Bow fishing is an archery enthusiast game or a bowhunter offseason fad. Over the last decade, it has become a beloved sport for many. Bowfishing requires no previous angling experience, so it is perfect for beginners.
Bowfishing targets tend to be much closer than those in jungles. It is beginner-friendly as they do not need to practice long-range shooting skills in wildlife. You do not require specialized equipment.
Despite its lower difficulty level, bowfishing has its nuances. Your target is moving underwater.
Where to go Bowfishing
You can go bow fishing in several different water bodies as long as they are shallow and the water is clear.
Any freshwater bodies like lakes and dams make good hunting places. There are several salt-water locations for bowfishing too.
Boat or Shore
You can be just as productive wading in shallow waters as standing on a boat or kayak. A vessel with a shallow hull works best and allows you to get to the best bowfishing grounds.
What can you Catch?
You can’t hunt any random fish with a bow and arrow. Most states do not allow bowfishing for game species. You should check the fishing regulations and laws for your state. There are still fish you can legally catch.
In freshwater bodies, Carp is a popular target for beginners. Newbies can also hunt Bighead and Grass Carp. Since Carp is one of the most invasive species, you are helping the environment by catching them.
Garfish variants like Shortnose, Longnose, Spotted, and Alligator Gar are popular catches and are legal for bowfishing. Tilapia is also a popular target for bowfishing as well as Drum, Throw Catfish, and Buffalo.
With salt-water bodies, you can target some exciting species near the shore. Flounder is popular with many people, such as Sheephead and smaller Sharks.
You do not need complex or sophisticated gear to bow hunt. A few items are specially made for bowhunting, but you do not need to spend a lot of money to get them. There are many cheap deals on the market. You only need a bow, some arrows, and a reel.
The bow is the most important gear you need for bowhunting. A simple recurve or compound bow is sufficient to get you started. The type of bow you need comes down to preference.
Recurve bows are the more old-school and traditional bows with curved tips curved for more power. They are lighter and easier to maintain, but they are less accurate and require more strength than compound bows.
Heavy-duty bows are not well suited for bowfishing. A bow with 30–40 pounds of draw weight is enough for bowhunting.
There are three types of reels used in bow hunting, each with its pros and cons. The types of reels are the hand reel, the bottle reel, and the spincast reel. Hand reels and bottle reels use heavier lines and will pull bigger fish, but they make long shots more challenging. Spincast reels are more expensive.
You can buy custom or premade arrows. There are different arrows to choose from, but all have the same three components:
- the shaft;
- the point;
- and the nook.
The perfect arrow for bow fishing should be heavy and sturdy, while the arrow point is dependent on the fish you are hunting.
With your bow, arrows, and reel, all you need is to start hunting.