Up until recently, bow fishing was considered to be an activity that is an aspect of archery. However, in the last decade, it was transformed into an outdoor activity many enthusiasts enjoy. Think of it as a new, fun spin on traditional fishing. Plus, your family might be more entertained on the fishing trip watching you shoot the bow at fish versus waiting for a fish to bit your bait.
It does sound appealing, doesn’t it? Well, there are some things you have to know if you are thinking about trying it out. In the following article, we will discuss some essential things, and by the end of it, you can start looking for the nearest fishing spot.
Table of Contents
What is bowfishing?
First things first, let us explain what bowfishing really is. As you can assume, it is a form of fish hunting with a bow and arrow instead of a traditional pole. Taking into consideration that you will be close-range hunting, there is no need to master the skill, which is why this activity is perfect for beginners. At the same time, there is no need to invest in high-end specialized equipment.
On the other note, you shouldn’t get too excited because, after all, you will be shooting at a moving target under the surface of the water. This can pose a challenge of its own for some people.
Now, let’s discuss the equipment that you will need. First of all, you have to get bowfishing bow and arrows, retriever reel, and specialized light fixtures that will enable you to enjoy this activity during nighttime. Naturally, it goes without saying that you have to invest some time in researching these pieces. There are different types of models. Some are appropriate for beginners, while others are designed specifically for experts. In a nutshell, you won’t have the best experience if you don’t use the right equipment. Make sure to look for reviews, and you can read more here.
When it comes to the bows, basically, you can choose between a recurve and a compound one. As you can assume, both of these types have pros and cons, which is why research is essential, but at the end of the day, both can be used by novices. Keep in mind that recurve bows are lighter to carry, but they require more physical strength on your part. Due to this reason, they are also not as precise as compound ones.
Furthermore, you will need a reel, and there are three types of this piece – hand, the bottle, and the spin-cast reel. This tool can make or break your bow fishing experience, so make sure to choose the right one. Hand real is the simplest one, and it is the easiest one to use. In addition, it is impossible to break it, and it is the cheapest option. The downside is that it requires a lot of manual work since you will have to pull the line. The second type is the bottle reel, which is probably the most popular choice. It is very easy to use, and it is also very precise as long as you don’t use it for long-range shooting. Finally, there is the spin-cast reel, which is considered to be a top-notch piece of equipment. It uses thin lines, which is why it is perfect for longshots. In addition, this one enables you to retrieve the line faster than the previous two types. However, this one is also the most expensive one, so you may want to start with the hand or bottle reel, especially if you are not sure whether this is the right activity for you.
Finally, you need to purchase arrows. You can go with the one that is already pre-made or customize it according to your liking. If you have never handled it before, you should purchase the pre-made one. When it comes to materials, you can choose between carbon, fiberglass, and hybrid. Next, you have to choose the tip, and you should make this decision based on the species you will hunt. For example, if you are going after a hard-scaled fish, you have to use a sharper tip that will penetrate the skin. Lastly, you will need an arrow rest, which will keep the arrow in place while you get ready to take the shot.
When to bow fish?
The best time to go bow fishing is during spring and summer simply because you can go at any time of the day. Generally speaking, most people prefer going early in the morning and later in the day because this is when fish are most active. Naturally, if you want to ensure a successful outing, you should choose a day when water is calm and when the visibility is high.
We have already mentioned that you may need bow fishing light so that you can engage in this activity after the sun goes down. Most people would argue that this experience cannot be compared to the day-time one. If you are a beginner, you cannot expect to be successful simply because you still have to master this skill, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be fun.
Where to bow fish?
To answer this question, you will have to do some research. Even though you can bowfish both from the shore and a boat, you still have to find the right location. In order to determine whether there will be fish in that area of water, you should inspect its vegetation. Similarly, you should also research which species you will find there so that you could choose the arrows accordingly
Don’t forget about safety
Finally, keep in mind that this is a fast-paced activity, so it can be pretty easy to lose track of things. Due to this, you have to do everything in your power to minimize the risk of any kind of accident. If the line slides away or gets tangled and you take the shot, the arrow can snap back, injuring you or someone next to you. To prevent this from happening, you should invest in a safety slide. Even though it is not a mandatory piece of equipment, it can prevent a disaster from striking. What’s more, you should also take time to inspect how each piece works and learn how to manage them safely.