Bowfishing is intriguing to people who want to try something different when it comes to fishing. It’s not a passive sport where you sit back with a coldie and wait for a fish to bite on the bait and jump on your hook.
This is an active sport and rather than waiting for them to come to you, you are actually hunting the fish as they swim past which is very exciting indeed, most archers love it and take to it very quickly.
If you’re a seasoned bowhunter, you know how much fun it is so give fishing with a bow, a go!
Fishing With a Bow and Arrow
Using a bow and arrow to catch fish is known as bowfishing or simply… fishing with a bow. Rather than baiting fish with a hook, an arrow is the device wholly responsible for the catch, although both options utilise a pointed metal weapon to catch them.
You may also practise both approaches while standing in shallow water or on a boat.
Bow and arrow fishing was once thought to be an archery enthusiast’s or bowhunter’s offseason craze. However, during the last decade or two, this fishing approach has become a popular pastime for hundreds of outdoor enthusiasts.
Bowfishing is a fun and unusual sport that requires no prior angling expertise, making it ideal for first-time anglers. You’ve come to the correct spot if you’re wanting to take your initial bowfishing steps.
The term bowfishing refers to the act of fishing with a bow and arrow, as you would have guessed.
What a Concept!
It does however have its quirks. Bowfishing and bowhunting look similar at first glance, but there are a few distinctions between the two sports.
Bowfishing During the Day
To bowfish during the day, you don’t need a decked-out bowfishing boat, just a boat capable of going into shallow waters with either a trolling engine or someone prepared to use a push stick to steer the boat about.
A push stick allows you to get into shallower waters than a trolling motor ever will and is considerably quieter; however, it does need some experience.
If you’re shooting during the day, don’t forget to bring your polarised lens sunglasses to help you see through the water.
In my foggy old bowfishing river I’ve discovered that the ideal time to hunt during the day is a couple hours after sunrise, when there isn’t much glare and the fish haven’t gone to cool water.
When you’re getting ready to shoot, be mindful of your shadow; it might frighten the fish. The best possies throughout the day are in shallow water and near the surface.
And… do not forget your gloves the fish can be very slippery and generally have strong jaws full of razor sharp teeth.
Bowfishing Rigs Have What Type of Arrow Point?
“What sort of arrow point does a bowfishing rig have?”
A common question I hear from many new bowfisherman. This is a very reasonable and rational question. Aside from a reel and a bow, arrows are the most critical piece of equipment you’ll need.
No surprise there!
The arrow tip, often referred to as the arrow point, is extremely important.
No surprises there either!!
In this post, I’ll show you how to figure out what kind of arrow tip your bowfishing setup requires. I’ll also offer you some pointers on how to choose the ideal arrow point and where to look for them.
Best Arrow for Bowfishing?
The difference between coming home with a catch and walking home with an empty bag might be as simple as a correct arrow point.
The ideal arrow has two crucial components: a sharp tip that can puncture thick fish scales and a robust barb that stops the fish from sliding and allows it to be retrieved.
You could be going through a ‘purple patch’ and snagging a fish with each shot, but using the wrong arrow could tip the scales well and truly against you. After shooting a fish they’ll all need to be recovered and that’s going to turn into a nightmare if you’re using an archery arrow with a general tip, you won’t be able to pull them in.
Arrows Styles for Bowfishing
What style of arrow point should a bowfishing setup have is a straightforward question, and so is the answer which is, a specialised point built specifically for bowfishing. It must have a sturdy barb and a sharp tip.
If you’re going after a big carp, use an arrow tip with a lot of piercing strength. However for little fish, simply using the basic arrow point would do the job nicely.
You could go fishing with numerous bowfishing rigs with various arrowheads on hand for any situation.
Arrows that come standard with most bowfishing kits are fairly basic to say the least. The overall quality is not particularly high. You may, however, just purchase alternatives with a bowfishing tip already attached.
Where Can I Get Bowfishing Arrow Tips?
Option one is to go to a stocked fishing spot or a larger store. Most of the time you’ll find them in those type of stores. However, one significant disadvantage can be the lack of options.
And if they don’t have the type you want, you can find yourself getting something you don’t really need.
When thinking about purchasing the most suitable arrow points, it may be better to visit the web and find one that exactly suits your requirements. One major benefit with this option is that you have an almost limitless choice to pick from.
You can also analyse and compare suitable options and choose the one that provides the biggest bang for your hard earned bucks. The cost of delivery is also low when compared to the amount of gas you may use up if the stores are a decent drive away.
