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Why You Should Care About Bowfishing

by Melissa Bachman   |  July 11th, 2012 57

Bowhunting is a sport that many of us enjoy year round, but we all get bored with just shooting at targets in the summer. One way to combat this is to spend an afternoon or weekend bowfishing your local lakes. Carp have become a real nuisance in many area lakes in Minnesota and around the country, so not only are you honing in your skills as a shooter, but you’re helping take out some of these pesky carp as well.

When it comes to your bowfishing gear many people think you need to buy a ton of equipment and have another bow setup. Although this is nice, you can also take your regular hunting bow and sight and rest. The only other item I needed to add was a $29 carp arrow and string. We headed out on some local Minnesota lakes and found a pocket of carp that proved to be one target rich environment. I would simply wind up the string after each shot and leave it at my feet so I wasn’t messing with a reel or spool mounted on my bow. This can help with accuracy and also makes for a quick setup.

Although many people shoot instinctively when it comes to carp fishing, I really like having a sight on my bow. I was using a one-pin slider sight that allows you to move your pin accordingly. If I found that I was going over the top of carp, I simply moved my sight down and could aim directly at them. One of the biggest problems with bowfishing is dealing with the refraction of the water, but when using a setup like this you can adjust your pin and aim right at the fish.

The bottom line is the more you can get out shooting your bow, the better off you will be this fall when hunting season finally arrives. This was my way of getting out, having some fun and getting a little added practice in for my upcoming season.

  • Sherman

    Only Melissa Bachman could make hunting Asian carp on the hot, mosquitoes laden, stagnant back waters of the Illinois River fun.

    • Willie Long

      I'll be sold when you start shooting carp in fishnets…

  • Clint

    I used to care about bowfishing, but now I only really care about Melissa Bachman bowfishing.

  • Pete

    Classic case of "If you got it, flaunt it." Don't get me wrong, that first pic is absolutly HOT. But let's have a reality check here. Was the gratuatis b–b shot really necessary to get the point accross?

    Unless fake breast make you any better of a huntress, leave them out of the equation!

    • Travis

      You need to relax and enjoy your life. You must complain about litter when you find a hundred dollar bill on the ground too.

    • Melissa Bachman

      Hey Pete- I'm sorry if you thought the photo was unnecessary but I spent over 10-hours on the water and it was 102-degrees that day. I didn't think a swimsuit was uncalled for and no, it wasn't essential to get the point across…but that's what I was wearing. I take a lot of pride in hunting, fishing and the outdoors and it's unfortunate the message got lost because of a photo. My only goal was to get people thinking about other ways to get ready for the fall and enjoy our beautiful lakes in a way they hadn't thought of.

      • Josh

        It only takes on idiot to make something its not. We all know Melissa Bachman is a beautiful women and we all know she is a smart writer and Hunter. If anything she will help to bring more women into our great lifestyle!

      • Brian

        Hey Melissa, you have done a great job with the shows, videos and clips! Its hard to please everyone at once. I myself understand the situation and would not of thought twice about being comfortable when spending that kind of time on the water and in the heat. I myself along with 3/4 ths of the guys on here would of shot the pics with no shirt at all on and no one would of complained. It just so happens that you are attractive and it does draw attention, but your messages behind the pics are important to any good hunter! Keep up the good work!!!!

      • Michael Schroeder

        Thats ok you just make me want to hunt with my wife.

      • Meat Eater

        Hey Melissa, don't worry about pete. I know bowfishing can be hot. Some people just like to complain.

    • Wayne

      what's up, you don't like women??

  • Steve

    Those look real to me

  • Pete

    Yes, but 80% of the target male audiance will not bother to read the text but just oggle at the pictures. (me included) 20% of the target female audience will get pissed off and not bother. If the message is important, then why structure it in such a manor as to miss a total of 50% of the target population?

    • mike

      If you don't like it get off the site Pete…….nobody wants to read your crap!!

    • Patrick

      Pete where do you get these statistics because most of the girls I know would be like thats awesome I like that bikini and I want a bow like that and I myself am always accused of being a hornball and I read the whole article because I know Melissa is an awesome huntress and she knows her stuff and I wanted to know more about bow fishing and actually this article has helped me figure out how I should actually going about bow fishing instead of trying to buy another set up just for bow fishing and my fiance says that the article was really informative and that she want Melissa's necklace

    • nichole

      I'm a female and her pictures didn't stop me from reading her article. There just pictures. Female targeted magazine's have women far more exposed then this, and company's sell tons of magazines a day, so obviously that's not stopping them from reading the articles inside. So why should this stop someone from reading the article?

