1. Don’t count on the weather reports to be accurate! All week up until the day we went bowfishing this past weekend, the weather was predicted to be sunny (not partly or mostly sunny, but SUNNY) and 80 degrees. We woke up in the morning to a thin layer of clouds we were certain would burn off in no time…..nothing dark and daunting…until after we were on the water, of course. Then the storm moved in, and we pulled off on shore and waited it out only to find the most beautiful blue sky and perfectly calm water for the last hour of our trip. Just be prepared for anything…and everything.
2. Get reports. Ask other bowfishermen and fishermen what they have seen for carp before you head out with just your bowfishing bows. If they aren’t spawning in the area you are planning to go, it is pointless to go there if carp are all you’re after. You can’t shoot carp if they aren’t there, so find out who had luck where recently before you hit the water so you can spend more time shooting and less time looking. Also bring a fishing pole or a fly rod for the slow times in case you don’t find the carp.
3. Bring extra arrows! There are rocky shores on much of Canyon Ferry Reservoir and it is pretty easy for your fiberglass arrow’s tips to get busted off or chipped up, PLUS, sometimes you might even watch your arrow swim off before your eyes. Without replacement arrows, you might be stuck with noodling!
4. Make sure you get success pictures! It may not be about actually getting carp as much as it is about the experience, but you will be happy you have those success pics! It’s awesome to look back and reminisce about your time out with friends and/or family on the water AND see pictures of your catches as a bonus!
5. HAVE FUN! Whether the rain is pouring down or the sun is scorching hot….whether you forget all of your equipment and have to go back to the truck to get your bows or you lose a few arrows….whether you find the carp or not….remember to have fun! Things don’t always go as planned, but don’t let it ruin your day. We are so fortunate to live in a place where we have access to such amazing land and water. Good luck out there!
EXTRA TIP: Ask a trapper if they want the carp you shoot (or catch) as bait before you just get rid of them…if somebody can use something you were going to throw away, that is always a good thing!