Toby Murdaugh is making a name for himself in the bowfishing world.
Over the past five months, Murdaugh has set six Bowfishing Association of America (bowfishingassociation.com) junior state records, including a world record. She and she is only eight years old, a third grader at Cottageville Elementary School.
Murdaugh, the son of Chase Murdaugh and Caroline Grant and her husband Tyler Grant, has been fishing since he was a little boy. But it was only recently that he started bowfishing.
Bow fishing is sometimes described as similar to small game hunting, and is typically done after dark from a boat using bright light to spot the target. The tackle is a bow equipped with a fishing reel and an arrow with barbs that expand once they penetrate the fish. The bow fisherman then reels in his catch.
“His dad recently bought a bow fishing boat and started taking it out. He’s been hooked since he shot his first fish,” said Caroline Grant.
Toby started learning bowfishing in 2020, but over the last year he has made great strides.
“It caught on a lot quicker than I thought,” said Chase Murdaugh, who has been bowfishing for the last 10 to 12 years. He said Toby accompanied him on bowfishing expeditions in South Carolina, as well as a trip to Florida.
Toby shoots a junior bow and said when he started it was hard to back up and take aim. But he has progressed in a very short time.
“I really like to fish. We fish for carp, mudfish, catfish,” said Toby Murdaugh. “The first time I went, I took a couple of naps. I saw a fish and I tried to shoot it, but I couldn’t hit it because it was my first time. But it was fun. You back up, shoot it, and then I hit it and reeled it in. The fight is good”.
He said his favorite catch was a mullet he took on August 21 from Lake Moultrie, which is not only the South Carolina junior record, but also a world record. He weighed 5 pounds and was 22.5 inches tall.
That same night, he also took on a 15.4-pound, 31.5-inch common carp to break his own 9.9-pound junior state record taken on April 22. 22. His other junior state record is a 3.5-pound, 14.25-inch spotted sucker harvested June 6.
And Toby has already decided what he would like to do when he grows up.
“On the first day of school, when you make these little boards about what you want to be when you grow up,” said Caroline Grant, “he said he wanted to be a bowfishing guide. He loves the sport.”
Deer Encounter Francis Marion
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) is planning a public meeting to discuss the deer population and deer hunting in the Francis Marion National Forest. The meeting will be held on September 8 at 6:30 pm in the Santee Cooper Auditorium, at 1 Riverwood Drive in Moncks Corner.
SCDNR has heard from hunters for several years with concerns about low deer numbers and the quality of the hunt on the national forest property. Available deer harvest data and population surveys support these concerns.
As part of the meeting, SCDNR will present available data, receive input from hunters, and discuss options for future regulation changes that may help increase the deer population in the national forest. Any regulation changes would not go into effect until the 2023 deer season.
Due to time constraints and the complexity of the topic, discussion and concerns will be limited to deer and deer hunting in the Francis Marion National Forest.
The Francis Marion National Forest is a US Forest Service property of approximately 260,000 acres in Berkeley and Charleston counties. The property falls under SCDNR’s Wildlife Management Area program, with the land managed for hunting and other public uses.
Yacht Club of America
America’s Boating Club Charleston will hold boating safety classes on September 10 and October 15 at 1376 Orange Grove Road, Charleston. Classes start at 9 am and end around 4 pm Successful participants earn a boater’s education card from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. The cost is $45 for adults and $15 for additional household members who share the text. Scholarships are available to youth ages 12-18. Call 843-312-2876 or email [email protected].
Student Fisher League Tournament Trail
Students in grades 1-12 who wish to fish for redfish or bass in a competitive junior league during the school year may join the Student Fishing League Tournament.
You don’t have to have a team or club at your school. You must be registered with a school (base, home, virtual, etc.) to participate. An adult 21 years of age or older must operate an insured vessel. The first SALTT trail tournament will take place on September 24 in Georgetown. All four trail events award $4,000 in gift cards and fishing-related items from our members. For more information, visit salttfishing.com.