I am super excited to have my first guest post! My friend Leanne posts these great photos of her experiences and I asked if she would tell me a bit about bow fishing.
All spring the anticipation for the ice to start melting becomes greater and greater when you realize May 31 is in the near distance. I love the great outdoors and Gods gifts to this earth, nature and the serenity it beholds; one of the things I love most is bow fishing. Fishing in the lakes of western New York is awesome, that flicker of excitement when you get a bite and all the hard work pays off after you reel in a big fish. But what is the real thriller is shooting a fish out of the water with a bow. Crazy, right?
I catch a quick nap before the sun sets; while getting the boat batteries all charged up for a long night filled with lights. Making sure our arrows and bows are all loaded up, we head to the launch right before dusk to set the lights and generator up in the boat. Making sure all the gear is thrown in the boat and the batteries are hooked up right to the trolling motor, we go to a secluded lake about 5 miles long not too many people know about; loaded with carp. We back the boat in, park it next to the dock and give the generator a few pulls. On it goes, the lights start to heat up and get bright, real bright.
We are off, trolling along the banks looking for any sort of movement in the water. Early on the fish are 5+ feet down too far to be shooting at but when the temperature is just right and the water is to their liking they are right under the surface. We troll banks and shallow spots throughout the lake. They love seaweed; they are bottom feeders so it’s their main food source. The lights reach out about 10 feet which is a trick shot if you can hit a carp out that far.
Trolling along I start to see some movement, bass and walleye zooming by the lights. Then the carp start to appear. Their eyes and skin glow from the bright lights, easy to spot out. Four people standing up fighting for the first shot. FEW! FEW! Arrows flying into the water, it’s a thrilling moment when you see a 30 pounder swimming by. The adrenaline is pulsating and you don’t think, you pull back aim and release. Milliseconds after you are searching for your arrow anticipating it moving through the water like a thrashing shark. Then there is goes! Away from the boat in a furry, you drop you bow and start pulling in line as fast as you can. Praying to god the arrow doesn’t come out before you haul your trophy into the boat.
When it’s in the boat it’s a rush to get the arrow out of the fish before you start tangling lines and worst case you got two thrashing fish in the boat with 15 feet of line spooled out. Unscrew the tip of the arrow and off the fish goes right into the barrel. The boat keeps on trolling and you’re standing back up on the plat form bow in hand eyes dead locked on the water searching for your next victim.
What do I do with the fish you ask? Well carp are bottom feeders as I mentioned before therefore they eat the junk of the bottom of creek beds and lakes. They are perfect fertilization for my back farming field. It has been said that carp are detrimental to other fish and duck habitat which provides to be beneficial to the environment to shoot carp & turn them in to fertilizer.
What I use. My bow fishing set up consists of a Mathews Solo Cam MQ1 bow. Originally a professional target shooting bow passed down to me from a family friend, it was used to kill my first deer back in 2007 and since updating to a Mathews Z7 Extreme in 2011 it has stuck with me for my bow fishing bow. It has an AMS bow fishing reel and various different arrows have been put through it. The sight I use is an old Tru Glow sight that the outer plastic is broken off from a flying arrow.
If you have not tried bow fishing I suggest you put it on your bucket list because it truly is a thrilling experience!
My name is Leanne Worboys, I am 23 and live in Hamlin NY. I am an avid hunter, when I am not hunting I’m working on my pallet art business called Doe Made Rustic Designs. This company was created from my love of hunting and the outdoors. I have been hunting for about 15 years and grew up with the hunting lifestyle taught by my dad and brother. Hunting is a big aspect of my life and whether it be deer, turkey, waterfowl or fishing I am out every chance I get.