Bowfishing on saltwater differs from bowfishing on freshwater. After you have gone fishing in saltwater, you should wash your arrows with freshwater because this helps to preserve them. Saltwater can corrode the arrow. With that said, let’s look at the types of saltwater fish that you can shoot.
What saltwater fish can you shoot with a bow? On saltwater, you can shoot a variety of species, but this varies from one state to the next. Among the popular species that you can shoot, sheepshead, flounder, sharks and stingrays are the most popular. Before you go out, check the regulations.
What Other Fish Can I Bowfish on Saltwater?
To give you a picture of the list of fish that you can bowfish, they include:
Perhaps the most popular saltwater fish that bowfishermen go after is the stingray. With rod-and-reel anglers, they often release them back into the water because they don’t realize that the white flesh tastes delicious on all accounts. You might compare the mild flavor to that of scallops.
The one thing with stingray, take care not to overcook the meat, or it won’t taste as good. In terms of the edible parts of the stingray, it includes the wings.
I’d like to highlight how you can also hunt for saltwater alligators in some states like Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas. Check your local regulations because this can differ from one state to the next. It is always advisable to check this before bowfishing of any kind because of how the laws can change.
While I’ve never personally gone bowfishing for alligators, it looks like a mountain packed with TNT–you’re going to have a blast! If you do decide to hunt alligators, it would be advisible if you were to hire a guide. These animals pose a danger to the unskilled and unknowledgeable, and you don’t want the hunter to become the hunted.
It is advised that you have a buddy along when shooting alligator who can take a second shot to kill it after you have put it at the end of your arrow. In this way, you never have to get too close and personal with it.
Carp, Gar, Alligator Gar
The one thing that wasn’t mentioned was you can still shoot for carp, gar and alligator gar in saltwater. You don’t find alligator gar or gar in saltwater as much, but the fish can be found here from time to time, and you can still shoot it like you would in freshwater.
In addition, you can shoot carp in saltwater. You have the Tribolodon species, which tolerates saltwater, and you have several other species of carp that inhabit brackish waters. For these fish found in saltwater, they will fall under the regulations for saltwater bowfishing.
Restrictions for Bowfishing in Saltwater
What fish are restricted with saltwater? This depends on your state, but sharks and redfish especially have a lot of restrictions around them when it comes to bowfishing because of how anglers love to fish it.
In particular, that can prove challenging in some areas because of how you first have to calculate the size of your fish to make sure that it falls within the right length range: mistakes can be made. Like with freshwater bowfishing, if you can’t identify it, don’t shoot.
What Do You Need for Saltwater Bowfishing?
To go saltwater bowfishing, you will need to bring along a bow, reel and bowfishing arrows. With the reel, you may want to choose a reel made for saltwater because it won’t experience corrosion as fast. The Diwa Spinning Fishing Reels for Saltwater Freshwater has been built with resistant materials that can help your reel to resist breaking.
With that said, a lot of saltwater bowfishermen prefer hand-wound reels. This comes down to personal preference, rather than need. If you plan to bowfish in a tournament, you may want a faster reel.
Along with soaking your items in freshwater after you have gone bowfishing on saltwater, you will also want to soak your braided line because it will keep it from weakening.
When to Go Bowfishing on Saltwater?
The most popular time to head to the water on freshwater is during the nighttime hours. Do the same rules with saltwater bowfishing exist? With bowfishing on saltwater, high tides in the early morning will usually mark the best time of day to head out for bowfishing.
On the ocean, you have to know where you are at all points. In the event of an emergency, you should also have an escape route. Nighttime bowfishing on saltwater isn’t quite as popular because of how it can be a little more dangerous. You can’t identify things as easily. That said, many saltwater fish like to feed at night, and if you choose to do this, it can be advantageous. The fish also tend to be less careful.
With saltwater bowfishing, you will often chum the fish closer to get them into a feeding frenzy.
Understand the Regulations
Call a local game warden and speak with them about the saltwater bowfishing regulations. Do NOT let them give their opinion on it. They must pull it straight from the book to ensure that you follow the regulations to the T.
It differs from one state to the next with bowfishing regulations. In one state, you can’t legally shoot redfish, but you might have another where you can take one redfish per day. This depends on your state.
Catch and Release Stingrays?
As long as you haven’t shot the stingray in the vitals with your bow, they can survive, which means that you can practice catch and release with them if you wanted. Personally, I think it’s a good meal, however. Having tasted it myself, I know for a fact that stingray tastes delicious.
Hopefully this article sheds some light on the types of saltwater fish that you can bowfish. In fact, you get plenty of great options for bowfishing, but I’d advise that you first contact the local game warden because they can shed some light on the regulations of the local area. I harp on this because of how bowfishing regulations, unlike regular fishing regulations, can change from state to state and even region to region. In addition, the rules aren’t always as clear.