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Beginning Bowfishing


The Best Of Both Worlds -- Fishing And Hunting...


beginningbowfishing
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Chad Willemssen understands the refraction and depth-perception effects of water make fish appear higher.

May 01, 2011
The water temperatures are rising each day with the warm spring sun and the carp are spawning. As our boat slowly inches closer to the shallows, I see them swirling the top of the water in the backwaters among the lily pads. My heart rate picks up as we float closer to the swirling backwaters. Today we are chasing a different fish in a very different way - bowfishing!

For those of you who have never tried, it is addicting. If you love shooting or fishing this combines the best of both worlds. More shots, time on the water, and loads of fun. This sport attracts both hunters and non-hunters into the world of archery. Stepping into this sport there are some basics to becoming successful and the rest comes with a little experience.

Right now is the best time to bowfish. The temperatures are increasing with each day, carp spawn when water temperatures rise just over 60 degrees. In Michigan this often happens in May. This offers many great opportunities because the fish are pushed up into shallow areas. Some of the best places are shallow areas with grass and lily pads. It will be easy to spot because male carp often roll in the water creating a large commotion.

Other areas are in the shallows near dams. Often moving right up on the base of the dams can provide some hot action. Backwaters of river systems also hold a number of fish. Do not think it is easy sneaking up on carp. Polarized glasses will drastically cut down on the glare to see the fish before they spot you. Then it takes stealth to move in for a close range shot.

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Getting a glimpse of your target is great but getting close enough to sink an arrow is another task. Bowfishing is often done from a boat but this is not the only way to partake. A ground assault can be just as much fun. Walking the creek banks, irrigation ditches, or shallows can provide some excellent fishing. Jeff Braun CEO of AMS

(www.amsbowfishing.com) and avid bow fisherman says, "Bow fisherman do not have to have a boat but this allows you to cover more area. Wade or walk the shorelines. If you can find an area that you can walk the shores there can be some excellent bowfishing." The difference is that you cannot cover as much ground walking the shoreline.

While moving along the shoreline, move very slowly while looking for dark shadows or backs (fins) to surface. In the right location it can be easier sneaking up from the shore then floating into position. Even while using a boat there are times that getting off the boat and walking into the backwaters can provide additional opportunities. Sneaking up on a fish is simply fun.

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