The right bow
Let’s face it, most guys start out, and some still shoot, those old bows from many seasons ago. Pawn shop bows and your old retired bows are how most bowfishermen get their start. But when it comes to bowfishing bows, smooth and silky drawing bows rule the water. The best bows allow you to shoot on the fly at darting fish. Rarely will you have the time to draw, anchor, and settle in on a target. Good bowfishing bows allow you to snap shoot at fish, whether at half-draw or when the string is at your cheek. A heavy poundage bow is not necessary when it comes to bowfishing. A 30-pound bow is more than enough to do work on most species of fish. However some shooters prefer draw weights of 40+ pounds when it comes to punching larger fish and penetrating deeper water. Today’s top bows for bowfishing include the Mission Menace, Mission Craze, Cajun Sucker Punch, and PSE Tidal Wave.
What type of reel is best for bowfishing?
That is all personal preference. They each have their pros and cons to certain things. Most people start out with the bottle style reel simply because its fool proof. The negative side of the bottle reel is that you’ve got to set the bow down and hand over hand retrieve your prize. A spinner style reel is a much more complex style reel but is popular because you can work the fish with the reel. The negative side is that the spinner reel does require you to push a button or release a switch to fire a shot. Again, both of these reels have advantages along with their disadvantages. Check out AMS Bowfishing for the best in bottle-style reels. Their Retriever Reel has set the standard for fool-proof retrieving in the bowfishing world.
Arrows and points
While the particular bow brand used may get all the attention, the fact is, it is likely one of the least important when it comes to what matters most in gear selection. Make the effort to buy the best arrows and points you can afford. Hit or miss, the arrows you use will take a ton of abuse when it comes to bowfishing. Encounters with big-scaled, chunky fish will put your arrows to the test. The thrashin’ your arrow will encounter when it connects with a fish will no doubt confirm whether or not you got the right gear when it comes to arrows and points.
Fiberglass shafts continue to be the standard for bowfishing, while carbon arrows continue to gain in popularity. Keeping your points sharp are key to your success. The truth is, a dull point will still penetrate your lunker but depending on how deep the water is it will put your point to the test. The deeper the water, the slower your arrow, in turn a sharp point will penetrate much deeper into the fish rather than a dull point. Bowfishing points typically come in 2-barb and 3-barb models. 2-barb points fly great and are typically quicker to retrieve from the mud, weeds, and roots following a missed shot. 3-barb heads offer unbeatable holding power on big fish.
These are just a few things to take into consideration on your next trip to the water. Bowfishing is a great time and is a change of pace from the grind of deer and turkey season. If you can stand the bugs, you’re in for a real treat. It is a low risk-high reward experience that you can share with your friends and family all summer long..
Written by: Jesse Hines