If you haven’t caught on to the latest fishing (or is it hunting?) trend, you need to catch up! Bowfishing is sweeping the fishing and hunting world. It combines elements of fishing with bow hunting. The object is to sight fish using a specialized bow. This sport is not new though. Those living in rural villages have been using primitive bows and arrows to hunt fish for hundreds of years.

What You Need

In order to bowfish, you’re going to need a few pieces of gear.

  • Bow: You don’t need a specialized bow, any hunting bow will do.
  • Bowfishing reel: These will screw onto the bow.
  • Arrow
  • Glasses: If you can’t see ‘em, you’ll never catch ‘em
  • Boat: You can try bowfishing from the shore. A boat will offer more coverage.

If you want to go all out, there are companies selling specialized bowfishing bow kits complete with the bow and reel.

Tips

If you haven’t bowfished before, there are going to be some things you will have to get used to. The type of line tied to the arrow won’t be your typical fishing line. When you hit the fish, you will have to bring the line in by hand. Hitting a fish for the first time will be tricky. Before you think about shooting any fish, find out the regulations in your area. Some game fish are off limits for shooting.You can usually go after carp in most areas.

It will take some practice to finally hit one. Once you do, you want to take your time reeling it back in. You don’t want the arrow to fall out or break off. Try using a net or gaff to bring the fish into the boat. Speaking of boats, you will want a flat bottomed boat, or one that can go in the shallows. Try using a pole or trolling motor to maneuver in these areas so as not to spook the fish.

As always, have fun with it! Don’t get discouraged if it’s taking a lot of time and you’re not hitting anything. If you are a hunter, you know that it takes time to finally hit your target, or even find something worth hitting. As a fisherman, you know fish may not always be right where you want them. Bring along your Waterproof Chart to help find areas that are most likely to have the fish you are looking for. Happy bowfishing!

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