Editor’s Note: Mark Land has been bowfishing since he was old enough to hold a bow. For 20 years, he worked for Muzzy and competed in bowfishing tournaments all over the nation.
When I was growing up, I lived on a lake, and I fished every day. I was constantly seeing gar swimming around the edge of the lake – at about the same time I had made the decision to learn how to bowfish. I’d shot bows and arrows all my life. When I kept seeing those gar in shallow water, I decided I probably could shoot those critters with my bow and arrow. I began shooting a wooden arrow with a finishing nail on its point and a coffee can with some fishing line on it.
At that time, I had some friends who also started bowfishing, and a bowfishing trip was more about being with our buddies and doing something fun than it was about harvesting fish. Several of my friends had been to a few bowfishing tournaments. When they came back and told me all they had learned, seen and done at these tournaments, that’s what put the bug in me about going to a bowfishing tournament. I wanted to see the people who were bowfishing and learn why they used the equipment they did. I wanted to see how they had built a bowfishing boat, because I wanted to build one for myself. I guess I mainly wanted to go meet the guys who were serious about bowfishing and learn about the equipment they were using.
When I went to my first tournament, I realized I had a lot to learn, if I wanted to become a serious bowfisherman and a serious competitor. Anyone can shoot a fish with a bow and arrow. That’s not difficult at all, but to consistently bowfish and produce large numbers of fish every trip you go bowfishing takes a lot of skill and even more preparation.
To learn more about bowfishing, check out John E. Phillips’ book, “The Bowfishing Bible,” available in Kindle and print versions, at – http://amzn.to/22zX7Zz.
Tomorrow: When Mark Land Hunts a Monster Alligator While Bowfishing