Bowfishing Over Ice Is Really Nice

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Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2007 – 18:37:03

Bowfishing Over Ice Is Really Nice

By Adam Toboyek

Feb 10, 2006, 06:18

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For everything bowfishing go to: AMS Bowfishing

The northern state of Wisconsin
offers the bowfishing enthusiast many
opportunity’s in taking rough fish.  It has a wide variety of lakes and
rivers with easy access and, of course, a wide variety of species to
hunt.


My
bowfishing year begins in January when the
weather outside is frigid.  Lakes and rivers freeze over, lowering the
oxygen levels in the water.  Look for openings in the ice where rivers
or creeks inlet into a lake, or where there is a current
or warm water discharge.  Find this and you are likely to find carp,
the number one target for bowfishermenThese types of area’s typically have thin ice or no ice, where
you can wade in the water with waders or walk the edge of the ice.
Bowfishing
in these conditions separate the avid’s
from the diehards!  Believe it or not, a 20-30 degree day is
a good day to go shooting during the winter months. Check your state
regulations before venturing out in the frigid waters, and most
importantly, never shoot alone and know the thickness of the ice and depth
of the water!  While most are waiting for spring to come, the
winter shooting keeps a person in good practice.

Starting in
April comes bowfishing
tournaments, held by the Wisconsin
Bowfishing Assoication
. Shooters
from all over the state of Wisconsin
and even surrounding states get together to compete for cash prizes and bowfishing team of the year. About a dozen lakes are
voted on during the annual meeting and 4 of them are sanctioned, meaning
the shoots at those lakes are for points for WBA
team of the year. Points are also awarded for big fish awards.  It can
get very competitive for some teams, others just show up to bowfish and have a good time, that’s why there is two classes
to shoot in, open and sportsman. Check out the Wisconsin Bowfishing
Association
website to find out more about them, tournament rules and
regulations, or just to find out when the next shoot is!

When it starts to get
hot in the Spring time, usually early May, this
means one thing, Buffalo Spawn. Many Lakes off the Wisconsin River provide bowfisherman
many opportunities in getting some real gigantic fish. If you
hunt demandingly during the day and night during
the prime buffalo spawn
, you can get the opportunity to shoot some
fish well over the 40 lb range with a handful into the 50’s. Hard to imagine a fish being that size in the waters of Wisconsin
right?
You will encounter these underwater behemoths in the shallows
and near river and creek outlets.


Right around the
buffalo spawn, is the Wisconsin State Championship Bowfishing
Tournament held on the Castle Rock Flowage in Central Wisconsin.  This is the
biggest shoot held in Wisconsin
and quite a few teams show up from all over.  Many prizes are raffled
including top of the line bows, arrows, and other bowfishing
related equipment.  The water clairty in the
spring on most lakes is crystal clear, offering bowfisherman
great chances in taking high numbers of rough fish. To do well in these
tournaments, you must put hard earned time into scouting and know where the
fish are, and be on them all night long.  It takes several hundreds
of fish to win many of these tournaments. One of these shoots was won with
well over 600 fish in a 10 hour shoot, that’s incredible!

While
the majority of the touraments are held in
the Spring with the clear water, they slow down beginning in June.
There are still some state shoots that are run during the day but
this is the time of year when lakes start turning over and getting the
algae bloom, turning the lakes into what we call lime
green, ”pea soup.” Needless to say it gives the fish an
immense advantage, because of water clarity, you’re
lucky to see an inch down. There are still quite a few shootable waters. Flowage’s and lakes on the Wisconsin river can still be good, the Poygan, Winnieconne, Butte
Des Mortes, Winnebago chain of lakes can also be
very productive, being chock full of gar. This offers bowfisherman
some tough practice because of their size, gar averaging in the 10-30”
range.

As summer
slowly fades into fall and the last of the tournaments come upon us, it
usually wraps things up for bowfisherman with all the approaching hunting
seasons. Some of the diehards still keep their boats out and continue
shooting until they’re breaking ice with there boats, some wait for the
winter months to go shooting in the icy air, others just winterize their boat
and wait until spring.  Many go out and buy a new boat or upgrade. 
Some make repairs to their boats or add fan motors. So in truth, there
really never is an off season in the world of bowfishing,
it’s an on going process that exceeds 365 days a year for some. Its been a sport I’ve been introduced at a very young age
and its such an addicting sport so before you go out, considered yourself
warned

For everything bowfishing go to: AMS Bowfishing

 

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