Bowfishing is a great way to spend quality time with your bow each summer. It’s also a good workout and fun way to spend time with your friends. Before heading to the lake or river with hopes of filling your boat with carp, ask yourself: Just what will you do with all those dead fish? Craft a plan to use the fish you shoot productively.
Legal fish species vary depending on where you are in the country. Some of the most common freshwater fish shot are bighead carp, common carp, grass carp, catfish, buffalo and several varieties of gar, including the massive alligator gar. Many of these fall under the category of rough (or trash) fish. Rough fish are those fish which fall outside of the category of sport fish. They are species not commonly eaten and are often invasive species. Because they are not typically targeted by fishermen, bowfishing is a very good means of population control and removal of these often undesirable fish.
To help you get started, we have compiled a quick list of every US state and whether or not bowfishing is legal, some of the rules, and what you should be aware of. We've also included links to each state's fish and game or department of natural resources website for more information. So let’s get started!
For many years, bowfishing was only considered an archery enthusiast’s pastime, or maybe a bowhunter’s offseason method of practice. But over the last few decades, this incredible fishing technique has quickly become a beloved sport for thousands of outdoor enthusiasts, both fishermen and hunters alike. Fun and challenging, bowfishing requires virtually zero previous angling experience and is the perfect pastime for new fishermen.
Well, January has finally arrived. For those of us here in the north, that means deer season is over and hard water (that's ice for our southern friends) is upon us. Although we still have ice fishing and small game hunting, I use this time to do inventory of my bowfishing gear and determine what upgrades I want so I’m ready by ice off.
Ice off is hands down some of the best shooting you will have all year. Fish are still schooled up and coming in to feed in warmer, shallower waters. That means it’s one of the best times to get on some of the biggest fish you will shoot in one location. As an added bonus, the water is so cold the fishes' metabolism is slowed down enough to make them sluggish. Often times, you can get multiple shots at the same fish without moving the boat.
Anyone who uses a foot controlled trolling motor knows that the Captain Morgan stance isn't comfortable. Steering with one foot and standing on the other goes out of favor within an hour or two. This is where the sexy stick comes in to help. The sexy stick (also referred to as a steer stick) attaches via a plate to the foot pedal. The plate has a welded stick that protrudes up in order to let the operator steer the boat comfortably while standing.
Fishing in a new area can be an extremely exciting venture, from spending time on the water to learning about where to fish and what to use to catch them. This experience can be even better when you're bowfishing. But what if you are completely new to the area and just don’t have time to figure it out where the fish are found? If you only have a day or two to go bowfishing, there is a very good chance that you could go home emptyhanded.
When it comes to bowfishing, the most important piece of gear for any outing is your bowfishing bow. And we’ve written about types of bows people use for bowfishing before. Unfortunately, many people do not have the money to go out and buy a brand new bowfishing setup. Fortunately, this isn’t a big problem because if you have an old hunting bow laying around, you can easily convert it into your new bowfishing bow!
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