Simply bowfishing: Skewer some roughfish with your bow, reel, and a few arrows
Bowfishing is popular right now and for good reason. Nothing is more fun than working on your off-season archery skills while picking apart an underwater world in search of scaly targets. Many of today’s bowfishermen are portrayed as geared up experts who own tricked-out boats that light up like professional sports stadiums. Night bowfishing with the best gear is fun, no doubt about it, but don’t feel left out if that’s out of your reach.
Bowfishing can be very simple and still be productive. I’ve got no shortage of gear, yet I still spend plenty of days on the water with nothing more than a bow and a backpack. I tote a recurve set up for bowfishing for simplicity and usually carry two or three arrows. In the pack I stow away a metal file, extra arrow points, a few snap swivels, and a stringer.
This lightweight, simple setup allows me to bowfish streams and smaller rivers for a few hours without the hassle of having to load the boat. It also gives me the chance to expand my opportunities and find areas where few bowfishermen dare travel. This can lead to fast-action sucker shoots and carp that don’t fear humans the way they should.
Although many folks probably will include waders on their list, I don’t because I grew up wet-wading cold streams and can get acclimated to the frigid water pretty quickly. If you’ve got the right setup, you might be able to shoot from the bank without getting wet at all, or you can take the plunge and wade any way you’d like.
You’ll find that this style is a lot of fun and combines a unique aspect to bowfishing: a stalk. Creeping through the shallows while eyeing up spawning redhorse or tip-toeing along a cut bank while zeroing in on a rooting carp is a blast, and will test your ability to keep things together just like big game will during the fall.
Try it, you won’t be disappointed.