Fishing & Hunting Tips

How to get started on bowfishing- 16 tips just for you

I like bowfishing because it makes me feel like a predator. In a way, you do have to act like one if you wanna score some fish.

See any movements or shade of the fish like figure in the shallows, concentrate for any sudden sound, sneak up slowly, like a tiger ready to thrust towards your prey.

Something is better to be experienced at first hand than just to read and see video clips about it. That’s where I come in and help you complete these simple steps. So you won’t have to wonder what is needed for bowfishing anymore.

Before we jump in, I’d suggest you check out these best cheap fishing rod and reel combo. Trust me, folks, you’d need one.

How to get started

Well, there are two types of people who’ll be starting bowfishing.

  1. Those who don’t have any idea about operating a bow.
  2. Those who already know how to fire a shot from the bow.

Now folks who know how to fire a bow, please skip this section of the article. Because I’m about to point out some tips on how to shoot an arrow from a bow.


How to shoot a bow- 7 tips to follow

Bowfishing requires you to hit the bulls-eye within 40-60 yards. That would’ve been an issue in the past but not anymore. The advanced ergonomic design makes it easier to shoot more accurately.

Regardless of modern integration, it all means nothing if you shoot with wrong postures. Don’t worry folks. Just follow these tips one by one and you’ll become a good bowman in no time.

1. Posture: Different person may find different type of stance comfortable to work with. But that doesn’t mean You’re gonna get your feet too far apart or the other way around.

The best way to do it is to keep your feet apart similar to your shoulder width. You’ll always have to shoot downwards so make sure you place enough weight to whichever foot you place in front.

This will allow you to leverage and pull in the string, even more, making the shot quick, accurate and vicious.

If you have to shoot above a creek, then I recommend kneeling down with your feet close and keep your bottom on both heels to rest. This posture may not benefit everyone but it’s a solid and stable style nonetheless.

But this position will be tolerable for a limited time, so use this stance wisely.

2. Grip: A proper and comfortable grip is very important to shoot accurately with brute velocity. Many anglers, especially beginners tend to overlook speed over accuracy and distance. But it’s a common sense that your arrow will lose 50-60© of its momentum once it hits the water.

I recommend that you rent a few bows or better yet, head to a bow training institute and enroll in one of their programs. You’ll have some amazing knowledge about the right bow set up. Also, you’ll get to experience different types of bows from a different manufacturer.

But if you don’t wanna go through all that trouble then make sure to buy a bow with a thin grip. This will put less torque on your bow hence making the bow more accurate.

But if you already bought one with a thick grip, remove it. You’d want to have a solid grip against the line on your other hand that starts above the thumb and throughout the palm area.

Keep pulling the line until you achieve a full draw. You’ll also notice the bow is kinda pushing into the palm.

3. Anchor point: Maestro marksman bow shooter might not need the assistance of an anchor point, but for novice shooters, it is essential for greater accuracy.

As you start to pull the string it comes closer to the face. It may seem like kinda scary but trust me, that is the right style. That triangle tip of the string close to your face is called the anchor point of a bow.

Simply install a kisser button at the triangle tip of the string when you pull it in. This ought to do it. But don’t take my words for it. Check out other anchor points and opt for whatever works best for you.

4. Focus & breathe: Once you spotted a suitable fish to fire at, relax, take your time and don’t panic. I’ve noticed myself holding my breath when aiming down sight to a price sized bass.

Don’t do that. It will build up tension in our muscles and you’ll feel anxiety within a few moments. And you’ll have clear visibility for up to 8-10 seconds before it starts to blur. Breath in and out naturally. The world will not come to an end if you miss a few shots here and there.

5. Understand the bow accuracy: This may not be a big of an issue, but I still suggest you understand how your bow and arrow hit the target. What I did is actually kinda funny. One day I’ve found a few rubber ducks in a box in the garage. And boom! It hit me. What if I could place them near a canal and shoot a few rounds?

That’s what I did folks. I shot up and destroyed those ducks in a matter of half an hour. But it was worth it.

Shooting a bow into the water is different than hitting a bulls-eye out in the open. You have to develop some sort of mental picture of a cursor to be more successful.

I’ve seen some folks install powerful laser to act as a visual cursor. You can do it too if you want. The bottom line is, you have to know how your bow hits the target, that’s all.

And the issue of wind remains since you’re shooting 30-40 yards out or even closer, gusty winds won’t make that of a difference.

6. Release with confidence: I’ve seen many beginners bowfish with a full stretch of the string at all the time. This will loosen the string faster. What you need to do is pull in a little bit and start searching for your fish.

