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In 2004, following the publication of my book, Practical Bowfishing, I took a solo fishing trip from South Carolina to Washington State. This 30-day trip included bowfishing in 13 states, the Savannah, Tennessee, Mississippi, Illinois, Missouri, Yellowstone and Columbia rivers as well as a number of lakes. I bowfished where I happened to be at the end of the day’s drive or if I saw a “likely” spot. Except when someone else wanted to come along, I bowfished by myself.
I was using a boat and trailer that I purchased used for $600, put a new 4-hp outboard on it and shot fish with the old Bear Kodiak recurve bow that I bought years before. Now, in 2010, I have all of this equipment and use it every year. Although you can trick-out bowfishing boats to the tune of $30,000 and more, simple equipment can get the job done.
State fishing laws were investigated in each state, and short-term licenses purchased. Only in the trout waters of the Idaho panhandle was bowfishing prohibited. In each state the fish that may be shot are “rough” fish including carp, gar, suckers and others that are not regulated as “game” fish species. With some species, like catfish, pike and paddlefish, laws vary from state to state
Often I shot from the boat, but I was also successful bank bowfishing below the dams on lakes in Illinois and Minnesota. I often get a higher percentage of hits from bank fishing because I am not troubled by the motion of the boat, putting down a paddle, rising to shoot, etc.
Most of the fish taken were either eaten or given away. I took a compact Webber grill along and baked some fish along the way. I also used a number of recipes that I had included in the book when I had cooking facilities.
Orders for my book, Practical Bowfishing, may be placed from my website www.hoveysmith.com by activating the PayPal link below the book description. I sell this out-of-print book for a little over $20 compared to $55 and up on Amazon.com and elsewhere.
I bowfished during daylight hours. I seldom bowfish at night at a place that I have not seen in daylight. The 4-minute video that follows is supplemented by an 8-minute version on that may be accessed with the following link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Kq5fFGYZIE&layer_token=5445dce6101d81e6.