail deer.
Collins’ fiberglass arrows are attached to his Mathews Mission compound bow with a 25-yard length of 200-pound braided line, and the business end has a carbon tip with two stainless steel barbs. A fishing reel is attached to the bow’s frame and holds the other end of the braid.
He’s going fishing with a bow, or hunting things that swim beneath the surface.
“You’re actually mixing fishing and hunting,” said Collins, a long-time bowhunter from Stella, N.C., who picked up bowfishing about five years ago from Joey Thompson, a former official with the N.C. Bowhunters Association and a hunting buddy for years. “If you like shooting a bow, you’ll get a lot more opportunities to shoot one in one day in my boat than in plenty of deer seasons.”
A month ago, Collins was joined on the water by Tony Reaves of South Boston, Va., a partner in Chief AJ’s, an Illinois company that manufactures slingbows, a beefed-up version of a space-age slingshot that’s designed to shoot hunting arrows. Between the two of them, they got at least 30 shots at various species of stingrays, sticking more than a