  • Bill from Wisconsin

    I can't believe some of the comments I'm seeing!! Are there people out there this idiotic! For one Melissa Bachman is hot, and there is no reason not to flaunt it. In fact, too bad she wasn't in a bikini bottom also. There is nothing wrong with getting a bonus when checking out articles that have to do with education and tips when it comes to hunting & fishing. Also, did you ever stop to think that maybe when its 80-100 degrees, that is what she is comfortable wearing. I don't think too many outdoor females mind when you put an article out when you have a shirtless good-looking guy with a good figure. In fact when I do outdoor things in the summer, I'm always in shorts and no shirt. Melissa consistantly puts out quality blogs, pointers, & articles, so stay focused on the subject!! If it bothers you…………………….go to the guys section!

  • Clint Hardesty

    Look at those arms too. If Ms. Bachman was just another "pretty face" and this was the only thing that made folks want to visit her blog, that would be one thing but she's an accomplished hunter and a great source of information for all bowhunters (The precision and simplicity of her insights are especially useful for new bowhunters as well as bowhunters humble enough to realize they don't know everything). The fact that she's a beautiful strong woman to boot, jeeze that's something we ought to be celebrating (respectfully of course).

  • Frosty

    To me it makes the point that women can be feminine, in good shape and hunters at the same time. Bowhunting clearly keeps the body toned and firm. I cannot think of any good reason not to show such a picture and many reasons why. Lighten up Pete.

  • Bob

    I am sure several thousand members of the CarpAnglers Group would not like to kill the carp. In England they have pay lakes to fish for Carp. They are a smarter fish and a lot strong fighter than most of what people fish for. The Carp Anglers call them the worlds Greatest Sport Fish, and there is also a Gar Fishing Group.

    • Patrick

      Come to Illinois and check out the fox river then because the other day I saw hundreds of carp over 24 inches

  • john

    i am glad to see a female sportsperson i now have a woman of my own who is being taught to hunt with trad bow,338winmag t/c rifle,and going with me to my home in alaska to retire and enjoy the rest of our lives together. keep up the good work mellisa its nice to show my girl that there is women doing these things. ur fan alaskan archer

    • Frosty

      Good points but isn't a 338 a bit much to start someone off?

  • Hog nut

    Can I use my bow for bow fishing and how to convert it

  • Melissa Bachman

    Yes you can use your regular bow if you'd like. They make carp retrieving kits you can add on to your current bow setup or you can just add a carp arrow and put the string down at your feet so you don't have to add the reel to your setup.

  • Glynn


    Kudos to you for being a great huntress. I admire your love for hunting

  • @A_Reel_Lady

    Kudos to you for being a great huntress. I admire your love for hunting. I do however want to know your workout & diet secrets! Look at those arms!

  • Hunter

    99.99% of your friends on facebook are your friends just so they can troll and drool all over your pictures!

  • Tim

    I agree, get more people into bowfishing.. Sorry if a nice action shot of bowfishing offends you.. it's not like she is topless! :) Relax, grab your bow and reel and get out there and enjoy this AWESOME sport year round! Hats off to you Melissa!

  • Dustin-MN

    Pete- I oggled at the pictures, but also read the article and thought it was great! Nice work Melissa, keep it up!

  • Wade-TX

    Sounds challenging and exciting. Once I get back to the states I will have to give it a try. Thanks Melissa!

  • John

    Great pictures and great job you are doing not only for our American heritage but also for the women of the outdoor
    s keep up the gr8 work Melissa.

  • Mitch,Mn

    I get so sick and tired of idiots trying to degrade and put down melissa. I live just north of where melissa is from here in brainerd minnesota and alot of us are pretty proud to have her represent the sportsman and women here. She is a great hunter and promoter of our outdoor heritage. I bowfish alot here and it can be pretty darn hot sometimes. Maybe i'll post some pics of me bowfishing in my speedo and you can comment on that. Her bowfishing article was great.Once you start bowfishing you wont want to stop. Keep up the great work melissa!!!

  • Chris

    Easy Fellas!! She's a women any man would be blessed to have in there life! Keep up the great work Melissa!

  • The Starving Outdoorsman

    Why anyone would complain about this, I have no idea. Its the middle of summer. Would you wear full camo on the water? If Im on a boat of anywhere near the water im gonna have my shirt off. Keep doing what your doing. If people do not like it, they do not need to look. Nice article Melissa. Bowfishing is great, and I need to get out and do it more often.

