Q uestion: If I want to shoot carp with a bow, do I need a hunting license or a fishing license? Are there any regulations regarding seasons, bodies of water or specific tackle or gear I should plan to use?
Even though California Department of Fish and Wildlife law might allow for bow-and-arrow fishing in your local area, some lakes and waterways prohibit the possession of bow-and-arrow equipment. You will need to check with the jurisdiction that runs the body of water (e.g. state parks, regional parks, local county parks, etc.).
When bow-and-arrow fishing, make sure the tackle has the arrow shaft, the point or both attached by a line to the bow or a fishing reel. This rule also applies to crossbows (CCR Title 14, section 1.23).