Many see Utah as an epic outdoor adventure playground, and with its iconic red rock landscapes, many people know Utah as soon as they see it. No other state looks like it. With that in mind, you may wonder about the potential bowfishing spots in Utah and where to go to have the most fun on a bowfishing adventure. Before we cover that information, let’s have look at the legalities of bowfishing in Utah.
If you’d like to get started in bowfishing, but you don’t have a bowfishing bow, check out the article that I wrote here on the best bowfishing bows. It’s also fun to just look at the different bowfishing bows available.
If you’d like to buy a new bow, this list can help. I wouldn’t recommend using your best hunting bow for bowfishing because of how it will take a beating in the boat.
Utah Bowfishing Laws: What to Know
You can bowfish in Utah year-round, but they only let you bowfish for carp. Before you set out to go bowfishing in the Beehive state, check with the local authorities because where you can bowfish will vary from one body of water to the next. They do allow bowfishing in most bodies of water, but it’s a good idea to check ahead of time.
You want to remain as compliant as possible. Be aware of how the rules can change, and you want to stay on top of it to keep from trouble with the DNR and fines.
In case you’re interested in the bowfishing legalities of another state, I wrote an article here that shows you where bowfishing is legal in all 50 states.
What are the Best Bowfishing Lakes in Utah?
You have a few lake spots where you can go bowfishing for the maximum fun—check ahead of time to make sure that laws haven’t changed.
Some of the lakes to bowfish on in Utah include:
- Lake Powell
- Utah Lake
- Willard Bay
- Flaming Gorge
- Deer Creek
- Bear Lake
Lake Powell has huge carp schooled all over the lake making it a premier destination to go bowfishing in Utah. The one thing to understand with Lake Powell is it is a national recreational area, which may come with some restrictions. Be aware of the laws and regulations before going. For example, bowfishing and spearfishing is prohibited within 0.25 miles of existing developed areas like the campgrounds, launch ramps, docks or structures.
You should also avoid the Rainbow Bridge National Monument. If you decide to bowfish in Lake Powell, acqaint yourself well with the laws ahead of time to keep the experience positive.
Many of the bowfisherman who belong to the Utah Bowfishing Association go to tournaments on Utah Lake. They originally formed the Utah Bowfishing Association to clean up the waterways in the state of Utah. The group holds tournaments as well that you can participate in.
You have tons of locations to bowfish within a few feet of the road or within walking distance. Utah Lake has more fish here than you can imagine. Once they start spawning, it becomes a frenzy and more fun than bowfishing on a river. Utah Lake is where many bowfishermen go for the sport.
Many of the carp spawn in the shallows, and it creates the perfect setting for bowfishermen. If we had to say the best place to bowfish in Utah, we would probably say Utah Lake, but all of them offer something unique, and we would recommend trying all of them out.
Along the north dike in Willard Bay, you can slay the carp come the summer season. Be aware of the local regulations here. For example, in all types of bowfishing, stay clear of the developed beaches. That is good bowfishing practice. You will also want to stay 0.25 miles away from campsites and marinas. This location boasts so much carp that you can always find them there.
You can check out some of the bowfishing action at Willard Bay here to decide for yourself if you want to bowfish there:
Flaming Gorge offers some of the best bowfishing opportunities in the state. At the same time, you protect one of the essential waterways with a lot of known fish diversity. The area has a reputation among bowfishermen as having bigger carp.
If you’d like to see more what bowfishing on Deer Creek is like, check out this video here. The best bowfishing Utah locations will usually have something that makes them worth mentioning.
Situated along the Utah-Idaho border, this large and clear lake holds enough carp to go bowfishing on, but we wouldn’t call it good enough to have a normal tournament. Still, we would call it a good location to go bowfishing if in the area. With some worrying about it sitting on the border, they may worry what they may need to go bowfishing there.
I believe all that you need is a bowfishing license, but you may want to doublecheck with local authorities on the Utah regulations since they change.
Best Time of the Year to Bowfish in Utah
The most productive time to go bowfishing in Utah is in late spring to early summer. You’d want to go right around when the carp start to spawn in lakes and rivers across the state. Carp usually spawn in Utah from late April to early May once the water starts to warm up. The Utah bowfishing action like in many of the other states will be hottest during this time.
Carp normally spawn in shallow water and a single large female can produce over one million eggs. This is one of the reasons that bowfishermen are good—they help to cut down on the excess carp populations.
Bowfishing has the potential to be a rewarding sport, and at the same time, you do good for the environment. You have plenty of locations in Utah to bowfish even beyond the ones mentioned. We only highlighted some of the most popular, but you do have other locations where you can go bowfishing in Utah.
In fact, if you know of any other great locations to go bowfishing, please drop a comment below about your experiences there to help other bowfishermen out.