2016 Lake Winnebago Carp Shooting
For the diehard archer such as myself, finding ways to keep the arrows flying can be a challenge. Shooting arrows at carp running up the Milwaukee River as a kid is no comparison to shooting carp today with modern bow-fishing gear. Both Muzzy products and the Wisconsin based company, AMS Bowfishing, have rejuvenated my desire to shoot fish with a bow. As I have recently experienced in the Lake Winnebago system there are plenty of opportunities to shoot fish. During this last carp-spawning season I could not believe the numbers of carp in Lake Winnebago. Every morning and evening I would watch literally hundreds of carp turn the water into a virtual sea of mud with their jumping and thrashing activity. It was interesting to watch the big females cruise by with 10 to 15 smaller males coming in from all directions and bumping her in the side. I personally found the best action to be in the early morning with no wind and the sun hitting the water just right you could see the fish come in from several yards away.
As for the gear I use an old Browning bow that a friend had given me cranked down to the lowest poundage. All I had to do is reset the draw length and I was good to go. Many manufacturers produce bows that are designed specifically for bowfishing, but any bow that you can draw comfortably will work. When looking for a bow specificially for shooting fish, finding a gently pre-owned bow is a great way to save some money and still get some quality gear.
As for the bow-fishing specific gear, Muzzy and AMS Bowfishing produce anything you could ever need. These two companies have set the standard for bowfishing equipment. My Browning bow is set up with the new AMS Retriever Pro. This retriever is easy to use and has a one-arrow quiver attached. For the rest I have an old Whisker Biscuit, but that will be changed to an AMS Tidal Wave rest. The Whisker Biscuit works well, but the arrows are too heavy for the bristles. My choice for arrows is either the Muzzy or AMS classic fish arrow with quick release carp tip. There are many arrows to choose from such as aluminum and carbon. I choose not to use a sight of any kind because instinctive shooting works for me, pick a spot and shoot. It’s always a good idea to have some extra replacement tips in your bag due to the likelihood of shooting into the rocks and dulling your tips There are a couple more items that help me out as well. The first was a nice pair of polarized glasses, preferably amber colored. These seemed to really make the fish stand out. Secondly was a hat to cut some of the glare off the water. So what are you waiting for? Get out and shoot some fish!!
As always, hunt safe, hunt hard and respect the outdoors!
Marc Drewek – TRS Appleton East Store Manager