Bow fishing: fishing without a pole

Bow fishing: fishing without a pole

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Bow fishing has seen growth over the years. Instead of fishing with a pole, bow fishermen use archery equipment.

Fishing with a pole may soon go out of style as people are now fishing with a bow?

“It’s real popular and everyone that does it can’t believe how fun it is,” said Mark Carson, Idaho Fish and Game District Conservation Officer.

So what is bow fishing exactly?

To bow fish, grab a bow of any kind and attach a reel and a fishing line to the end of it. The arrows are attached to the end of the line,  allowing you to reel the fish like you would with a normal fishing pole.

“Bow fishing is definitely something I would like to try,” junior sociology major Scott Fitzgerald said. “I love to fish, and to shoot my bow and it looks challenging and badass!”

Bow fishing can be done from the shoreline or a boat.

“I like fishing out of a boat because you have more mobility and can cover the water better,” Carson said. “But I have shot thousands of carp from the bank, so it can certainly be done there as well.”

The spring and summer months are the best time to go bow fishing.

“In the springtime (the carp) come up to the shallow waters to spawn and they will all be up in the water that is less then a foot deep,” Carson said.

While there are some formal training classes available, Carson says that students interested in learning to bow fish will most likely learn best by doing.

Carson recommends shooting often and if you are missing a lot aim lower as the  water makes the fish seem higher then they really are.

While bow fishing has indeed caught on it seems that it has a ways to go before it replaces the time tested way of catching a fish.

“While I’d like to try bow fishing, I will most likely continue to fish with my pole and reel,” Fitzgerald said.

Carson highly recommends bow fishing for all avid outdoor enthusiasts: hunters and fishers alike.

“I would do it all the time if I could and I would do it over any other form of fishing or hunting,” Carson said. “It’s just so much fun.

Brandon Walton
Brandon is a senior at Boise State where he is majoring in communication. He transferred to Boise State in 2012 from TVCC in Ontario, Oregon. Brandon has been writing sports for The Arbiter since Spring 2013 and just recently became the Assistant Sports Editor for The Arbiter. He is also involved with the Boise State radio station the Pulse and has several radio shows. His dream job is to work as a sports broadcaster for a big network such as ESPN as well as continuing writing sports for a major newspaper or magazine. In his spare time he watches sports, movies, plays video games, and owns people in ping pong.

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