Minnesota Bowfishing Seasons and Regulations 2023

Posted by Archery Country on Feb 12th 2023

Minnesota Bowfishing Seasons and Regulations 2023

Bowfishing is another great way to enjoy archery outdoors! In this blog we give a run-down of Minnesota dates for bowfishing seasons and the bowfishing regulations so you can bowfish responsibly!


Early bowfishing season in 2023 is February 27th through April 29th, 2023. Early season is only on lakes south of Hwy 210 and on Minnesota, Mississippi or St. Croix rivers. You are only allowed to bowfish from a boat during early season.

Regular Statewide bowfishing season is April 30th, 2023 through February 26th, 2024.

What species can I take while bowfishing in Minnesota?

In Minnesota you can only bowfish for rough fish which includes carp, buffalo, sucker, redhorse, freshwater drum, bowfin, gar, goldeye and bullhead.

You can bowfish for rough fish over open water or through ice in an ice house or shelter, day or night, with or without lights, during the open bowfishing season. You can take rough fish with a bow on a watercraft with or without a motor. Make sure to check the local ordinances to ensure that it is legal to possess a bow where you plan to bowfish.

You are required to:

-Have a fishing license if over the age of 16 years old unless you qualify for an angling license exclusion.

Arrows must have a barb and be attached to the bow with a tethered line.

- Try and retrieve the fish and your arrow.

You cannot:

-Bowfish in designated trout lakes and streams.

-Bowfish in posted spawning areas.

-Discharge a bow within 300 feet of a campsite or 150 feet of an occupied dwelling between sunset and sunrise.

- Shoot a fish and throw it in the water, leave it on any bank of any waterway or any access site or otherwise illegally dispose of the fish.

- Make more than 65 decibels of noise on an “A” scale measured at a distance of 50 feet from the boat.

If you have other questions regarding the regulations of bowfishing please check the MN DNR website or contact the Minnesota DNR.

Now it’s time to make sure you’ve got the right bow setup for bowfishing! Read our other blog Can Any Bow Be Used For Bowfishing? To figure out the right set up for you!

Want to learn more about bowfishing? Check out our podcast!

Listen to Bowfishing with Arrow Saver Podcast

Listen to the Ins and Outs of Bowfishing Podcast