In my humble opinion, Amazon and Bass Pro are a couple of online stores that provide a broad selection of arrow points.
Some popular brands of bowfishing arrows include –
- AMS Bowfishing
However, before you buy, make sure you understand what kind of arrow points you need. It’s not simply another bowfishing accessory that you’re buying.
The key killing and retrieving device of your whole bowfishing setup is the arrow tip. Accordingly , it’s critical to get the ideal one that matches your practical requirements.
Bowfishing Practice Targets
It’s not uncommon for bowfishing targets to be a great deal closer than those found in the woods.
A beginner’s entry into the sport is facilitated by the lack of long-range shooting abilities required. Aside from that, a lot of specialist equipment isn’t needed while shooting at close range.
Bowfishing, on the other hand, is not without its own peculiarities. After all, you’re aiming for a moving underwater target. There are several types of fish that may be caught with a bow, as well as a variety of bowfishing techniques that you can explore.
Night Bowfishing Tips
Between bowfishing and fishing, there is a narrow line. Fishermen use a hook or net and wait for the fish to be captured without you being aware that they’re even there. Here we attempt to describe what bowfishing at nights all about.
When hunting for fish you must locate them, aim and fire using a bow and arrow. A seemingly simple activity that, in reality, needs expertise and patience in order to do it well. Bow fishing becomes more of a hunt than a sport.
Most states consider bow fishing to be fishing, therefore you will need a fishing licence. You will need to know the fish that can be hunted, it’s important to be fully aware of that.
Knowing which fish species are protected or endangered is crucial knowledge.
Bow fishing does not include “catch and release” like anglers do when they’re fishing with a rod and reel.
During the day, there isn’t much to prepare for, other than getting polarised sunglasses to reduce the glare from the sun. When it comes to bow fishing at night, the focus is on how to do it.
One of the benefits of might bowfishing is that you can do it at any time of the year. In April, though, when the fish are spawning, fishing yields are likely to be at their peak.
Because the fish are more active at night, bow fishing at night is likely to be more successful than bow fishing during the day.
It’s a waste of time to rely only on a full moon’s illumination when you may get better results by utilising artificial light to make the fish more visible so you can shoot with greater accuracy.
Bowfishing Tips on Aiming
Because of the refraction of light, fish appear to be closer to the surface than they actually are. When aiming for a fish, it’s important to keep in mind how far away you are from it and how far below the surface it is.
Aim four inches lower than the fish is the golden rule if the water is a foot deep. The first thing I advise new bowfishermen is to “aim low.” Most people fire over the top of a fish the first time they shoot.
My bows always seem to stir up the question “Do you use sights?”
The answer is a resounding… NO!
Learning to shoot instinctively is the key to bowfishing. If you shoot on a regular basis , your eye-hand synchronisation and aim become automatic since you shoot, believe it or not even on your first night out. Throwing a ball of paper into a basket from around 6-10 feet away goes somewhere to explain learning how to shoot fish in water.
After you’ve tried to ring that trash about 20 times, you know how much force to use and how to make the throw. When bowfishing, once you’ve made 20-30 shots, you begin to understand how the bow shoots, how the arrow flies, and how to aim to hit a fish. After that, your eye-hand coordination kicks in, and you start making much better shots.
Throw the paper ball 20 or 30 times at the basket and you’ll have some idea around how hard you need to throw. You begin to grasp how the bow fires, how the arrow flies, and how to aim for a fish after you’ve fired 20-30 rounds. Soon, your eye-hand coordination improves and you begin making better shots.
Shooting a silver carp is the most enjoyable experience. In areas where they’re plentiful, they’ll begin to leap when you pass by. Time your leap and aim for the fish as it flies by. When a carp is jumping and flying in the air while your boat is moving, many people struggle to understand how to shoot it.
You have to think about how you would shoot a duck or a pidgeon in order to execute that shot. It’s important to time your lead so that when the carp flushes after you’ve recovered from the first shock of spotting it, you aim where the carp is heading rather than right at it.
In time, you’ll be able to predict how far the carp will jump and in which direction it’ll fly, and you’ll be able to time your shot to coincide with the carp’s steady flight path.
Winter Bowfishing Tips
In the winter, the behavior fish changes somewhat. They won’t be as active in the winter as they are in summer, they’ll be slowing down and resting. With a hook, this might be problematic since they will go for the bait at a much slower pace.
