Bowfishing is incredibly popular when in Florida, as anglers love the primitive hunting approach, adding challenge to the typical fishing techniques. It’s one of the most memorable experiences and a must-try for any angler!
But before you get your bow and arrow, you can’t go bowfishing in just about any Florida waters. You need to know the best places to bowfish in Florida, and other things to consider when choosing a good area to do so.
Read on as I show you the places to visit for bowfishing in this state!
Best Places to Bowfish in Florida
Where are the best areas you should bowfish when in Florida? Check out these five of the best areas in Florida known for bowfishing:
1. Florida Gulf Coast
The state’s whole stretch of the Gulf Coast provides amazing bowfishing opportunities! There are sandy beaches, amazing temperatures, beautiful palm trees, and lots of great food and drinks around.
Florida Gulf Coast is the best for its year-round fisheries and how you can catch much edible fish. Expect to find stingrays, sheepshead, catfish, mullet, flounder, spadefish, drum, and more species!
Bonus tip: One of the best months for bowfishing is in February, where you can find a lot of saltwater fish species you can catch. It’s the optimum temperature and you can find more fish species beginning to spawn at this time!
2. Salt Springs Run
The Salt Springs Run is one of the most relaxing places you can fish in, as you are surrounded by small coves and the cypress-lined shores.
Here, you can enjoy crystal-clear waters that gush all year round in the Salt Springs, flowing five miles into Lake George. They have slow-moving currents, perfect for bow fishers and to try canoeing.
If you’re more of the rough current, head to Lake George, where you can also rent powerboats! It’s perfect for more than just bowfishing, but for those who want to have fun with other water activities.
3. Saint Cloud
Saint Cloud is not as well-known in Florida for its tourist attractions and activities, but you’ll be surprised by the many bowfishing opportunities there are!
There are various charters and expert fishermen who can tour you around the popular waters of Saint Cloud for the ultimate adventure. In the area, you can enjoy the many fish species you can catch, especially by Lake Toho. After an entire day of fishing, you can enjoy delicious food ad explore this “secret” area without the crowds.
Jacksonville is very near St. Johns River, which faces the Atlantic Ocean. There are countless of freshwater and saltwater opportunities in the area for all anglers, including bow fishers. I recommend that you check out Amelia Island State Park, the Mill Cove, and Nassau Sound.
There will be tons of action in any area of Jacksonville, especially come July, with fishing tournaments on the rise.
5. Daytona Beach
Daytona Beach is one of the most popular areas in Florida not just as a tourist attraction, but for bowfishing opportunities. You’re able to fish in the calm Halifax River or go offshore to find Atlantic’s most popular fish.
You can also head to Mosquito Lagoon for popular fish species legal to bowfish. Many charters pass through areas around Daytona Beach for you to go around many bodies of waters the entire day, catching numerous fish.
Another plus about Daytona Beach is that after a whole day of bowfishing, you can enjoy its wonders!
What to Consider Choosing an Area
Before you do start bowfishing, you have to be wary about some areas! There are places in Florida that may have specific rules about bowfishing.
1. Check Out Laws In Certain Areas
While bowfishing is popular and a must-try in Florida, there are specific laws in Florida and particular counties about the activity.
For instance, in some areas in Florida, it’s illegal to use a bow or even own one. So if you plan on using bows in certain parks, check with the rules to see if it is permitted.
Furthermore, there are freshwater bow fishing regulations in Florida. There are many freshwater fish species you can’t take with bows and arrows, including all game fish in freshwater lakes, dams, or rivers. Acquaint yourself with the fish you are NOT allowed to get in Florida, as well as the size and amount of fish you are limited to when bowfishing.
2. Obtaining the License
YES, you will need a license when bowfishing in Florida. The same license requirements would apply for “regular” fishing. There are different licenses, depending on the waters you fish in (salt or freshwater) or the duration of the license.
Besides obtaining a fishing license, you might require a permit to bowfish in certain areas. You will need to check with the waters and its management to see if you require both a license and permit before fishing. There are a few exceptions and some residents may not require one.
You’re able to apply and pay for a license and permit from the state’s local DNR.
Do you want to learn more about where to bowfish in Florida and how to start? This is a cool video showing you more about Florida bowfishing:
Wrapping It Up
Bowfishing in Florida is one of the more popular activities you can do, but you have to make sure you do it right. Not only should you select a popular area with more chances of a catch, but to ensure you have the license and that the area permits you to carry an arrow and bow. That way, you’ll have a fun time bowfishng without any breaking any rules or laws.
I hope that these best places to bowfish in Florida helped you find the perfect area for you. Now you know where you can plan your next bowfishing trip in!