You will find a lot of techniques of fishing out there, and almost all of them are good in their way, but only if you can use them properly. Bow-fishing is also a popular technique among anglers. This method needs specialized archery to catch fishes.
Pointed arrows with unique bows are used for this method. Using this method, anglers usually catch carp, bighead fishes, paddlefish, Bass, and many more. For pursuing this technique, you do not need a lot of equipment; instead, you need to acquire the methods correctly. Let us go and find useful tips for bow-fishing.
1st of all, you need the proper equipment for bow-fishing; after that, you need to learn the appropriate use of it, and lastly, you will learn the tips of fishing.
Bowfishing 101 for Beginners and Advanced Fishers
In this article we will cover all the important data, required equipment and other guidance for informing the beginners and in between advanced bow fishers.
Equipment You Need for Bowfishing
Fishing bows are very simple; these come without any sight. These bows come with significantly less draw weight, but traditional bows are bit heavier than crossbows.
Whether you want to use a recurve bow or you want a compound bow depends on your choice.
Recurve bow shoots faster than a compound bow, but the draw length of a compound bow is much greater than a recurve bow.
Do a quick research on what type you need and then buy the appropriate one for you.
Bow Fishing Arrows
You will find so many arrows of different types and styles. Try to go through all the features of all kinds of arrows. Some bowfishing arrows are sharp and pointed and also have 3 or 4 locks, which help to catch the fish better. This type of arrow is beneficial when you will be catching comparatively heavier fishes.
Bighead arrows are also handy for catching fatty fishes; though it is mostly used for catching fishes with rigid bodies. You will also find some lightweight arrows for fishing. These are very easy to carry and also very useful; you can easily catch medium-sized fishes with these.
Tournament fishing arrows come with a unique feature. This arrow is specially made for recurve bow, but you can easily use it in the compound bow as well. These arrows are much faster than other arrows, and as these are not very heavy, it has good speed.
You will also find fiberglass arrows; the specialty of this type is: these are specially made for fishing and not for any other purpose; it has a very sharp point, which is very useful for catching fish.
This will help you hold your arrow down in the water, and also it prevents the arrows from coming back towards the bow. This is a modern creation of science, and therefore it is becoming very popular among the anglers or archers.
Fishing Reels for Appropriate Fishing
You will find different types of fishing reels in the market for your bow-fishing; reels like a retriever, spin-cast, bottle style reel, bowfishing reels, and some more are the popular ones. Among these, spincast reel is one of the most popular ones for recurve or compound bow and arrows.
You can be benefited a lot more through this fishing reel, but it is a bit tricky to use, and therefore if you are a beginner, you must think before buying it.
For catching fish with a bow and arrows, you need to be super swift and spontaneous; before firing an arrow, make sure to detangle the thread and release the spool.
This will help you to target better and will stop your arrow from flying far from your targeted area, and this is the reason spincast reels can protect you from getting injured, which many of the fishing reels cannot do. Especially when you cast reel from a suitable position.
Spin cast reel and the process is a little expensive in some countries; if you do not want to go for expensive ones, then you can go for a retriever and bottle style reel as well.
Bowfishing Reel (Bottle Reel) for Comfort
While the pro to the fishing person can use the spin-cast options, we will like to suggest bottle style reel, which is also called the bowfishing reel. It will not require some advanced steps for leading the shot.
It is more easy and simple go-to options that will not require many steps. You can just throw it with more comfort and simplicity. So, in some points of fishing, bottle reel is a good and simple solution.
Other Accessories for Perfect Bowfishing Setup
The list of essentials for bow-fishing is still not over. You may want to take polarized sunglasses, a Gutbucket, and arrow rest. Fishing biscuit very durable, and you need to learn the usage it. If you are fishing on daylight, these sunglasses can save your eyes from burning.
Polarized sunglasses take good care of your eyes, but there are varieties of polarized sunglasses, try to choose a good quality sunglass for you. A gutbucket can save your life, your house, or your lawn from becoming dirty. You can also use this type of bucket for carrying purposes.
After catching fishes, carry all the fishes inside your gutbucket and go home. A torch or headlamp is also an essential accessory for bow-fishing. Do not forget to carry either of these two with you.
Tips for Using Fishing Bow
Bow-fishing is not a very typical or common style in many countries; hence many people do not know about it much.
Also, there are a lot of archer anglers who never tried this method for catching fish. But like other fishing techniques like rainbow trout fishing, bait fishing, game fishing, this one should be done with following some tips.
If you want to catch fish using this method, then you need to follow some tips. Let us go and find out the information now:
Make Sure to Set your Bow Properly
It may not be enjoyable, but you would want to make sure to tune your bow properly; especially if you are having trouble targeting fish.
Tuning your bow can help you a lot while bow-fishing; it can also help you improve your primary target and make your fishing life easy. Among tuning techniques, paper tuning is the best; it can be a bit tricky but learning the techniques is worth your energy and time.
Once you have adjusted your bow and are satisfied with the results, be sure to check out your sight pins, too, and make sure they are dialed in.
Choose the Best Arrows for Your Fishing Trip
Ultimately, you will want to use the arrows that work best for you, regardless of what most other bow-fishers choose to use. If you are new in this sector, then it is better and also recommended to take advice from the experienced ones and then choose the perfect one for you.
Among all, fibreglass is the best choice; however, carbon fibre arrows are also in trend but are a bit expensive than fibreglass.
If you are a beginner, you should know that most bow-fishers prefer heavy arrows to avoid fletching.
Fletching can complicate the fishing process as the targeting distance is short; also, fletching can create an unnecessary movement that can even slip you in danger.
