The Big Mean 13 of Bowfishing

By Patrick Meitin
Presented by

The Big Mean 13 of Bowfishing

By Patrick Meitin
Presented by

Bowfishing is a lot like bowhunting. Except that you get to shoot a whole lot more. And it's warm. And you can talk to your buddies. And you don't have to worry about the wind. And you get to reel in a bunch of big fish...

It's an inexpensive sport that in its essence requires minimal gear, and is available in some form almost everywhere. In short, bowfishing is flat-out fun, and it’s difficult for me to understand how any bowhunter couldn't enjoy it.

From the lowly common carp swimming in a drainage ditch to major-river trophies like paddlefish and alligator gar, freshwater bowfishing targets vary greatly in size, appearance, temperament and location. Quite a few of these are pretty good eating. Several of them are incredibly strong fighters. Here’s a look at the Big, Mean 13 --  bowfishing’s most sought-after freshwater species.