Much More Successful Bowfishing. Less Than Successful Kayak Fishing.

With the way the ends-of-the-month end up playing out at work, I usually end up having the last several days of the month off. The same thing happened this past week, and I got Saturday and Sunday off. I worked Friday night, but was out by about 9pm.

I got home about 15 minutes later, and saw Matt with the truck hooked up to the boat. Bill was there too. I walked over from where I park, and Matt says “Thank god you’re here. We’re drunk. We’re going bowfishing. You’re driving”. And from there it went about how you’d expect. I’d never driven a trailer anything in my life. Plus the tail lights were burned out. Nervous to begin with, it didn’t help when, driving down the road and slowing to cross some rough train tracks, I heard something slam and then begin grinding into the asphalt. I came to a stop and felt a few jerks and lurches. Freaking out, because, hello, bad luck with boat trailers, I’m horrified that we’ve blown out another tire or something. Matt and Bill hop out, but it turns out they hadn’t attached the hitch all the way, and it jolted off the ball. And the winch tower banged into the tail gate. Good thing old trucks are ok being dented. We get down to the boat launch with no further problems, thank heavens. The water clarity was great, but we were rusty. One fish this first night.


So we all go to bed. The next day, I met an old buddy for lunch to catch up, then took my kayak out for the first time. While bowfishing, we saw all the bass and panfish on their beds. Turns out I need an anchor. It was windy, and Waubesa was packed with people and everyone was making huge waves. I was out for four hours without more than two bites, because the wind and wakes were pushing me towards the north shore- my bait wasn’t staying in place long enough, and I was just dragging it across the bottom. I’ll pick up a folding 5lb anchor like the one we use for our decoys.


I got back from fishing and we turned around and headed right back for Waubesa for more carp. The water clarity wasn’t as good, but then it had been pretty stirred up all day. We were shooting better, too.

Four of these are mine.

Four of these are mine.

Bin o' fish

Bin o’ fish

But our 8 were nothing compared to the haul on some people we helped out. A purpose-built bowfishing boat was stranded, and flashed their emergency light at us around 1am. We towed their (much bigger) boat back to the launch. With our little wooden 14 footer and 3hp motor. They had thirty between the two of them. Obviously, we need to get better at shooting. We definitely saw enough fish.


4 thoughts on “Much More Successful Bowfishing. Less Than Successful Kayak Fishing.

    • Thanks! The towing was hysterical, and it took forever. PLUS the lake flies are just awful. I ate bugs, had them in my eyes, up my sleeves, in my hair, down my shirt. But we’re always glad to remove carp from the lakes. And these were mostly female about spawn, so it’s a good thing!

  1. Had to smile! “You’re driving!” I have yet to pull the camper or a trailer. Much admiration…. my hat is tipped to you. I think this summer may be the moment of my baptism by fire, though. I’ll let everyone know about my experience. Do you have any pointers? Congrats on your catch, too.

    • Pointers? Take your turns wide. Everything in Madison is under construction and being re-paved this summer, so I even steered us through a construction zone. My shoulders were near my ears the whole time.

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