Editor’s Note: Chris James has been bowfishing for about 15 years. “Bowfishing is a sport that has intrigued me for many years. I guess the reason I got into it was because I was looking for something to hunt after hunting season ended. In the fall and winter, I could hunt deer. During springtime, I could turkey hunt until about the end of April or the middle of May. In the summertime, I could shoot 3D archery, but there was a gap in my ability to hunt from the middle of May until about July. I do like to fish, and I discovered that bowfishing was the perfect combination of both hunting and fishing for me. You get to hunt the fish, and you don’t have to wait on them to bite. When I shoot a big fish, I’m very excited when it’s on the end of my arrow, and I have to play the fish down to get it in the boat. I also enjoy the constant action of bowfishing. You never know when or what kind of fish you’ll see. Once you spot a fish, you quickly have to estimate distance, aim instinctively and shoot. My biggest fish ever taken with a bow was a grass carp that weighed about 40 pounds. Often, you have to get two or three arrows in a fish that big to subdue it, but I made a good shot – hitting that fish right in the head and bringing it to the boat. Sometimes people have the wrong ideas about bowfishing. Here’s what I’ve learned.
- “Bowfishermen Can Hunt Fish at Any Time: Bowfishermen don’t understand they can hunt fish at any time – daylight hours, or at night, since several companies produce lights that fit on your bows and let you hunt and take fish in shallow water at night.
- “You can Bowfish for Carp and Often Other Non-Game Fish: Bowfishermen think they only can shoot carp. Every state has regulations that tell you what type fish you legally can harvest when bowfishing. Typically, most bowfishermen shoot non-game fish. Some states like Alabama allow you to shoot catfish also. Generally, in most states, bowfishermen can shoot common carp, buffalo carp, grass carp, Asian carp, silver carp, drum and gar. In some states, you can’t shoot alligator gar. The several different species of gar include spotted gar, shortnose gar, longnose gar and alligator gar. Alligator gar have become rare and can grow very large.”
To learn more about bowfishing, check out John E. Phillips’ book, “The Bowfishing Bible,” available in Kindle, print and Audible versions at http://amzn.to/22zX7Zz. When you click on this book, notice on the left where Amazon says you can read and hear 10% of the book for free. On the right side of the Audible page for this book and below the offer for free Audible trial, you can click on Buy the Audible with one click. To learn more about bowhunting for deer, check out John E. Phillips’ bowhunting books, available in Kindle and print, “Bowhunting Deer: Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows” (http://amzn.to/1QGvdQx) and “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros” (http://amzn.to/VBr1qW). You may have to copy and paste these links into your browser. When you click on these books, notice on the left where Amazon says you can read 10% of the books for free. To see more of John’s deer-hunting books, check out www.amazon.com/author/johnephillips.
I’ve attended the Muzzy Classic Bowfishing Tournament before and enjoyed it. This year’s 2022 Classic will take place in Vicksburg, MS, on June 11-12, with first-place prize being $20,000, after paying a $300 registration fee to participate. https://www.facebook.com/TheMuzzyBowfishing/ or https://www.feradyne.com/muzzy-bowfishing/. You also can visit and observe the Classic without entering.
Tomorrow: You Can Bowfish Points Without Long Barbs