Protect the Great Lakes by Bowfishing Carp

SpyderWeb Targets is located right on the shores of Lake Michigan and that’s why we’re adamant about protecting our Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes are a breathtaking and unique natural resource. They are the world’s largest freshwater ecosystem containing 20% of all freshwater on the planet. More than 35 million people in eight states and Canada depend on the Lakes for their drinking water.

In spite of their majesty, the Great Lakes face serious threats from climate change, toxins, wetland destruction, invasive species, and more. As an archer there’s something you can do to help and really make a difference. And it’s way more fun than picking up trash on the beach.

It’s time to try bowfishing!

In the Great Lakes region, there is no greater threat than the four species of invasive fish collectively known as Asian carp: silver, bighead, grass, and black carp. Bowfishing carp not only stops the spread of these invasive species threatening the Great Lakes, it’s also incredibly fun, exciting, and action-packed.

The Gear

To get started, you’ll need a reel, rest, and arrows designed for bowfishing. Several manufacturers make kits with everything you need to convert your bow into a bowfishing rig. Bowfishing arrows are much heavier than standard arrows and carry barbed points. They also connect to a heavy line that spools onto the bowfishing reel or a line-housing unit, both of which mount to your bow. 

The When and Where

The best time to bowfish for carp is during spawning season. A variety of species migrates up streams and rivers during spring and summer. That’s when large numbers of carp congregate, making for a great day of bowfishing! Carp like weedy areas in relatively shallow water. You can bowfish them from a boat or by wading. Some carp feed along the waterway’s banks and bottoms and some are filter feeders, which swim around at midlevel depths or near the surface, making them ideal to target from a boat.

Bowfishing Tips

When bowfishing, you’ll always shoot down at fish, so practice shooting at downward angles to improve your accuracy. You’ll find it helpful to bend at the hips to maintain proper form when shooting downward. Once you’re on the water, aim below the fish to ensure you don’t miss high. Light refraction in the water distorts what you see, meaning the deeper the fish, the lower you must aim.

What to Do with Your Haul

Carp are far from good eating. But they make a great organic fertilizer! Ask around and donate your fish to a local farmer for use as fertilizer to ensure your catch isn’t wasted.

Stalking and hunting down invasive carp on the river or in the shallows of inland lakes is a great way to get outdoors this spring and summer and keep your archery skills sharp while protecting our Great Lakes. Plus, it’s just a whole lot of fun. Do you have any bowfishing tips? Visit our Facebook page and drop us a line!

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