Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bow Fishing!

Lookin' for carp
I don't claim to know much about bow fishing, but what I do know is that if you haven't tried it you need to give it a shot (pun intended).  I have only been bow fishing 4 times and each time I go I inevitably come to love it that much more.  The first trip I went on was an absolute failure just because I had no idea what I was doing, where I was going, or even what I would do when I got there.  Sooo... To help some folks out who may be like me and have to teach yourself the in's and out's of bow fishing I thought I would share a few things.

Bow Fishing Carp1st - Just like any type of hunting (yes I consider it hunting) it is important to do some pre-hunt scouting.  Just like you would do if you were thinking about on any other outdoors adventure you have never been on, ask a few people that you know have "been there done that".  Be respectful and don't ask for specifics as far as where to go and so forth but ask them for some tips and advice.  Call the wildlife management in your are and ask them where outdoors men typically go for bow fishing adventure, they won't hesitate to tell you where the good spots are.  Once you know where you may go, take time to get to know the area and where the fish are at certain times of the day. 

2nd - Make sure you have a plan,  DO NOT be the person who goes and shoots 50 carp and then leave them all on the bank or in the water just because you don't know what you are going to do with them... Carp can be used for numerous different things such as bear bait, fish bait, or even fertilizer.  If you don't have a plan or don't know what you will do with them, I strongly encourage you not to go bow fishing or at least take a bucket, cooler, or something to take them home with you and dispose of them appropriately. 

3rd - Take the right gear.  You will want to make sure you have gear that you won't mind if it gets wet, muddy, and fishy.  Another important thing to remember is that you are going to be spending quite a bit of time "glassing" just like any other hunt, looking for the animal you are after.  In the situation of bow fishing you will want to make sure you have a good pair of sun glasses as well as other gear to protect you from the sun.  If you don't take the right gear, it won't be long until you are sun burnt to the point of discomfort and your eyes will ache for days afterwards.
Bow Fishing Carp
Bow Fishing Kill

4th - Know were to look.  Just like any other animal, fish don't typically like to sit out in the open.  Look in weed beds, cattails, and any other form of cover to find good numbers of carp.  Yes you will be able to find a few her and there just swimming around in the open, but if you want to find the numbers and the size of fish that make bow fishing fun, get to the spots where the fish thrive.
5th - Have fun.  I will admit, once I finally got a shot at a carp, I was quickly frustrated that I kept missing.  Aiming at fish in the water, with a solid fiberglass arrow and string definitely takes some adjusting to get used to and can be easily frustrating, but remember that you are out there to have fun.  I have been bow fishing with family, friends, and by myself and no matter how many fish I was able to shoot, it was always much more fun when I was with someone else.  Take a buddy or a family member with you and remember to have fun!

Bow fishing
My take home for the day
Bow fishing is a great way to spend time outdoors, help control the number of invasive species of fish, and help maintain healthy water ways.  If you haven't tried bow fishing and want to give it a shot, I hope these few tips will come in handy.  If you are ever in my area and want to give it a try just get a hold of me and if I'm free, I'm always up to shoot a few trash fish!

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