Posted on March 14, 2013 by

A Beginner’s Guide to Bowfishing

Compound bowBowfishing is a great outdoors sport and alternative to regular fishing. Bowfishing is a type of fishing where you use archery tools to shoot and catch fish. Instead of using a rod you use a bow that shoots a barbed arrow. It is connected to a line that will reel the fish in. It is easy to learn the basics of bowfishing and if you are into hunting and normal fishing you will not want to miss the experience of bowfishing. It is a great sport for both children and adults and it is very easy to get started.

The first thing you will need before you go out is the right equipment. There are two types of bows that can be used—recurve bows or compound bows. These are the same type of bows that are used in land archery so if you already have a bow you may be able to use the same bow. Some bow manufacturers make bows that are specific to bowfishing. Bows that are used for bowfishing cost generally around $200. Some good manufacturers of bowfishing bows are Oneida, Pearson, and Browning. You will also need to buy accessories such as reels, arrows, and rests. These accessories range in price depending on their level of skill. For example, hand-wrapped reels will cost less than a more advanced spincast reel. If you are a beginner to bowfishing, consider buying basic used equipment to start out with. If you find that you really enjoy the sport and want to pursue it then consider buying newer and more advanced equipment.

Next, you will want to know what kind of fish you can catch while you go bowfishing. The common types of fish that you will catch are carp, buffalo, gar, skates, or rays. You will have to check your local regulations on what kinds of fish you are allowed to catch in your area. It is best to go bowfishing at night. Some bow manufacturers make lights that you can mount to your bow to assist you. Even if you are an accomplished archer, the light and the water will make the fish hard to hit since they are not located exactly where they appear to be. It will take time and practice as you learn the best techniques. You will also need to get a fishing license. You will have to check with your local and state authorities on what types of license and permits you will need.

Finally, once you get the hang of bowfishing, there is more to discover. You can do it for recreational purposes or you can enter bowfishing tournaments. You can also join a bowfishing organization in your area. Bowfishing can be a very fun, intense, yet relaxing sport as you get to surround yourself with nature, which can be very calming. It is also a great sport to introduce to your children. If you want to get started, use this beginner’s guide to bowfishing as your starting point. You will need a bow as well as arrows, a reel, and a rest. You may also want to invest in a light. Start out small and easy and work your way to advanced and complex.


Jeff Stevens writes and edits the Hunting and fishing website Huntersguide.org. He enjoys hunting, fishing, spending time with family, and writing. He recently published a buyer’s guide for bowfishing bows.