Summary: The Apache Hills launch is a large, clean ramp at the back of a neighborhood along the shores of a flood-ravaged Lake Somerville. It’s a popular spot for the friendly locals. The cove makes for a nasty paddle when the wind kicks up, but you can access some creeks and shoreline at the mouth of the cove for a sheltered paddle. Wildlife was surprisingly quiet when I went in mid-spring, but the scenery was beautiful when the sun saw fit to shine through moody clouds.
I’ve often overlooked Lake Somerville as a paddling destination due to what appears to be a lack of cover if it’s viewed from Google Maps. There is a lot of open water, but not much cover. Mother Nature made me the fool when I put this hypothesis to the test on April Fools’ Day in 2017.
Summary: If you’re looking for a short paddle through sheltered waters with plenty of wildlife, I highly recommend launching at Hugo Point. If the weather permits, you can also venture into some of the surrounding, bigger waters for more marsh to discover. The safety and quality of the launch site at Hugo Point Park is top-notch, and you can enjoy a pleasant day on the water without worrying about coming back to your windows being broken.
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!