Planning a Kayak Bowfishing Trip: Part Zero

You can read my four-part series showing how I plan for a kayak bowfishing trip below:

  • Part one: preliminary research and state-level regulations
  • Part two: how to find launch sites
  • Part three: researching local regulations
  • Part four: finding weather and river data

“Holy crap,” you think, “I have to do all this garbage just to go kayak bowfishing?!”


I don’t always do all of this research. I do it to pass the time between bowfishing trips, when my mind is on the water and I can’t stop thinking about my next adventure.

The only things you need to know before kayak bowfishing can be simplified by asking yourself a few questions:

  1. What will I do with my fish? Please stay home if your answer is “Leave them at the boat ramp.” Not only is this illegal, it’s disrespectful and gives those who would prefer bowfishing to be illegal ammo against us. Respect your prey and have a plan to somehow use it.
  2. Is it legal? Find the regs and give them a once-over, then a second-over, then maybe a third. They’re there for a reason.
  3. Is it safe? Use common sense. Careening through freezing snow-melt rapids on a stand-up paddleboard in a thunderstorm while holding a barbed arrow isn’t worth stickin’ a carp (I’m exaggerating, but you get the idea).

Once you have an answer to these three questions, you’re ready. If you simply want to have fun daydreaming about your next trip, follow the links above for some ideas.

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