You don’t have to have a boat to go bowfishing. I have fished many times from the bank with great success. One of the best tools I recommend for bank bowfishers is a good CREE LED flashlight you can mount on your bow via the stabilizer or elsewhere on the riser. This will help you penetrate the water with light and see beyond your normal scope of view and not get in the way of your shooting.
Since carp, buffalo and other rough fish like the shallows and can be found on the edges of the water, bowfishing the shorelines can be very effective. The best practice for bowfishing at night from the bank is to walk slowly and scan with your flashlight, looking for fish in the shallows. When you find fish, be as stealthy as possible. Tilapia, for instance, can even see you draw back your bow and notice any other movement. Keeping low key can also keep fish in a given area for a while, giving you more shot opportunities.
Wade bowfishing is also an effective pursuit for land-bound fishing. The best way to way to do this is to “still hunt” or spot and stalk the fish. Move slowly in the water and stop and wait in areas you know hold fish. Another strategy, especially during the daytime, is to get a tripod hunting stand or, if more accessible, a ladder and wade it out to shallow water in the back of a cove or creek. Climb on top and sit and wait. Stationary fishing is a great idea for tilapia as they are naturally a very curious fish and will come out of the vegetation to see you, giving you ample shot opportunities. When fishing near land, concentrate on fishing points, ledges and flats as these areas are known to be fish magnets in the bowfishing world. Be safe, have fun and enjoy the best of the outdoors.
Story by Dustin Vaughn Warncke