Earlier this year, a client of bow fishing guide Marlyn Wiebelhaus arrowed a bighead carp which just might have been a new South Dakota State Record.
But the shot was made late and they were not able to get the carp to a certified scale until the following day.
His client was 21-year-old Sarah Tipton of Burke, S.D., who was just getting started in archery and this was her first bow fishing trip.
And what I haven't told you is that this bighead was an albino.
"When we got it in the boat, I weighed it on my digital scale and it weighed 61 pounds," Marlyn said. When we weighed it on the certified scale the next morning, it weighted 55 pounds, just missing the state record by 3 pounds."
While it is disappointing that the big fish missed state record status, a 55-pound albino bighead is one heck of a trophy. Sarah's father, Keith Tipton, is having the fish mounted.
"In all my years of guiding, I have only seen five other albino bigheads, Marlyn said.
He's been in the business for 15 years and has bow hunted for more than 40 years, starting when he was in high school.
"We were downstream a few miles from Gavin's Point Dam and we were up on the deck of my boat when I spotted that fish," he said. "It was a long ways off but it really stood out. After about five minutes of working in and trying to get broadside to it, we got as close as we dared and I told her to take the shot."
She hit the fish and Marlyn got an insurance arrow into it as well and the fight began.
"So here we are fighting this fish and we ended up going downstream another half mile," he said. "It took us about a half hour to get it into the boat."
When it comes to state records, Wielbelhaus is no stranger. He has, over the years, set 18 bowfishing records for Nebraska and South Dakota.
His latest is a 3-pound, 8-ounce sauger. No one in Nebraska has ever registered a sauger by bow and arrow. Marlyn took the fish July 4 on the Missouri River near Wynot.
Contact Marlyn at (402) 357-2389 or check out his website at wiebelhausguiding.com.