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Bob Banfelder

Bob is an award-winning crime-thriller novelist and outdoors writer. "The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water" is endorsed by Lefty Kreh and Angelo Peluso~online at Amazon.

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September 02, 2017

BOWFISHING ON A BUDGET: Part IV of IV ~ Boats & Beauty Surrounding Bowfishing

by Bob Banfelder

Continuing from yesterday, we'll take a quick peek at a couple of boats from which you can enjoy the sport of bowfishing without breaking the bank. Keeping it simple is the key. In September of last year, I had written a two-part article for Nor'east Saltwater covering Porta-Botes. If you are in the market for a truly portable boat, look for September 1st and 2nd, 2016 along the left column and click for the two articles.

Porta-Botes ~ Four Fantastic, Foldable, Affordable Angling/Hunting Boat Models ~ Part I for September 1, 2016.

Porta-Botes ~ Four Fantastic, Foldable, Affordable Angling/Hunting Boat Models ~ Part II for September 2, 2016.

Author's10 ft. foldable, affordable Porta-Bote ~ Muzzy Addict Recurve bowfishing setup.

Friend and mentor's 10 ft. aluminum Tracker jon boat.

Early a.m. on the Peconic River, Riverhead, Long Island, New York.

Most importantly, your first order of business before drawing back the bow is to make sure that the arrow's shock pad (bumper) is in the upright position, safety slide forward along the arrow shaft, and that the reel is in free-spool mode. You don't want the arrow flying off erratically. Going bowfishing your first time out with someone who is experienced is certainly sage advice.

Author aiming to take a carp.

Left to Right: author with friend and mentor, David Lee Fulton. Both men flaunt the same Muzzy setups: bows, reels, arrows, et cetera.

Dave Fulton broke me into bowhunting for deer twenty-six years ago and more recently led me into bowfishing. He is a consummate archer/hunter, having harvested deer out to 60 yards with a compound bow. Dave practices archery several times a week, point being that practice does, indeed, make perfect—or darn near it. Dave guided me (quite literally) along the shallow waters for bowfishing in the lower and upper reaches of the Peconic River in Riverhead, Long Island, New York. With either a compound bow for deer hunting, or a bowfishing outfit for carp, David is at home. He has taken sizable carp from the river, which the man knows like the back of his hand.
Referencing bowfishing, he modestly relates his successes and failures, for bowfishing presents many challenges. Refraction (the bending of light as it passes from one medium into another) is but one of those challenges.
"Shoot four inches low for every foot of water," was David's mantra as I missed with my first, second, and third shot at a six pounder.

"Not uncommon to see ten pounders around here, Bob," Dave said encouragingly. "Right around the bend by that dock over there, I think you'll see a couple of big guys; maybe twelve pounders. Remember, shoot four inches low for every foot of water. We'll be in about a foot or so. If you can't hit one of those big boys, there's that side of a barn over there by the horse. Maybe you can practice hitting the barn wall," he bantered.

I reminded David that he was my gillie for the day and to just keep rowing. He asked me if I had my sea legs, meaning that a sudden clumsy stroke from either oar could easily propel me from a standing position into a warm bath of water and vegetation. If not for bow and arrow in hand and at the ready, I might have welcomed David's not-so-subtle warning, for it was already a hot early July morning, and the sun was only beginning its ascent.

One of several impressive properties along a stretch (between lower and upper region) of the scenic Peconic River.

For those long hot summer days working a body of water, an electric motor is a blessing, offering stealth in lieu of signaling and, consequently, spooking fish.

Minn Kota electric trolling motor.

Foreground: Typical summer vegetation encountered bowfishing along the banks of the Peconic River.

For a bow unequipped with a quiver, a few 6-inch strips of ¾-inch wide Velcro from a roll that wraps onto itself is perfect for attaching arrows to bow while transporting. I also secure Selway's Limbsaver Recurve Bowstringer to the bow as if stringing it, placing the bow's bottom limb tip into the stringer's pocket (cup), running its loop and rubber block toward the top limb, wrapping the line around the upper limb near the tip, then inserting a cable tie through the hole in the rubber block to secure it to the limb. This way, everything is intact and ready to go: bow, arrows, ‘switch-out' extension connections, and bow stringer.

Velcro strips to secure arrows and bow stringer to bow while transporting.

Lower stretch along the beautiful Peconic River.

Ample Parking off of West Main Street in Riverhead ~ dirt road opposite Snowflake (ice cream shop).

Hope to see you soon on this gem of a river for some fine bowfishing. The season will close at the end of this month.

Bob Banfelder

Crime-Thriller Novelist & Outdoors Writer

Member: Outdoor Writers Association of America
New York State Outdoor Writers Association
Long Island Outdoor Communicators Network

Cablevision TV Host: Special Interests with Robert Banfelder & Donna Derasmo

Recent recipient of Who's Who in America Lifetime Achievement Award (August 9, 2017)

Bi-monthly contributor to Nor'east Saltwater ~ presented on the 1st & 2nd of every month.

Several of My Crime-Thriller Novels Incorporate The Great Outdoors

Top Row ~ Left to Right:

The Richard Geist Trilogy
Dicky, Richard, and I
The Signing
The Triumvirate

The Justin Barnes Four-Book Series
The Author
The Teacher
The Good Samaritans

Middle Row:
Trace Evidence – inspired by the Robert Shulman serial killer trial in Riverhead, N.Y.

Battered – based on the true story of an abused woman who murdered her husband; also, her subsequent trial and experiences in prison

Bottom Row: Nonfiction
The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water

The North American Small & Big Game Hunting Smart Handbook: Bonus Feature: Hunting Africa's & Australia's Most Dangerous Game

The Must-Have Guide for Writers

All books now available on Amazon

Comments (2)

skipjacktwo wrote 2 weeks ago

great article! love to read Roberts work!
recently had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Banfelder
and his lovely wife...great people! Can't say enough good things!

flytier wrote 2 weeks ago

Thank you for the kind words. It's always great to have a good, informative chat with a seasoned fellow angler. Enjoy the fall run skipjacktwo.

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