You just shot your first fish and wonder how to safely remove the arrow from it. Like with removing the hook from a fish when fishing, you have a right way to do this and a wrong way. Understanding how to do it can make a big different, and it will keep you safe. In fact, with an arrow, you have to especially be carefully because this is bigger than a hook, and it can do more damage. Let’s have a look at the step-by-step process for removing an arrow from the fish when bowfishing.
Step #1: Remove the String
In the first step, you will need to remove the string. This prevents the string from getting caught up as you try to remove the arrow from the fish. Then you just have to deal with the fish and the arrow, which makes the process easier.
Important to note: The arrows you choose can make a difference with how easy a release will be. In some cases, the release will be easier because you have an arrow with quick release. You don’t necessarily need this, but it can make it easier. You can buy quick release bowfishing arrows here.
Step #2: Twist the Arrow
This loosens the arrow from the fish, which will make it much easier to remove the arrow in a moment. You will feel the arrow noticeably loosen as you twist, and this marks the precursor to the next step in the process.
Step #3: Pull with a Fast Jerk
In the final step, you will pull the arrow with a fast and short jerk. This should help the arrow to come loose. Under most cases, this will be all that is needed to remove the arrow from the fish. You simply have to work the arrow at points for it to come out.
That said, I’d still say that I prefer to take arrows out of fish as opposed to taking hooks out of a fish’s mouth.
It is much easier because you don’t have to worry that your fingers, which are very close to the fish’s toothy mouth will get put inside of it as he thrashes around frantically. That’s why you often wear gloves with regular fishing. You might find that advantageous with bowfishing as well but for different reasons.
For example, when you handle fish, they will be bloody and slimy. You go to handle your bowstring afterwards, and this can make it much harder to shoot. That’s why it can be helpful if you were to wear gloves.
Alternative Arrow Removal Method
You have an alternative method that you can use to take the fish off an arrow too, which works equally well, and in some cases, it works even better, and this is the way that I have taught beginners how to do it. While these methods are similar, they’re not the same.
Step #1: Take the Arrow and Push It through the Fish
In particular, I like this method for gar and alligator because they have a stronger armor for skin, which can make them more difficult. First, you will untie the arrow from the string because this makes it much easier to work with the arrow. You will take the arrow that you have shot into the fish and push it all the way through him. This sets you up for the second step.
Step #2: Unscrew the Tip of the Arrow
After you have pushed the arrow through the fish, you will losen the tip of the arrow or even remove it altogether because this makes it much easier to remove. In fact, I especially prefer this method when I have an arrow that has barbs because it is much easier to remove from the fish.
If you can partially unscrew the tips of the arrow, you can make it easier for the barbs to pass through the fish. With some arrows, however, you won’t be able to do this because the barbs don’t move even when you unscrew the tip. It depends on the arrow that you have. You can buy specifically for this if you think that you will have a problem with it.
Step #3: Remove the Arrow
Like with the first method, you will remove the arrow in three steps. You will find this much easier, however, because you don’t have to deal with the tip of the arrow. You can simply pull the arrow out of the fish, and it will pass through quickly and easily.
Here’s something to keep in mind that can help you to remove the arrows from the fish. For example, if you choose the right bowfishing arrow, you can reverse the barbs on the arrow so that it will pass right through the fish quickly and easily. Cajun has a bowfishing arrow called the Piranha that lets you reverse the barbs on it. Especially if you plan to go after gar or alligator gar, this can be helpful because it will be easier to remove the arrows.
As you can see, there’s nothing terribly difficult about removing the arrow from the fish. You can do it in three easy steps with either method. It’s quite simple once you get the hang of it. It might take one or two tries, but after that, you will have this easily. Removing the bowfishing arrow from the fish becomes uneventful.