The thrill of hunting with a bow doesn’t have to end when big game archery seasons come to an end. In fact, hunting with a bow doesn’t have to always mean cold weather and camo either. Bowfishing can be a good way to get out and enjoy shooting during the warmer months.
While there are some great bows purpose-built for shooting fish, many bowfishermen will simply take an older hunting bow, and reconfigure it. Because you are shooting through the water at closer ranges, it doesn’t matter if the bow is a bit loud, or not perfectly tuned, or in the latest camo pattern. Also due to the shorter distance and repetitive shooting, we recommend lowering the draw weight to the minimum the bow can shoot safely and consistently, you don’t need to pull a sixty-pound draw to shoot a grass carp.
To convert an old hunting bow to a dedicated bowfishing rig, you’ll need the bow (of course) a reel, bowfishing arrows (with barbed points), and a rest that is compatible with the retention system on the arrow. Since bowfishing goes back to shooting with fingers instead of a release aid, many also enjoy the comfort of finger guards on the string. Some bowfish during daylight hours, but (where legal) night fishing often offers the most opportunity. Shooting from a boat or dock with lights is great but installing our LED Bow Light lets you illuminate any area within bow range.
Before you hit the water with your bow in hand, remember that you are in fact fishing and that things can occasionally go wrong when dealing with the hidden challenges at the bottom of a lake. You would never go bass, walleye, or crappie fishing without at least some basic extra tackle in the boat. Since you may be a good distance from shore, and an even further distance from an archery shop, we recommend taking along spares of some of the items that are most easily lost of damaged: arrow knocks, points, and retention systems.