I've got a friend who has a cabin on a very popular lake for bow fishing. It's on Clearwater Lake, near Annadale. I've never had the chance to try fishing with a bow and arrow before, it's something I'm going to have to try soon.

His neighbors were out bowfishing and they brought back some massive fish they caught. They showed us the fish, and then they walked off to the woods with them. Then, they tossed the dead fish into the woods. What's going on here?

You can bowfish several different species of fish.

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You can bowfish for rough fish in Minnesota. That includes the following:

  • Bullhead
  • Sucker and redhorse
  • Carp
  • Buffalo
  • Freshwater drum
  • bowfin
  • goldeye
  • Gar

There are high limits and no limits on rough fish taken by fishing or bowfishing.

You're allowed to possess 100 bullheads, 50 each of sucker and redhorse, and 10 Gar.

As for Carp, buffalo, freshwater drum, bowfin, and goldeye fish, there are no limits. That means you can take however many you want.

There are other fish in Minnesota that have no limit.

You can take as many smelt as you want when the smelt run is on. There also is no limit on Whitefish, cicco (tulibee), and burbot, with an exception for the Leech Lake Indian Reservation.

Related: MN DNR Opens Lake Up To Unlimited Fishing For 2024

Once you shoot a fish, you can't put it back in the water.

The reason I saw these guys throw the fish in the woods is because most people don't eat carp or other rough fish. And, according to the Minnesota DNR regulations, once you shoot a fish, you can't put it back in the lake. You also can't throw it on the shore or at an access site. You can take it to use as feed for livestock or fertilizer.

What's the biggest carp caught in Minnesota?

It turns out that this lake I was on still has the largest Carp caught on record. It was caught on Clearwater Lake in Wright County in 1955. The carp weighed 55 pounds, 5 ounces. That's insane!

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Gallery Credit: Dom DiFurio & Jacob Osborn