Luckily, for any beginner who wants to get started in bowfishing, you have a flexible sport where you don’t necessarily need a lot to get started. You can get started using the basics in most cases.
What do you need for bowfishing? All you need to get started in bowfishing is a bow with a reel and bowfishing arrows specifically tailored to the sport of bowfishing. If you want to go bowfishing over the waters, you will also need a boat, and if you want to bowfish at night, you will need bowfishing lights.
At its most basic core, the main thing that you need to get started in bowfishing is a bow with a reel and line and bowfishing arrows.
What Type of Bow Do I Need?
While you will need arrows specific to the sport of bowfishing, you can go bowfishing with any type of bow. You don’t need a special kind of bow, and if you have a hunting bow for deer hunting, you can use that if you’d like. However, some people like to have a bow specific to the sport of bowfishing because it separates the two from each other. In addition, you never have to risk your prized deer hunting bow to reel in a 150-pound alligator gar that nearly breaks the cams on your deer-hunting bow. Nearly any type of bow will work for bowfishing.
How to Get the Reel for Your Bow
You can pick up a bowfishing reel off Amazon or at your local outdoor sportsmen’s store. Bowfishing reels can cost anywhere from $40 up to $150 depending on the type of reel that you get for your bow. When looking for a good reel, you want to buy one that won’t lock up on you as you shoot it, or it could cause you to miss some fish.
However, if you don’t have the money to start, you don’t even necessarily have to buy a reel. In fact, if you don’t want to pay for one, you could choose the DIY approach where you build the reel out of a sports drink bottle. However, paying for a good one can help you to catch more fish.
How to Get Bowfishing Arrows
Luckily, the sport of bowfishing doesn’t cost much, in comparison to others, and you can buy bowfishing arrows for around $20 to $30 for 12 of them on Amazon. Choose your arrows carefully because they will be a big factor in determining your success. Fiberglass arrows tend to cost a little less than carbon, but carbon arrows feel stiffer when you shoot them, and they have incredible accuracy. Meanwhile, people choose fiberglass because they cost less.
Where to Get a Bowfishing Bow?
Let’s say that you want to buy a bow specific to bowfishing. You can buy a cheap one at the pawnshop or on Craigslist. That’s a great way to get started especially if you don’t know if you will like the sport. Most people who try it though will love it. If you want a bow specifically tailored to bowfishing, you could visit your local outdoor sports shop, or you could go on Amazon and look for bowfishing bows. You have plenty of different options. When choosing the perfect bowfishing bow, the factors that you need to consider when making a decision include:
- Draw weight (I find 50-pound draw weight the best for bowfishing)
- Draw length
- Bow length
- Recurve or compound bow?
As I stated, I like a bow with 50-pound draw weight, and I like this because of how it helps me to penetrate the fish with my arrows. easily That’s especially important if you’re targeting some of the bigger fish like catfish and alligator gar. With a heavier draw weight like 50 pounds, the arrow will often go right through the fish, and this means that you will spend more time struggling to get your arrow back.
How to Choose a Boat
If you don’t have a boat for bowfishing, you will be fishing from shore. That’s not necessarily the end of the world when it comes to bowfishing because many times you will be fishing a river, and you can walk along the river searching for fish. However, let’s say that you want to go bowfishing on a boat. What are some of the things that you should look for with a bowfishing boat?
Here are the key things when choosing a boat:
You don’t necessarily need the most powerful motor when it comes to bowfishing because the most important thing when choosing a motor is that it runs quietly. In addition, you have to consider the deck because one of the most essential aspects of a bowfishing boat will be the deck giving you plenty of space for aiming and firing off arrows. You also want it to be stable enough that it doesn’t throw off your aim when shooting.
Larger bowfishing boats are preferable because they give you more space for shooting the fish, and if you have a generator that takes up a lot of room for running the lights at night, it won’t be as big of a deal breaker. More space will help you to improve the accuracy of your shots.
Bowfishing lights are only a must-need if you plan to bowfish at night. Not everyone wants to bowfish at night, but one of the big advantages of doing so is that you can see the fish even more clearly. It lights up their hiding spots even more easily and makes for easier shooting.
Buying Some Accessories for Bowfishing
As the name implies, you don’t necessarily “need” these things, and bowfishing is a sport where you have a lot of flexibility. You can choose to do it with the bare minimum, or you can go all out to make your time more comfortable on the water. Having a cooler or storage box can help you store drinks, food and fresh catches. Next, as an accessory, you may want to consider seating, especially if you don’t want to stand the whole time. For some people like the older generation, seating will be a must because you want to be able to sit down while waiting for the fish to come.
Next, you may want a boat cover because you poured the time and money into investing in a good boat, you want to protect the seats and interior of the boat to make sure that it stays in good condition for years to come.
Dress According to the Weather
This may seem obvious, but having the right clothing to meet your bowfishing needs is equally important. On a hot day of between 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, you may want to dress down, but bring a light coat. That’s not because you’re guaranteed to wear it right away. Instead, you want to have a coat because of how you can always dress up to stay warmer this way. Especially if you’re driving a few hours away to go bowfishing, you don’t want a sudden change of weather to cause an early end to the session or to cause you to have an unpleasant time on the water.
When you draw back the bow for bowfishing, one of the things that is super important is that you don’t wear anything that will interfere with your shots. For example, some jackets can get in the way of your shooting and reduce accuracy. For that reason, I choose to wear a bowfishing jacket tailored specifically for bowfishing. It ensures that I never have to worry about my clothing getting in between me and that monster fish in the water.
What to Look for in Bowfishing Line?
Along with the reel, you will also need the bowfishing line. With bowfishing, you will need a heavy and durable bowfishing line. Because of this, you need a reel that was made for handling this type of line so that it doesn’t get tangled at the worst moment when you see a monster catfish. You need a line specific to bowfishing, and bowfishing line is a little thicker than regular fishing line.
You Need to Practice Shooting
Finally, you need to practice your accuracy when shooting. Bowfishing can be tons of fun, but it isn’t easy to shoot the carp with your arrows. You have to practice your aim so that you can hit the fish. You could have some of the best gear that money can buy, but if you lack the skills to hit a fish, none of it matters. At the end of the day, it’s all about shooting the fish.
While I listed a variety of things that you might want for bowfishing, at the end of the day, the biggest things that you will need are in bold at the top of the article. Those are the things that you absolutely need when you go bowfishing. The other things that I listed were put down because these are the things that can help you to have a better experience while bowfishing. For example, having a chair to sit down just makes the experience of bowfishing more enjoyable. You came out to do bowfishing for fun after all!