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1st Annual Bowfishing Tournament in Alabama Offers $50,000 in Prizes

Backwater Outdoors

The 2015 All Out Carp Out Bowfishing Tournament will take place March 20-22 and boasts a $50,000 guaranteed cash and prizes payout.

Backwater Outdoors, the largest online bowfishing retailer, has organized bowfishing tournaments for over 10 years. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, it has created a first-of-its-kind bowfishing tournament in Guntersville, Alabama.

Several features distinguish the All Out Carp Out Bowfishing Tournament from other bowfishing tournaments. It will pay out $10,000 for the heaviest overall common carp and boats are not required. The big fish format enables participants to be more selective of the fish they shoot, since only common carp will count towards the big fish winnings.

At 40 pounds a Common Carp this size could be worth $10,000 photo courtesy of Scott Lynch
Scott Lynch


With multiple categories and several weigh-in times, the tournament gives every participant a chance to win. Door prizes and open drawings will be held each day. Tournament sponsors include some of the biggest names in bowfishing, such as Muzzy, AMS, and Oneida.

Weigh-ins will take place at Lake Guntersville Harbor Marina Pavilion throughout the weekend, with four weigh-in times per night. Prizes for the first 20-pound and 18-pound common carp will be given away at each weigh-in.

The tournament locations are Wheeler Lake and Lake Guntersville, which are known for some of the best bowfishing in the nation. The focus of this tournament is the common carp, because it is an invasive species. Backwater Outdoors hopes to bring attention to the growing problem of invasive species in local waterways. The tournament will also promote the sport of bowfishing, which has proved effective in reducing the numbers of invasive species.

Common carp originate from Europe and Asia and are often confused with the native buffalo species, including big mouth, small mouth, and black. These are members of the sucker family. The biggest distinguishing feature of the common carp is the barbel, or whisker, on each side of the mouth. Common carp also have golden colored eyes, while buffalo have dark, almost black, eyes. The heaviest recorded common carp caught while bowfishing in Guntersville is 45 pounds.

The tournament will have an optional grass carp prize category, and the heaviest grass carp will win $2,000. Grass carp is another species introduced into U.S. waterways to control aquatic weeds. It’s long, torpedo-shaped body and short dorsal fin set it apart from common carp. The heaviest recorded grass carp taken by bowfishing in Guntersville is 87 pounds.

48 pound Grass Carp photo courtesy of Brandon Elmore
Brandon Elmore

Between the prizes, cash, and “anyone-can-win” format, the All Out Carp Out could be the biggest bowfishing tournament of the year.

For more information, visit the Backwater Outdoors website.

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1st Annual Bowfishing Tournament in Alabama Offers $50,000 in Prizes