WHERE TO GO
Bowfishing sometimes comes with an unfair stigma because the targets are also known as “trash fish.” Coming to mind are carp, freshwater drum, buffalo, sucker and shad. The good news is those lowly species are low on the priority list for recreational anglers. Unpressured fish mean more targets for you.
Muddy water isn’t necessarily the only place to go bowfishing. Table Rock Lake in Missouri, and Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas, both recognized for their deep clear water, produced a winning weight of 376 pounds of carp at the U.S. Open Bowfishing Championship.
The annual springtime competition is held at night when the targeted species rise to the surface to feed in coves and near shorelines.
Online research is your best bet for dialing into where to go on a given lake.
Also keep in mind that you are participating in a fishing or hunting activity, which means abiding by state laws. Check creel and possession limits before you go.
JOIN THE FUN
The U.S. Open Bowfishing Championship is a great way to learn more about the sport in a competitive atmosphere. You can see up close the gear and boats used by die-hard enthusiasts, and pick up tips on how to be successful. The Open is headquartered at a Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, with the competition held nearby on prime bowfishing waters. Activities include vendor displays and presentations of the latest bowfishing gear, live music, fun contests, exciting giveaways, visits from bowfishing celebrities and more. The Open pays $25,000 to the winner as part of a $100,000 overall purse. Find out more on the event website.