Because bowfishing doesn’t involve bait, which is extremely beneficial, you just need find the fish and shoot them, simple. Very similar spearing fish in that you’re not dependant on them making a decision to bite.
They Key Differences Between Summer and Winter Bowfishing
I’ve already mentioned that fish behaviour varies greatly. The more fortunate bowfishers ply their craft ‘fish homes’ in the winter instead of boats. In addition, you will be wearing heavier clothing than in the summer months. Depending on the climate you fish in, the clothing could be bulkier to combat the cold.
Going bowfishing aboard a boat can make it more difficult to get out on the water. A typical landing is not possible in some areas due to a lack of open water and the inability to apply traditional landing techniques when you do locate it.
Less bowfishermen will be out hunting carp and suckers in the winter months. That’s the other distinction between the seasons. The fact that bowfishing may be done in the winter is unknown to many bowfishermen.
This is not to imply that there aren’t any, but there are only a handful of lone surviving bowfishermen. While the rest of the world has moved on to less heroic hobbies such as ice fishing or other pastimes.
A Portable Heater is a Smart Idea
The winter is the perfect time to carry along a portable heater, especially if you’re travelling to a colder region. This gives you the opportunity to warm up if you need to. As a bonus, you can leave the heater on all the time when bowfishing in a fish house.
It’s of great benefit if you take your heater along with you, it will help keep your hands warm and flexible so you’re ably to shoot your bow much more comfortably and retain greater control.
I Understand Why Some People Simply Refuse to Bowfish During Winter
Many folks who really enjoy bowfishing simply refuse to do it in the winter, I now a few like that. Instead, they would prefer to go ice fishing. Because the fish are less active, bowfishing can be more challenging.
They appear to be further away and less accessible.
Also, the considered their garments were too heavy and uncomfortable and interfered with the way they shoot. Heavy, waterproof jackets are also required in the winter and this also turns people off because it cramps their style.
The Right Time for Winter Bowfishing
This is mostly determined by where you live. Bowfishermen from Ohio told me that they only used their bows at night in the winter, and that’s when they caught the most fish. Between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. in Minnesota and many other states, is when you’ll have the most success, when the sun is at its brightest.
Bowfishing From a Canoe
The question of whether it is possible to engage in bowfishing from a canoe is commonly asked.
The Answer Yes… and No.
Because of the lack of space, it’s tough to use full-length arrows and a normal-sized bow, especially if you’re using inflatable canoe.
Due to the fact that you are actually seated directly at the water level and it’s impossible to shoot a standard, or even a short bow, without submerging the limbs in the lake.
There are bowfishers that hold their bow on the horizontal however the arrow acts differently when shot from a bow held this way and thus reduces accuracy, which is vital in bow fishing.
While there are a few workarounds, the crucial aspect of bow fishing is safety.
All the gear I’ll be discussing here is serious shooting equipment and can be dangerous if not handled correctly.
Never shoot full-sized arrows at shallow angles or at huge distances because they can skip like a rock and go long distances at shallow angles. Do not direct any of device at anything that you do not want to shoot, of course!
It’s best to wait until you’re ready to launch an arrow or a dart before knocking it, and to store them safely when not in use, with the points entirely covered. When on the water, always wear a PFD and, as a final note, make sure that your fishing gear complies with local regulations.
When standing atop something that’s moving, it’s difficult enough to aim at a moving object, but bow fishers also have to consider light refraction.
The 10-4 rule can be used to calculate how much light bends through water. Shoot four inches below the fish if you’re 10 feet away and the fish is one foot beneath the water.
For every 10 feet of distance, add four inches, invest some time practising with submersible targets.
Sea and freshwater fish are the primary targets of bowfishers, who sight fish during the day and use lights at night to find them. Game fish hunting is prohibited in some states, thus many participants target invasive species like carp and nuisance fish such as sting rays instead.
Due to the fact that it is hard to shoot and release, hunters are forced to eat the fish they kill. Ensure that you are familiar with local restrictions before stepping out on the water
A canoe allows you to visit regions that are too shallow and tight for a motorboat. Although bowfishing from a canoe is challenging, it’s a lot of fun and the payoff is eating your catch.
More Bowfishing Buzz for Newbies
Great bowfishing tips and tricks for beginners that you need to know before planning your next bowfishing vacation. On the way home from your very first bowfishing adventure, you’ll be planning your next one… guaranteed.
That’s how most of us in the bowfishing world are. We intend to spend as much time as possible in the water. When it comes to planning, there are a few worthwhile tips and tricks to take on board.
