It seems that for every hobby, activity or pursuit, there's a group of folks who band together and form a club in support. Bowfishing in South Carolina is no exception; at least three clubs exist in the state, and there are a handful of national organizations if you want to cross state lines.

Jordan Patrick of Bowman is an avid bowfisher who operates Tail and Scale Outfitters, a guide service for archers who want to chase fish and alligators. Patrick is a member of two of the three state clubs.

"The Low Country Bowfishing Club is the oldest; it was started by a group of guys who live on the Santee side of the lakes and they fish Marion, Moultrie, the Cooper River and even some salt water stuff down on the coast," he said. "Then a few years ago, some guys on the other side of the lake started another club, the Palmetto Bowfishing Club. They fish the Cooper and the Santee lakes and used to fish some up at Lake Murray."

Patrick said both clubs offer tournament schedules and try to offset the dates so members of both clubs can shoot each other's tournaments. Tournaments are typically held at night and are based on either the highest total weight of fish or the total number of fish taken during an allotted time.

"The tournament seasons start in late February and run through the first of September," he said. "We could shoot longer, but a lot of the guys guide for alligators, so the interest drops off once alligator season opens. Once that's over, deer season is in full swing.

The Palmetto Club shoots five tournaments a year, and the Low Country shoots eight. There's also a World Championship put on by the Bowfishing Association of America and a couple of other national tournaments like the Muzzy Classic held in Alabama, so we get a chance to travel and shoot for bigger pay-outs."

The rally point for the Low Country, Palmetto and Upstate Bowfishing Club - the newest club in the state - is bowfishingcountry.com, a website dedicated to the sport. It contains links to all manner of equipment, instruction and lake reports, and has a club-specific forum platform where individual clubs can correspond with members and prospective members.

Information about the SC Upstate, Palmetto, and Lowcountry clubs are all available at bowfishingcountry.com.