How To Bowfish: Your Quick Guide On The Things That You’ll Need Most When Bowfishing

Whether you’re looking for a hobby that gives you just about the right adrenaline rush or you simply want to harness some of your bowhunting or archery skills, bowfishing is admittedly the best way to address this need. It is addicting, provides you plenty of advantages as a recruitment tool, and is usually conducted in warm weather — in which you’ll have the much-needed freedom to shoot and charge. But as simple as bowfishing sounds, the same couldn’t be any more synonymous to those who are just beginning. This article is dedicated for those who need everything that they need to know on how to bowfish.


Things You’ll Need (Plus, some steps to remember!)

1. Bow

Let me just rip the band-aid off this early: you don’t need an expensive bow especially when you’re just a beginner! My father would always remind me that when you’ve just commenced bowfishing, an inexpensive yet efficient bow is all that you need. Moreover, he advised that comfort must be present with this equipment.

Bows are specially designed to be simple. They don’t have sights and are used by means of a “line-of-sight” kind of judgment. There are two types of bows: these include the traditional bows that comprise of long bows and the recurve bows. Today, compound bows have also come to use. They utilize a system of pulleys to aid the archer.

Meanwhile, a crossbow is already gaining popularity as one of the bows that can be used. One of its advantages is its use of a reel.

Watch this video​ to check on how to set up bow when bowfishing.

2. Reel

The reel is considered as the most vital piece of tool you’ll be needing when you’re bowfishing. The basic formula of bowfishing with the reel follows this order: You (the bowfisherman) — The Water — The Reel — The Water — And your choice of fish! The point here clearly is that the reel is the only connection you have that should bridge you and your fish.

Three types of reels are currently being used in bowfishing. They are the hand-wrap, spincast, and the retriever. The first one is known to be the simplest among the three. On the other hand, a retriever has a “bottle” which holds the line in place. Some of the retriever heels are more commonly used for alligators, alligator gar, shark, and other huge “catches.”

There are two basic methods for a reel. The first is the “spinning reel” while the second one is “The AMS Retriever.” The latter is the reel that is most recommended for beginners due to its straightforward and efficient approach in this segment. Also, the AMS Retriever always allows you to shoot whenever you want. As such, the line is released right until you commence on holding down the engagement lever.

Meanwhile, you also need a portable fishing rod along with your reel set to complete the experience. This should help you catch your target more easily.

how to aim bowfishing

3. Line

Bowfishing line is usually made from a braided nylon, a Dacron, or a Spectra. The most commonly used line weights range from 80 to 400-pound test and with 600 being utilized when you’re bowhunting for alligators. Your line color should either be lime green, white or neon orange.

4. Arrow

The standard arrow in bowfishing is the white fiberglass arrow. This type of arrow is especially recommended because of its quality and efficiency that is unmatched by its alternatives. You’re recommended to buy arrows that are already set with a point. In this regard, there’s no way for you to mess it up by trying to buy an arrow shaft and point it separately while trying to combine the two.(If you want to know about best carbon arrow click here)

Meanwhile, the point that you want to have with your arrow should depend on which type of fish you want to shoot. If you’re dubious about which point to choose, go for the Shure Shot. It is known to be great for most situations. It is equipped with a holding power that you need to stick a hard-scaled fish. Likewise, it is quite easy to remove from the fish after taking your shot.

Retractable barbs are also needed if you have an arrow point. They would make your endeavor much easier.

how to tie bowfishing arrow

5. Glasses

If you’re visually aging in this hobby, then you really must have a pair of good glasses. One of the keys to bowfishing is getting a good visual of your target. If you go bowfishing on a sunny day, a polarized sun glasses are your ticket to your catching extravaganza. You won’t be needing glasses at night as the light should be able to see through the water.

6. Rest

One of the more essential equipment in bowfishing is rest. It should hold the arrow in place when you’re scoping the water for a catch. Probably the most recommended rest in this segment is the Victory Rest. Its “V” design should render your goal to align up your next shot quickly and simply. On the other hand, this rest type should keep the arrow from bouncing around.

You may also check some of Victory Rest’s competition, but it is believed to be the standout at the moment.

7. Boats

how to practice bowfishing

While bowfishing can be done from shore, boats are still needed by most bowfishers. As such, larger boats can cater to numerous hunters. Meanwhile, the flat bottom or “john boats” and canoes are needed for areas with low water. Most of these boats are specially customized for bowfishing, with some of them equipped with multiple lights to accommodate night bowfishing.

8. Location

how to start bowfishing

Perhaps the most important aspect before you even begin on bowfishing is location. You must determine first which type of fish are in the water along with its current water vegetation. Also, the time of the year must be considered as this could ascertain whether or not you’ll be able to catch a lot of fish. The rule of thumb is, in the spring months in which there is a presence of light to moderate vegetation, big types of fish are usually being laid up.

Final Thoughts

Even the most seasoned bowfishermen will that success in this field is either a hit or miss and that the crucial things you’ll need will not solely depend on the equipment that you can buy and practice on outrightly. No. The key to perfecting bowfishing relies on your determination and perseverance to learn and unlearn certain things along the way. And as this is essentially a trial-and-error sport, it’s important that at this point when you’re just starting, you have to figure out what should work for you.

I hope that you find this short article a huge help in determining the things that you need when you start your very first bowfishing. You may share this article with friends who are into bowfishing as well. Until then, happy hunting!

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