Bow Fishing on the Delaware River in New Jersey for almost six years now I am still in shock about what I get to see come out at night. It is a major tidal river on the Atlantic coast of the United States. Its watershed drains an area of 14,119 square miles in five U.S. states—New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. You can see anything from 30 pound carp to Atlantic sturgeon in the river. There are over 90 different Delaware River species. What you get to see in one night on the river is always exhilarating. As a lover of the outdoors and a sportsmen bow fishing is not only a way to help the native species of these waters, but it is a good way to control the amount of invasive species that are living in the river. The nongame invasive species that you are bow fishing for are invading the native species habitat. Fish like the common carp and snake head are invading and are taking over habitats of fish like the native largemouth bass. Carp were brought over from Asia and are considered a nuisance.
The NJ Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries state in the Freshwater Digest that they want all invasive species destroyed or to report it. We want to keep our New Jersey waters protected for the native species to
To go bow fishing you only need a fishing license and you don’t need any experience. The weight on the bow is turned down so even children can pull the bow back. The refraction of the water makes it difficult to hit the fish and it takes a lot of tries before connecting. Once you connect you usually have the hang of it and you start putting fish in the boat. Whether you are missing or connecting it is always a great time out there on the river at night lighting up the water and seeing the behavior of all the creatures that come out at night. Not many people know about New Jersey as a place to go bow fishing, but the state record carp was taken on a boat at night in 2014 on Greenwood Lake, NJ. It took 10 minutes to land the fish and broke the old record that used to be on the Delaware River in 2008. My experiences on the river have been some good ones. I have been lucky enough to get the hang of bow fishing and I look forward to it every spring. It is incredible being out there and getting to see the aquatic creatures come to life while most of the world is sleeping.