Written by Conor Harrison, Lone Star Outdoor News
When anglers and bow fishermen think Texas, goldfish usually aren’t the first species that comes to mind.
Maybe at a state fair, but not swimming freely in Texas lakes. And not pushing 3 pounds.
But New Braunfels bow fisherman David Meier was out hunting gar and other species on Lake Calavares last month when he shot a bright orange fish at the surface late on night.
“I was pretty sure it was a goldfish,” he said. “Once I hit it, it was pretty easy to tell.”
This was Meier’s first bowfishing trip, but he is an avid angler.
“This is the first goldfish I had ever seen on a Texas lake,” he said of the 2.7-pound lake record. “We ended up shooting six or seven gar, and my girlfriend set the lake record for longnose gar.
“I never thought I’d get this much attention from shooting a goldfish.”
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department does accept lake records for goldfish, although Meier’s fish doesn’t come close to the state record.
That was set on Oct. 31, 2009, when Donald Lee caught a 12.77-pound giant goldfish on Lake Ray Hubbard.
Meier said the water was very muddy after recent rains, and visibility was limited to about 6 inches on top of the water.
“Everything we shot was right on top,” he said. ‘We took the fish to a TPWD weigh station with certified scales and have sent in the paperwork. I’m definitely looking to get back down there and do it again.”
TPWD biologists said they do accept nonnative species for records, especially if the fish isn’t hurting populations of local fish like a snakehead or tilapia.