Once you see the fish, stretch the string as much as you can and thrust the arrow for the kill. This is something can’t be explained by writing. You’ll have to understand the hunch by actually shoot the bow by yourself.

If you follow my style then you’ll never end up pre-firing your arrow. Ever.

7. A proper follow through: Once you hit the fish, you’ll have the urge to drop the bow right away and get all excited. Don’t do that. You need to place the string in its normal stage by letting it recoil slowly in its own.

But you need to keep your bow placed at the aiming position until this process is complete.

There you go, folks. Follow these 7 steps and be an avid bow marksman. I seriously doubt that you have read all my tips or not. So let me assist you visually. Just check out this awesome video by LunkersTV.

What is needed for bowfishing?- 9 must needed items

Most of the freshwater fish like carp, bass, catfish, etc are moving into the shallows as the weather gets nicer. Excellent time to test your aim and enjoy some fresh fish.

The US fish & wildlife service has identified a few invasive species like Asian carp, grass carp, flathead catfish, etc as invasive in nature. This needing to reduce their numbers.

That’s why bowfishing is being encouraged and empathized to balance the scale of invasive species. Let see what is needed for bowfishing, shall we?

1. Bow: Most seasonal bowhunter may beg to differ, but both compound and recurve bow will work just fine. You’d want to pick one up which offers quick draw and finger release system. Because mechanical release may be more accurate but it gives away a lot of time and demand a more stable stance.

Your peak draws weights will be within the range of 30-50 lbs. And since you’ll be less likely to shoot more than 10-25 yards, you don’t need long-range energy.

2. Arrows: You might have noticed a little extra weight on a bowfishing arrow than a regular one. Because these arrows are designed to slice through the water.

Like a good fishing pole, these arrows are made from fiberglass. Some arrows feature a combination build of aluminum, carbon, and fiberglass. Since you’re not shooting far so a bit heavier slow arrow won’t jeopardize your fishing.

3. Points: You’ll be required to use unique bowfishing points than the traditional ones. They appear like a barbed hook which can penetrate easily but difficult to pull out.

The reason these points are great, when a fish takes the shot, it can’t escape or the arrow won’t slide off. Simply reel in the fish to the shore and remove the barbed point to take out the arrow without damaging the delicate part of the fish.

4. Line: It’s as common as needing to drink water. Because if you don’t attach an arrow with a line then you’ll be needing dozens of arrow. So use line to secure your arrow.

And don’t use monoline when you’re bowfishing. The mess will be so annoying. Instead, use braided nylon line. You won’t have to worry about tangles and its more stable. And don’t worry about breaking off the line, it’s strong enough to withstand any sudden whiplash.

5. Reel: A few anglers use the technique of dropping the line at their feet and stand on one end and the other end attached with an arrow which they use to retrieve. I don’t think it’s a good technique. Because the line might get tangles with your feet.

That’s why a bow mounted reel makes it easy to retrieve the line. You can choose between the open-faced reel and typical fishing reels. The open face reel requires the line to wind by hand whereas the typical fishing reel got handles that help you wind to reel in the line right after the shot.

6. Stringer: Stringer is important to keep your catch alive. You can string the fish to a specific place or just attach it to one of the loops of your backpack and drag around the shallows.

7. Hat & sunglasses: Well, you can wear a hat but sunglass is an individual preference. Besides, you are most likely to bowfish in overcast weather. So, just keep one in your bag, just in case.

8. Insulated bucket with a built-in aerator: It’s better to keep an insulated bucket with the aerator at your disposal to keep your catch fresh. If you don’t then within a few hours, your fish might start to develop microorganisms which are a threat to your tummy.

9. License: Just because of your drone fishing or bow fishing, doesn’t mean you’re off the hook when it comes to legal requirements. Check out what kind of fishing license suits your needs. Because licensing procedure may vary from state to state.


Wrapping up

I personally don’t bowfish on a regular basis. Because I feel the fish gets ruined if the arrow doesn’t penetrate cleanly. Which happens every now and then to be honest.

Bowfishing is a recreational method. It can never replace a good old fashioned rod and reel. But certainly brighten up a dull mood, that’s for sure.

That’s it for today folks. Hope I’ve done enough to help you kickstart your bowfishing adventure. Until next time, shoot’em up!

Nicholi Wyto

Hey I'm Nicholi Wyto is a professional sports fisherman and hunter, love to enjoy spending time in Michigan’s rugged northern forests. I love to explore my experience and help others who are interested in fishing and hunting.

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