My favorite place to bowfish right now is in Washington on the Snake River just below Chief Joseph State Park, just west of Lewiston, Idaho. When I lived in New Mexico my favorite place to bowfish was Caballo Lake near Truth or Consequences, N.M. I’ve had plenty of fun skewering literally tons of carp (and buffalo fish in New Mexico) from these places. Of course, this has everything to do with ready accessibility and intimate familiarity.
But let’s say you have some vacation time at your disposal and a few bucks set aside to cover travel costs, lodging and maybe even a guide. When compared to big-game hunting, bowfishing guides are dirt cheap, even for glamour species such as sharks and alligator gar.
Where would I go then? Well, that’s an entirely different matter. That’s like comparing backyard whitetail hunting to a long-awaited whitetail foray to Iowa or Kansas—unless, of course, you live in these places, then you probably dream of bowhunting elk out West.
My point is that while you may have pretty good bowfishing right in your own backyard, the sport also offers a cornucopia of opportunities and unique targets. Any Top 10 hotspot list will invariably point to bigger fish, though added variety and unfathomable target numbers are also high on many bowfishermen’s list.
So with those criteria in mind, and the input of bowfishing guru Mark Land from Muzzy Products, here’s our list of the best bowfishing destinations.
- First and foremost, this is where you go if bagging a shark with your bow is No. 1 on your bowfishing wish list. Makos can be legally taken here (whites are protected) and several outfitters/captains have made an art form of tagging these creatures of lore. Standard procedure involves chumming until sharks appear, then taking a shot with a bowfishing arrow rigged into a big game fishing rod and reel. Then the fight is on! Bring a stout compound and consult your outfitter regarding special gear. This is big game bowfishing at its best. Worthwhile quarry such as big rays and skates can also be part of the bag. Guide Contact: Breakaway Fishing Charters, Captain Matt Potter