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Schaffner breaks state record

By Michael Butler

It was like a scene from Jaws, well sort of. Megan Watkins Schaffner now owns the state record for shooting the largest fish. Yes - shot, not caught.

Schaffner did not use a rod and reel. The record is registered with the Bowfishing Association of America.

The fish was a Longnose Gar, shot at Lake Harding near Phoenix City. It weighed in at 24.2 pounds.

"This was only the third fish that I ever shot," she said. "Bow fishing is different because you do have to go out and find the fish. You have to see the fish and be close enough where you can shoot it with a bow."

The Alabama bowfishing record holder is a former majorette, at Tallassee High School and Auburn University. She is now the dance line and majorette instructor at Auburn.

When Schaffner first got a glimpse of the fish that looks something like an "alligator," she was a bit surprised.

"It's got lots of teeth. It's really kind of scary," she added. "It came up by the boat and I said, 'Oh my gosh.' My husband said, 'Shoot it!' It was taking up half the boat."

"You're going to need a bigger boat." - Brody to Quint in Jaws.

Schaffner's husband Aaron played a part in bringing in the big one. "He did a backup shot. He was so excited," she said. "We didn't realize we had the record. The state record was 20 pounds."

The fish then had to be weighed with a certified scale.

"We had to tote this fish around and put it in the freezer. We ended up taking it to the Auburn fisheries."

Schaffner will keep her trophy fish.

"One of our friends is going to mount it," she said.

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