What Is The Best Time To Bowfish For Carp? The Answer Is Here!

The most critical things anglers need to catch carp are skills and equipment. However, if you head for the water at the wrong time, your trip won’t be as successful as expected. 

So what is the best time to bowfish for carp? This article will reveal the answer and share additional information. Let’s scroll down to find out! 

Best Time To Bowfish For Carp 

Due to carp reproduction, late spring is the ideal time of year to bowfish for carp. You will notice the most movement from mid-May to late June since the weeds are still too young to offer shelter for the fish.  

You will have an abundant catch during the late spring because it’s the speaning season of carp. During this time, the fish have a better flavor.

Moreover, we advise hunting for them as they may stress the vegetation soon. 

Spawning season

Although carp reproduce from April to August, the peak period is mid-May to June. You can hunt for them at any time during this period. 

Carp become more aggressive yet easier to catch because they tend to be more territorial during their spawning season. If you are a beginner or have a kid with you, you won’t regret this fishing trip. 

Carp are famously hard to catch among anglers. But you can take the bow and catch at least 10 to 20 carp when they are spawning. 

Population growth inhibit  

Carp are invasive and a dangerous pest. Hence, they don’t have protection in their spawning grounds like other species. 

These fish eat local fish and vegetation to grow. They grow in potentially alarming numbers, which might overwhelm the native fish populations. Bowfishing now helps reduce the quantity of carp in the waters.  

Better flavor 

Some anglers claim that carp have a mud-like taste. Yet, your experience will change if you fish for them during the late spring. 

You may improve the flavor of your fish by properly fileting them. This step is about removing the mud vein. Then, they are ready for any carp-related recipe.

best time to bowfish for carp

Day Vs. Night: What Time Should You Go Bowfishing? 

Now you are ready to plan your fishing trip in the late spring. But what time of the day is the best? 

In fact, both options have advantages. It depends on what you like for your trip to determine the better. 

In the daytime

Bowfishing for carp in the daytime is not a common choice among anglers. However, it comes with some benefits. 

  • No light needed

A bowfishing illumination setup is not necessary during the day. Compared to night fishing, it will save you a lot more time.

Because lights need electricity, you will worry about batteries or constantly fueling a generator to keep them illuminated. It involves using an extra boat or having more space on your boat.

You may also avoid the inconvenience and noise of fishing lights while bowfishing during the day. Lights from other boats won’t annoy you, either. 

  • Less buggy 

Because no lights entice insects to your spot during the day, your bowfishing trip is generally a little less bug-ridden.

  • Better vision 

Even though fishing at night with lights may be quite effective, your visibility range is rather limited. Meanwhile, during the day, the sights will be significantly better.

  • Less competition 

You will face far less competition when bowfishing throughout the day because most anglers like night fishing. 

best time to bowfish for carp

At night 

Most seasoned bow anglers prefer to fish at night for the following reasons.  

  • Cool-weather

You are not exposed to the scorching sun’s heat. Moreover, at night, the temperature is much cooler, encouraging carp to swim further into the shallows.  

  • More fish

Conditions often get better at night regarding barometric pressure, temperature, and water clarity. Thus, there are a lot more fish and more chances for shooting. 

Moreover, some species are more active at night, and carp belong to this group. These fish spook in the daytime while becoming aggressive when the sun goes down because they are nocturnal. 

  • Good for bowfishing

Bowfishing involves catching the chosen fish with an arrow and a bow at close range. The fish must swim around clear and shallow waters for you to shoot correctly. 

At night, the nice weather with clear water attracts the carp to get closer to the shallower areas. So if you choose night fishing, you can bowfish easier.

best time to bowfish for carp

Best Time To Bowfish Different Types Of Carp 

Which type of carp do you intend to bowfish? The following tips about timing, their hiding places, and their behaviors will give you a big help. 

Common Carp

Although the ideal time for catching common carp is during their spawning season, some anglers found them around shallows through the hottest days of August. 

Common carp, an invasive species that has spread globally, prefers to stay in the murkiest, shallowest deepest water. 

These fish love to hide among huge, large trees and weeds. You will also know typical carp habitats if you are familiar with the catfish environment.

Grass Carp

The ideal months to hunt for grass carp are often late June through August, when hot summer days stimulate vegetation growth.

You will have much fun if you’re fortunate enough to discover a lake or pond supplied with grass carp. These fish typically grow significantly larger than common carp because of their rapid development.

Grass carp face a fight differently from any other species. When shot, they set off on a dead dive, and if you don’t leave some gap on the rope, they’ll easily drag your equipment into the water.

Moreover, the grass carp are fiercely territorial. They will return to the same location continuously despite being wary.

best time to bowfish for carp

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What do you need to bowfish for carp?

Carp are reactive to motion and noise. To bowfish them successfully, please prepare these pieces of equipment:

  • A compound, recurve, or longbow
  • Fish arrows
  • A bowfishing reel
  • Bug spray
  • A bug net
  • Fish processing gear (fish stringer, filet knife, and a fish club) 

You can learn more tips to choose the right gear for your bowfishing trip from this video:

2. Do you need a license to bowfish for carp?

You must obey the rules of the state where you are fishing because each state has its own fishing regulations. And anywhere you go bowfishing, you need a regular fishing license.  


From mid-May to late June, the spawning season is the best time to bowfish for carp. During this period, the fish become active, giving them more chances to catch them. 

You can consider between daytime and night fishing. Both have advantages, although most anglers prefer fishing at night. 

Hopefully, this article has helped you learn more about carp. Bear the tips we have shared in mind, and you will have a plentiful catch. 

Thank you for reading!

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