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Renovating a Bowfishing Boat

By Kathleen Kalina

Staff Writer


Bowfishing for carp, gar and other rough fish is an exciting type of hunting nationwide.  Around walleye country, the saying goes: “Spear a carp, save a walleye”.   Carp are a major cause for destroying walleye habitat.  Bowhunting for fish can be done from shore, but having a platform on a boat can make it more successful.   In some states it’s possible to bowfish at night with halogen or metal halide lights and a generator.   I am going to show you a photo step by step of how I recently renovated a boat for bowfishing.  If I could do it, then you can too.

Two types of boats are best for bowfishing from a platform: a jon boat and a wide semi-vee boat.  The key is width and stability.   It’s best to buy a boat 16ft or longer with at least 6ft width at the gunwale (sides).   Purchasing the best motor you can find is a key factor in reliable  boating.  An aluminum boat doesn’t need the horsepower that a heavy fiberglass needs. It’s cheaper to buy a 25 hp motor than a 50 hp.


The 16ft lund boat, the day I got it. The finished bowfishing boat

This photo is from chapter 1 of the book "How to Build a Bowfishing Boat"  available at Amazon

for kindle or Ipad


The book has detailed instructions with photos.


The author Kathleen Kalina and renovator of the 16 ft,  Lund bowfishing boat recommends that you join a local bowfishing club.  Look at photos on the American Bowfishing Association website to get ideas for your boat renovation. Stability is of the utmost importance.  A bigger wide boat can really make the difference.  .


Here is the photo of a carp shot from renovated boat.

33inch carp taken by bow from renovated boat.


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Regional Directors

Regional Directors organize
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shoots and shows

Julia Heinz
Alaska and the Yukon

Kathy Russell

Tammy Hartline
North Alabama, Mississippi p
and North Georgia

Synthia Wilson

Kim Hose
Rachel Baker
Beth Milligan
Jo Rice
Angelina Coopersmith
Jenny Paul
 Mara Osborne
North Carolina


Tracy Rowe




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