Bow fishing at night out of my W500

By Capn’ Larry Jarboe

Last night, I went freshwater bowfishing in a canal outside of the Everglades with my personally designed laser lite crossbow.  It is far more accurate than either my compound or recurve rigs which is a sorry statement regarding my skill as an archer.
These are Tilapia and Mayan Cichlids which are both invasive and very good to eat.  There is a single gar which is now de-shelled and ready to broil like lobster and serve w/ drawn butter sauce.
I was tipped by an FWC officer that the perpendicular canals that feed through submerged culverts are full of bigger fish and only accessible by dragging a canoe across from the main channel.  Give me a couple weeks to outfit Santiago with night lights, trolling motor, and overland transport wheel.  And, crossbow cocking station.
Might take a little more than two weeks.  The alligators can wait…  No, I’m not going to shoot them.  They are protected.  However, I am not.
My wife wants to take out a life insurance policy on my carcass.


Kayak, fishing crossbow, and a variety of fish

More fishing adventures with Capn’ Larry »

7 thoughts on “Bow fishing at night out of my W500”

  1. Oops! I have to correct a fish I.D. error. Those are Blue Tilapia and Spotted Tilapia (not Mayan Cichlids). Tilapia are members of the internationally wide-spread Cichlid family. Except for the native cichlids, they are considered invasive to U.S. waters. They are also very tasty when freshly caught from the wild. Much better than the store bought fillets. Pretty simple 3 step solution here: Chase ’em. Waste ’em. Taste ’em.

    I like the Blue grilled and the Spotted blackened.


    Larry J.

  2. Hi Larry,
    Can you share with me how you build the crossbow?
    Did you buy it? From where? How much?
    I did tried bowing carp with a regular bow, and is fun but very chalanging.
    Crossbow with laser will be more accurate.
    Pyt / Canada

  3. Pyt,

    I modified a yard sale special Barnett style recurve crossbow w/ an AMS crossbow reel conversion kit. This was challenging because it required some drilling and tapping to make it attach.

    The laser sight was even more difficult because this low price bow does not have a piccaninny rail for universal adaptors. I had to order a used gun sight mount from eBay and modify the hole placement to fit a Fin Finder green dot laser sight.

    Maybe, I have $400 invested and about 10 hours of work (a labor of love).

    The better deal for most people would be to purchase a Parker Sting Ray fishing crossbow. For 500-600 bucks, Parker builds a fine product w/ the AMS bowfishing reel which is a standard in the industry.

    Tuning the laser sight to accommodate refraction is easier said than done. However, once you get the angle of the laser sight right, your hits will be far greater than conventional bowfishing shots. That said, I keep my little Barnett 1105 handy for a quick second shot or back-up bow if there is a crossbow malfunction (string, battery, electric connection, etc.).

    Personally, I believe that I am just beginning a great sojourn into the wide world of fishing techniques. Every day and night I am learning something new and awesome. I hope you will find the same joyous sense of adventure in your journey aboard your Wavewalk stealth vessel.

    Fishes Beware. The bow fishermen are here.

    Larry J.

  4. Thank you Larry for the detailed info.
    I think I will work to get the budget for a Parker Sting Ray.
    Here in Canada I can bowfish just Carp only on May, June July.
    I should have it by next spring.
    Have fun.

  5. Pyt,

    The Parker bow also has a very good lifetime warranty. Saltwater plays havoc on the line snatch assembly but Parker replaces the works @ no charge.

    Hopefully, you can car top your Wavewalk and head south in cooler weather to extend your fishing season. I added an 1100 lumen tactical flashlight on my rig and am having a blast w/o having to use the mother ship floodlights.

    Do not expect the crossbow to be a panacea for missing shots. Many times, I green dot a fish and hit where that sucker (or other species) used to be. Even carp move like lightening when they figure they’re the bulls-eye.

    Please, use the carp for food, catfish bait, cat food, or chum. The buzzards love the carcasses if they are disposed where they will not offend people. I hope all bowfishermen (and women, google, bikini bowfishing) will properly bring their prey into nature’s cycle of consumption. It is best to have an end game before you kill game even if they are invasive species.

    Last night, I hit mostly Spotted Tilapia w/ a single big Blue. I passed 3 gators within petting range (no thank you). One decided to stalk me till I turned the tables, got up real close and yelled “Git!” And, he took off.

    Worked that time…

    Gotta clean some fish. Then a sunset cruise for my wife. Really, it’s a carcass drop for the sharks in Hawks Channel.

    No not my wife, the Tilapia carcasses.

    Larry J.

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