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 48 of 63

June 2019 • Nebraskaland 49 as the Carpzilla, and arrows that have sturdy points like the Cajun Piranha or Muzzy Carp point. Reels specifi cally designed for bowfi shing are the best. If you use a spin cast reel, like I do, consider spraying the line down with silicone before starting your day. Most stores that carry archery supplies can get you set up. Another important piece of equipment is polarized sunglasses to help you see through the water. A ball cap helps tremendously to shade those glasses, allowing you to see deeper into the water. Bowfishing Boat You don't need a boat to bowfi sh, but if you're looking to put one together, width is the fi rst aspect to consider. The wider the boat, the better it will keep 2-4 shooters stabilized while shooting from the bow. Second, consider the design of the shooting platform or deck. I prefer a deck that sits 15-20 inches above the boat for shooting during daylight hours. This height also allows room for light placement if you decide night shooting is something you want to try. Also, buy the biggest trolling motor and outboard motor you can aff ord. A large trolling motor allows you to continue to fi sh when the boat becomes weighed down by fi sh. It also makes it easier to access areas that are bogged down with mud and vegetation. Not to mention, if you're in fast current, the extra power gives you better control and maneuverability. Shooting TIps The best time to bowfi sh is on sunny, calm days. Slowly sneaking up on feeding fi sh, or maybe getting lucky and catching the proverbial spawn, is an awesome fi rst experience. Even though I now own a bowfi shing boat, I still go back to bank fi shing on occasion. My best tip to beginners is to aim low. Then aim lower. In bowfi shing, compensating for water refraction is key. The deeper the fi sh, the lower you need to aim. If a fi sh is close to the surface or even on the surface, I aim at the very bottom of the belly and dead center of the target. When a fi sh is deeper, you will have to make bigger adjustments. It is common to shoot 1-2 feet lower than where you see the fi sh. Silence is also golden. Any vibrations from your boat can easily spook fi sh, so tread lightly and try not to bang or drop your arrows. I also turn my trolling motor down or off and coast into the fi sh. The most important thing to remember in bowfi shing is have fun. If you miss a shot, it's not a problem – the next target is just around the corner and swimming your way. N The author Rich Porter with a 9-pound long-nose gar that he shot near Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River. The Nebraska Bowfishing Mentored Youth Program Youth ages 10 and up can try bowfishing with the Nebraska Bowfishing Mentored Youth Program, hosted by Ponca State Park and Desoto National Wildlife Refuge. The course is free and most gear will be provided. • The Desoto program dates are May 28 and 30, and June 1. Register at register-; for more information, contact • The Ponca program dates are July 9, 11, 18 and 20. Register at events/view/143120; for more information, contact PHOTO COURTESY OF RICH PORTER

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