  • Fernando Rodriguez

    What rest are you using? My revolution split apart shooting in my basement last night.thank you for the article,I just moved back to MN and bowfishing is on my to do list.
    Fernando in Hutchinson,MN

    • Melissa Bachman

      I use the Kazaway rest by VitalX. It grips the arrow so it doesn't off when you're getting to full draw but then fully opens once you're at full draw. I've shot it for about 5-years now and absolutely love it. The best part is if you're on a spot and stalk hunt and need to draw sideways, you can without worrying about your arrow coming off.

  • Jim

    I belive when your great at something and a beautiful to boot, it helps bring people in . I think you do a fine job at promoting issues. Personably I don't think i'll ever look at another shot of you hunting again unless your in a bathingsuit. Theres nothing wrong with being beautiful and showing it. Hell I tell the wife if shes going to garden put on a swimsuit if people don't like the way you look then don't look. They just can't have any but you keep up doing your thing its working , I like hunting more and more every day.

    • Jim

      I need lessons are you available . I need alot of help.

  • Jim

    By the way I like your bathingsuit;)

  • Jim

    Wow,fish don't stand a chance. Hell if I saw her standing up their, i'd be flying to the surface to get an arrow in me.

  • Stephen S.

    I think alot of people are missing the point here, if she gets a couple people to clean the dust off their bows and sharpen their skills while having a little fun in the process, she's done a good job. Who cares what pictures are necessary, she looks like she's having a good time, if you replaced those pictures with a man doing the exact same thing, there would be no complaints, but just because its a woman with a very attractive body she's supposed to cover up? Lighten up guys we need more people like her to educate newcomers to the outdoors and help bring down the idea that hunting is a man's sport. Just my 2 cents but anyways thanks Melissa I look forward to your articles.

  • Josh

    how much does the added weight of the string affect your point of impact? You said you were flying over targets, I thought you may hit a bit lower because of the extra arrow (string) weight. What is your maximum typical range?

    • Melissa Bachman

      When bowfishing it can be very difficult because of the refraction of the water. The carp appear to be in one place, but they're really not…and you will miss if you don't compensate. As for the added weight from the string…I don't think it's a huge deal. You are shooting pretty close range, 10-15 yards max for me anyway, so the biggest obstacle is learning where to aim and judging how deep the fish are.

      • Dean

        What was the draw weight of your bow? We had to lower ours to about 40lbs because we were getting complete pass throughs on the fish.

  • Sprayberry

    Never been bow fishing might go now since I found out you don't have to mount the reel to your bow thanks might try it one day.

  • forceten

    Does a regular fishing license cover bow fishing? Or is there a separate license/permit for this? NJ

  • Den

    Melissa off topic but where can I find out how to subscribe to Predator Nation? I found this while looking for info on the mag and recognized you from the mag and other hunting shows. If you could help thanks.

  • Click76

    I had to register to make a comment here. I support this attractive young lady, with enthusiasm, down home drive, adaptable to harsh outdoor weather, personal competitive nature sharpening her marksmanship skills, and best of all she always portrays a positive good natured attitude. Whether her body parts are virginal or enhanced only relates to personal pride. Dictating on how this lady should dress misses the point and proves that some people have Taliban standards. Enough said.

  • channer

    Melissa…would you like to go for a drink and get married some time?

  • Reddirt Hillbilly

    wow it's amazing as to how something so innocent,fun,peaceful and being taking place in part of the most beautiful side of the country could be turned into such a drama fest wow some peoples kids i guess isn't Jerry Lewis having a marathon soon for all his lost children i think i saw pete's name at the top of the list keep up the good work melissa on trying to get more women out there to get involved in what some of us men out here enjoy so much because to me it's a way of life to hunt an fish……

  • Antonio

    Yeah, the gratuitous bikini shot made me click on the post, but guess what? It was a good article. Thanks, Melissa (and please don't misinterpret my intentions, I'm happily married).

  • LOLI

    May God forgive you for your kills

    • James – Tx.

      May God forgive her for her kills? Seriously? With everything going on in the world today LOLI, you should probably redirect your attention and prayers to something other than cruising various blogs trying to gain attention to yourself. We all need forgiveness from God for one thing or the other but hunting and fishing are not one of them. Whether it’s Ms. Bachman, myself or anyone else that loves the outdoors, as long as we treat it with the respect it deserves, I think we will all be pretty squared away with Him in that area

  • Tasty Protein

    Why would a grass eater search Peterson Hunting and post?

  • Meat Eater

    I quess the granola eating – treehugger needed something to talk about. It's lonely sitting in a cave.

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