You cannot just jump into a boat and go out and start shooting fish, You’ll need to dress for the part, like a true bow fisherman would.
Dig up your lucky hat, dust off your favourite fishing vest, give your sunnies a good clean so that they’re the right fit and sitting at the correct angle. Fill up the vehicle and the boat at your local. Dust off your best bow which you have used to land no less than a million fish, at least.
You May Chuckle, But We’re all Guilty of Doing It.
Each time we go out bowfishing, there are usually several rituals or rules that we must abide by in order to create a more enjoyable trip.
Before we even get on the water, our bowfishing gear must be in excellent condition and ready to go. Muzzy tips have been oiled to make them easier to use and handle. Longevity and durability are ensured with waxed wires. and don’t forget, before you kick off, run through your practising routine, you’ll be glad you did.
Dipping your line into the water will prevent it from becoming entangled in your bowfishing gear in the boat. You should have by now shaken off the cobwebs and are ready to hook your first gar or carp.
You take a step back and examine your bowfishing excursion and your gear. and then you realise it…
Ahhhhh… I have a bowfishing fixation!!
Don’t worry, you’ll be fine, just a long as you don’t reduce your passion.
We, that is, all of us who bowfish, are a minority. Consider inviting someone along who hasn’t experienced bowling, the next time you head out. Allow them to breath in the pleasure that bowfishing, in all its beauty and mystique, offers.
On this trip take notice of what they’re wearing, note what the guy is wearing, is it the same fishy gear as the first time?
They can always afford to buy better better gear but… that’s what he wears when he goes fishing, that’s his bowfishing ritual!
Bowfishing For Fun AND For Food
Archery is still widely taken up for leisure target shooting, competition and competition shooting, hunting, and bowfishing in today’s world. Bowfishing is an enjoyable and intriguing substitute for traditional fishing for catching where you’re catching the big and little fish.
Buffalo, Drum, Catfish, Carp, and Gar are some of the freshwater fish species that you’re able to bowfish, while Redfish, Flounder, Shark and Barracuda are saltwater species. Frog is also an excellent contender for bowfishing.
Haven’t Tried Frog Legs Yet? Don’t Know What You’re Missing.
Always double-check local fishing laws and regulations to ensure that bowfishing restrictions are followed. Bowfishing is most successful when done at a an ‘up close and personel’ distance of between 5 to 15 feet. You can of course, try a long shot to see if you’ve got your eye in yet.
There’s one important point to remember, a beam of light bends when it hits water so fish are rarely where they seem to be. They may be closer or further away than they look.
There’s one important point to remember, a beam of light bends when it hits water so fish are rarely where they seam to be. They may be closer or further away than they actually are. above the waterline, aim a little lower than you would if shooting above water.
Yes… Classic Bows Can Be Used.
Classic archery bows may be used for bowfishing as well as compound bows and crossbows, simply by using an adapter to attach a reel to the bow you are using.
A “hand wrap reel” is one of the numerous types of reels, in which you physically wind the fishing line around a spool with a slot or catch to keep it in place until you’re set to go. You’ll have to bring your fish in by the line using your hands with this style of reel. This is the cheapest style of bowfishing reels, and if you’re keen enough, you can actually take on.
Spincast reels are highly desired when bowfishing since they allow you to reel in your catch and then shoot pretty much straight away. This type of reel, with a bigger string mouth gap will allow the line to peel off more easily after the arrow is fired.
A retriever reel, which features a container to keep the line in place, is another option. The line may also be retrieved with the help of a crank on this reel. This is one of the most costly bowfishing reels, he upside is t it can handle bigger fish.
A bowfishing arrow is generally made of a sturdy material like fibreglass, solid aluminium, or solid carbon composites that can survive harsh circumstances. Hardwood arrows made of oak or hickory, as well as bamboo, can be employed for the job.
The best arrows are those that are up to 34 inches in length, sometimes even longer.
The arrow’s fishing tip should include a large wide barb or reinforced -V- wire to keep the fish on the line while recovering it, and it should be detachable for ease of removal. Bowf ishing arrows also have many prong points.
A braided Dacron fishing line of at least a tested 80 pound test is ideal, however alternative lines such as stronger monofilament, spectra, or braided nylon can also be utilised.
Rather then attaching the line straight onto the arrow’s tip, it’s better to attach it to a sliding mechanism that is connected to the arrow. The sliding mechanism will move up towards the back of the arrow when it is fired.
This approach is both safer and more convenient for retrieving your fish.