Part one of this series began with a discussion about researching forums and blogs and state-level bowfishing regulations. Part two continued to discuss finding launch sites. Check them out if you missed them.
I find that local regulations are the greatest impediment to launching a kayak and shooting fish. Therefore, it would make sense for this to be the first step in finding a new place to bowfish – except you have to narrow down where to launch before you can look for local regulations.
Part one of this series began with a discussion about researching forums and blogs and state-level bowfishing regulations.
Kayaks and canoes have a few advantages over power boats, and the biggest one is the ability to launch almost anywhere that land meets water (though we’ll see that local regulations are a big impediment to that later in this series). Paddlers refer to these as “launch sites” and you can find a huge database of them mapped out at paddling.com.
Map of kayak and canoe launch points across North America on paddling.com.
Like many sportsmen, I pass a lot of time during the week getting excited for my next weekend adventure, or planning the next outdoor vacation. For all the time we spend in backwaters, we spend even more dreaming of it. It’s part of the fun. This also means that we get pretty good at researching things like maps and weather.
In this four-post series I want to share how I plan kayak bowfishing trips and the tools I use for it. A few notes before I begin:
- While the title here contains “kayak bowfishing,” this information will be useful for any paddling, any bowfishing, and anywhere the two overlap.
- This post DOES cover how to research regulations, plan for a safe paddle, and where to launch your paddlecraft.
- This post DOES NOT cover where to find fish – that part of the battle is more hard-earned than reading about it online!
Catfish is an Osage selfbow. He originally pulled 43# at 27″, and was 67″ nock-to-nock. He was the first bow whose back I exposed from a stave. He taught me to pull the drawknife slowly or risk ruining the ring I’m chasing. He has proven himself as a successful bowfishing bow. He bears the burden of a beginner’s poor tiller like a champ. And he shines up well to boot.
But he’s also a bit of a butthead.
Many claim that bowfishing is strictly a nighttime activity. While I certainly don’t hold this belief, I still like to take a bow into the darkness from time to time in search of fish. That’s why I decided to build an underwater light setup for my kayak.