Wait Inside and Paddle When the Fishes are Low
Many bow fishers like to ply their craft while standing comfortably on the deck of a boat, but bow-fishing is not always recommended from the boat.
If you keep on paddling the boat to move forward, the fishes will never come close it you, and for which targeting a bigger fish along with other invasive species with a bow will become tough.
The best way for bow-fishing is, paddle your boat to a point and then stand down on the shore, or you can make your boat stand in one place. Choose a perfect spot for standing or for your boat and then start targeting; try not to take your boat too close the fishes as it can make them go away.
Practice Shooting Underwater Fishes
If you are only trying to catch the fishes from the top level of the water body; then it would help if you now started trying for underwater ones. While testing, you will notice that the fishes are much lower than you see; this is because the water reflects the sunlight, which makes them seem like that.
As I said earlier, do not hesitate to fail; after missing one or two targets, you will understand the technique, and gradually with the time you will be able to shoot like professionals. For mastering this, you need to remember your faults, and you should never do it again.
If you think catching topwater fishes can help you improve your underwater targets, you are wrong. It will never help you this way; only targeting underwater fishes can sharpen your targeting skill. For practicing, you can use cheap or inexpensive arrows, but arrows also make a difference in setting and achieving your target.
Bowhunters Should Skip the Release and Use Fingers
Mechanical releases provide consistency for which bowhunters prefer to use it for hunting, but bow-hunting and bow-fishing are not the same.
Bow-fishing means quick shoot, and mechanical releases are suitable for patient shooting. If you release your bow with the help of your fingers, your timing will be a lot better than mechanical releases.
Also, keep in mind firing a bow with bare hands can shred and hurt your fingers badly; therefore, do not forget to wear gloves or use tabs for releasing strings. This will keep your fingers protected.
Best Time for Bow-Fishing for Advanced Bow Fishers
Bowfishing During the Day or Night?
Bow-fishing during the day, it is undoubtedly fun, and it can often be quite productive. With that, many bow-fishers prefer choosing night time for bow-fishing. While fishing at night, you can enjoy the calm and peacefulness of nature as well. A better kayak can also come handy in these situations.
Also, darkness and silence can help you catch fishes better. You need to carry and use proper lights for nighttime bow-fishing. Also, you will find a lot more fishes at night than at any other time. I know all can’t go fishing at night, but this is a must journey for every bow-fisher; you should go for this experience at least for ones.
For knowing how to blowfish at night, you need to take some extra bowfishing gears like night fishing lights, especially the halogen lighting and bug repellent items. Also, check for a proper fishing license if it is necessary because some areas needed a fishing license to do nigh fishing.
Fishing Boat and Kayak to use in Rivers and Lakes
You don’t need a decked-out bow-fishing boat to bow-fish during the day, just a boat capable of going into shallow waters with either a trolling motor or someone willing to use a push stick to guide the boat around.
A push stick can get you into more shallow waters than a trolling motor and is much quieter; however, it does take a little practice. If you are shooting during the day, don’t forget your polarized lens sunglasses to see through the water better.
I have found that in my muddy river, the best time to hunt during the day is a couple of hours after sunrise, there isn’t much glare, and the fish haven’t retreated to colder water yet.
Be aware of your shadow when you are getting ready to shoot. It can spook the fish. During the day, the best shots are in shallow water and at the surface. Gloves are essential because the fish can be slimy, and some fish have sharp teeth.
Bowfishing Skills, Target Practice and Other Fishing Techniques
Here are some techniques to fish using bows better.
Bowfishing Tips on Aiming
Knowing where to aim at a fish can be one of the most difficult skills to master in bow-fishing. As water becomes deceiving due to light reflection, it becomes difficult to understand the actual position of the fish, and this is when the shooter shoots at the wrong area.
The practice is the only key to improve your aim for the archer anglers, and you need to know some tactics as well. According to the distance, always add 3 to 4 inches extra length with the targeted area; this will help you target better.
As water and light create illusion; therefore, you need to understand how far is the fallacy is being made. If you feel your distance is a bit far from the fish, then try to move forward and then aim.
If you think moving forward might scare the fish, then try to measure the distance and add some more illusion distance for perfect aiming.
Bowfishing Arrow Tips and Checking Other Accessories
The 1st thing before going for bow-fishing is to check the tune of your bow and arrow properly. If your bow is not well-tuned, then your fishing might be in danger, and you may also hurt someone by shooting in the wrong position.
Paper tuning is used for hunting bow; here for water bow, use water technique.
Even experienced bow-fishers test their target before aiming. Keep some low budget arrows for testing before staring your fishing journey. Try to target objects like leaves, small branches, or anything small in the water.
If you see water splashing or if you miss out targets, then keep on practicing until you feel that you are now good to go.
Also, if your expensive arrows are not working well for you, then do not hesitate to change it; buy a different type of arrow and try aiming with that. Remember, even super expensive arrows cannot help you target a fish if you cannot aim correctly.
The Bottom Line
Bow-fishing has long been used as a means of gathering food for generations, and the fact that it has become a method of recreational fishing only drives the fascination notch higher for this kind of activity.
Targeting rough or bottom-feeding fish, bow-fishing may not precisely be what purists who prefer the standard rod-and-reel configuration find worthy of spending time on.
This is even though bow-fishers regularly take home plenty of rough fish after just a short time in the water with growing bowfishing skills.
Bow-fishing regulates the ecology of any given area, a means of controlling the aggressive or alien fish species that tend to compete with space and resources used by the more desired or prized fish populations, thus bringing balance to the ecosystem.
Becoming increasingly popular among fishers and hunters alike, bow-fishing is here to stay. Get yourself the best bow-fishing bow you can afford and meet me at the lake!