Bowfishing is another way to catch a fish. Instead of the traditional fishing rod and reel complete with worms as bait, bowfishers are equipped with bowfishing bows. These are highly specialized bows that require archery skills. The term bowfishing may be new to some people. However, hunting fish using a bow and arrow is not new at all. This method has been used for centuries to gather food. And through the years, the method and equipment have evolved.
The commonly hunted species and are legal for bowfishing include alligator gar, buffalo, carp, paddlefish, rays and sharks. Bowfishing is legal indeed and a good shooting place can be found all over the United States. However, there are rules that need to be followed depending on the country and state especially now that this activity is becoming popular.
A fishing license is required by most of the states, but there are some that require a hunting license. It is essential to inquire first before engaging in any type of activity. The common places that bowfishers visit are as follows:
The state of Florida classifies bowfishing under spearing. This means that bowfishers must follow the rules listed under spearing. Florida has also set specific guidelines for the type of freshwater fish and saltwater fish to be caught and when and how a bow should be used to capture the fish. Lastly, the state also requires a fishing license before engaging in this activity.
Good places to go bowfishing in Mississippi include lakes and rivers. If one chooses the lake, good lake spots are Chotard and Eagle Lakes, Lake Ferguson, Lake Lee, Lake Whittington and Moon Lake. Rivers perfect for this activity are Big Black river, Mississippi river, Pascagoula river, Pearl river and Yazoo rivers. The legal species that can be caught by bowfishing bows are bowfin, buffalo, carp and gar. Also, there is a limit of two per day on catching alligator gar.
In Texas, bowfishing activities can be done in coastal waters, large lakes or rivers that are not located within a city or park. For the license, one will need a freshwater license, saltwater license or an all-water license package. However, if one will be catching frogs and turtles, a hunting license is required.
Due to bowfishing popularity, tournaments have been created. Hunters and fishermen not only from the U.S but also in Australia, Canada and New Zealand participate in the tournaments. In addition, there are also bowfishing organizations set up in the U.S. The members meet, share ideas and learn more from each other.
Apart from being a sport, bowfishing can also be a fun outdoor activity for the entire family. Plus, it helps control fish population reducing invasive species. However, make sure that there is self-control and follow the rules set by the states to avoid scarcity