Planning a Kayak Bowfishing Trip: Part One

Planning a Kayak Bowfishing Trip: Part One

Introduction

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!

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The Abbreviated Saga of Catfish the Selfbow

The Abbreviated Saga of Catfish the Selfbow

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.

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DIY Underwater Kayak Lights

DIY Underwater Kayak Lights

Update: You can see the underwater lights in action in a clear freshwater lake here. The lights come on at about the 2:00 mark.

Introduction

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.

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The Gar in the Grove

The Gar in the Grove

It’s 7:00 AM on July 5th and already 90 degrees. My thoughts are as foggy as the air hovering over the open waters of Toledo Bend, cloaking the distant shores of Louisiana miles away. Fleeting memories of the Independence Day celebration from the night before remind me why I feel the way I do. Beneath me the kayak slightly wobbles, and the movement is magnified in my gut. Nonetheless, I am determined to shoot the breakfast I spotted from the pier at first light.

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