Nebraskaland June 2019

NEBRASKAland Magazine is dedicated to outstanding photography and informative writing with an engaging mix of articles and photos highlighting Nebraska’s outdoor activities, parklands, wildlife, history and people.

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Page 46 of 63

June 2019 • Nebraskaland 47 Nebraska's public waters have enthralled me for more than 30 years. I fi rst picked up a bow in 1988, and very quickly, bowfi shing became a lifelong passion. Stalking a fi sh, unleashing an arrow and hoping for the best – the thrill is similar to hunting. I will always choose fi shing with a bow over a rod and reel. Another reason why I love bowfi shing so much – bowfi shers still account for a small percentage of anglers in Nebraska, which means the shooting opportunities are endless. With so little pressure on our lakes and rivers for carp and gar, the time to start bowfi shing is now. Where to Bowfish You won't fi nd many big reservoirs without an abundance of common carp. Some have buff alo and gar, and few might hold big, old grass carp. I've had the pleasure of shooting many lakes in Nebraska, and my favorites are Harlan County, Medicine Creek, McConaughy, Swanson, Merritt and Calamus. Don't overlook lakes that connect to the canal system along the Platte River, as well as any lake that gets fl ooded by the Missouri, Platte or Elkhorn rivers. All these water bodies will likely provide plenty of shooting opportunities. Rivers also can be amazing places to stalk a variety of fi sh. Gar, buff alo, grass, silver and the immense bighead carp all reside in our many rivers and streams. Gavins Point Dam, considered the mecca among Nebraska bowfi shers, is easy to shoot from the bank or inside a boat. May and June are the best months to shoot at Gavins Point, when huge schools of bigheads and silver carp can be expected below the dam. Opportunities for buff alo carp, common carp and gar will be plentiful both above and below the dam. What to Bring Wading in a pair of old tennis shoes and shorts is the way most people got started on bowfi shing. Gear is fairly simple. You'll need a bow that fi ts you, several arrows, a reel and components to attach it to the bow, and a heavy-duty arrow rest. Bowfi shing is tough on equipment so purchase rugged, simple gear. I prefer a full capture adjustable arrow rest, such Bowfishing BY RICH PORTER PHOTOS BY JENNY NGUYEN-WHEATLEY

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