Buying the best bowfishing bows and arrow kit is as exciting as the sport itself. All that you need is to get yourself well educated on some major factors to make the best decision.
As long as you know what you want to get buying yourself the best bowfishing bow that matches your physic and style is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Read on and you will develop a good understanding in no time.
Taking up bowfishing as a hobby can be very entertaining staying close to nature. It can be challenging, fulfilling and rewarding at the same time. To get the most out of this sport you need to get the kind of equipment that matches your abilities without bogging you down. Below is the list of Fishingbows that we reviewed and I’m sure you will find them helpful when getting one for yourself.
- Top Rated Best Bowfishing Bows 2019
- 1) RAPTOR Compound Hunting Bow Kit – Best Choice
- 2) Bear Archery Cruzer G2 Adult Compound Bow
- 3) Cajun Bowfishing Sucker Punch
- 4) Quest Forge DTH Compound Bow – Premium Choice
- 5) Diamond Archery Edge SB1 Compound Bow
- 6) Diamond Infinite Edge Pro Compound Bow
- 7) Southland Archery Supply SAS Rage Compound Bow
- 8) PSE Ghost Take Down Recurve Bow
- 9) Advanced PSE Kingfisher Bowfishing Package
- 10) Hoyt Carbon Defiant
Top Rated Best Bowfishing Bows 2019
So you want to take up bow hunting this year. Even when you’re starting out in this sport you shouldn’t settle for anything less than the Best compound bow for youth and beginners.
To help you decide on which is the best Compound bow for youth and beginners in 2018 we have looked at many compound bows that boast to be the best. We decided to look past the marketing fluff and find out the real deal. Besides the bow weight, draw weight, draw length and speed, a bow can only truly be judged when you hold it in your hand and feel what it’s telling you.
What’s best for others may not be best for you, so our guide gives you 7 options to decide the best compound bow for yourself. We have reviewed other bows further down but I’ll save you some time if you’re looking for the absolute best. I’ll make a tall claim about this one right now – Bear Archery Cruzer G2 is the best compound bow for youth and beginner.
1) RAPTOR Compound Hunting Bow Kit – Best Choice
Hoyt Raptor is a fast shooting, smooth pulling, a reliable and versatile compound bow. So it just had to be considered as one of the best bowfishing bows for youth and beginners. It has a fully adjustable draw length with its max peaking at 31″ with the draw weight of 30-70 lbs makes it one of the top compound bow hunting kits out there.
This compound bow can be adjusted for a person of any size without the need of a bow press. Generally, the beginners are looking for a bow that is cheap without a compromise on the quality. After all, there is an upward learning curve that needs to be scaled first. Only then can a hunter can consider themselves pro and start looking for a better weapon. Until then this compound bow can be your perfect hunting partner.
In my view, the best compound bow for youth and beginners should be light, and versatile yet fast and quick enough to keep them in the hunt. Hoyt Raptor compound bow fits the bill in that regard very nicely. All in all this bow is of a decent enough quality that you can gamble on over high-end brands saving a few bucks and getting a powerful accurate and rugged beginner’s bow.
2) Bear Archery Cruzer G2 Adult Compound Bow
Our pick for Best Compound bow for Youth and Beginners Bear Archery Cruzer. I helped a friend get this bow who had no experience in archery or bow shooting. Yet he was shooting cans from 25 yards in less than ONE hour.
So no matter what your age, if you’re a beginner and have never shot a bow, this is the best compound bow for you, Period !!! That is just hard to beat… No other bow but Bear Archery Cruzer G2 would have allowed him to accomplish that if you ask me. That feat alone makes it a Very impressive compound bow in my opinion. Not just any … but the Best compound bow for youth and beginner is capable of that.
It comes with a complete ready to hunt package and that combination is just plain deadly. It has the peep sight, awesome reticle with night illumination feature, nook, stabilizer, quiver and wrist wrap. All set up perfectly to have it ready to shoot right out of the box. Just like most compound bows, It has the variance that helps in increasing or decreasing the draw weight. Adjusting the draw lengths is as easy as turning the dial that makes it a perfect companion on your hunts for a long time.
3) Cajun Bowfishing Sucker Punch
Top of the line in bowfishing combo kits, the Cajun Bowfishing Sucker Punch gets you on the road for bowfishing right out of the box. Not too keen on building your own bowfishing package? This beast is a tailor-made bowfishing bow and arrow package that is specifically designed for bowfishing.
Although you can get it in both bow-only and ready-to-fish bowfishing bow and arrow kit It’s combo package will save you from experimenting with different accessories and parts. Add to that the convenience of two interchangeable draw modules. First is the specific draw module while the second is a constant draw module that has 60 percent let off. In both cases the draw length does not change – 17 to 31 inches is the draw length in both cases.
It has deeper cam grooves to prevent the derailing of the strings. Since all your action will take place close to the water the deep cam grooves will help keep the strings on even if the strings get wet. The kit that is designed for this bow is the best and most complete bowfishing bow and arrow kit in the market. Fishing biscuit arrow rest, Cajun hybrid bowfishing reel, and Cajun blister buster finger pads are part of the complete combo package.
In case you don’t have to run off to the store to get the arrows for your bow, they are added in the package as well. Not one but two arrows. Both made of fiberglass and topped with piranha tips to give you complete and powerful bowfishing experience. P.S. The customers who bought this on Amazon have raving reviews for this bow. Check it out on Amazon. I will definitely recommend this in the compound fishing bow category.
- 35.25″ axle to axle
- Weighs 3.2 lbs
- Draw weight range from 30 to 50 lbs
4) Quest Forge DTH Compound Bow – Premium Choice
Quest forge is also one of the best compound bows created and targeted specifically for youth and beginners. This is hands down one of the best bows to get started in archery and decide whether you want to take up hunting.
It’s hybrid cam design combined with its draw range of 25.5-30 inches allows for a comfortable draw cycle. After all, when you’re starting out being comfortable to shoot will be key for you in deciding whether you will take up hunting or not. So might as well start with a compound bow that is easy on those archery muscles that still need to be developed when starting out. Mind you these archery muscles are in your upper back and arms that you don’t normally use for daily activities.
Its roller guard slide helps in smooth movements and easy adjustments. It has the ability to shoot at high speeds thanks to its hybrid cam design. Since we are talking about the Best compound bow for youth and beginner – these are the features that would bolt any bow to the top of the list. Quest Forge has a slim design with wide limbs. These along with a comfortable grip provide stability while in full draw and shooting.
5) Diamond Archery Edge SB1 Compound Bow
In our quest to find the best compound bow for youth and beginner I came across Diamond Archery Edge SB1. This bow is a bow hunters dream come true. It is adjustable, lightweight and versatile with a very good quality build. If that’s not motivation enough for you to get one, let me add that you do not have to break the bank to get it.
The best thing is that it was designed with the youth and beginners in mind. So it helps them start experiencing the thrill of bowhunting by hitting the targets. No wonder it’s Diamond’s best selling bow of all time. In fact, this bow is so versatile that it can adjust to the needs of any age group. Kids aged 7 to aged Pro at 87 can set this up and use it with ease.
I recommend this compound bow for beginners but seasoned hunters cannot stop but praise this machine. It has all the qualities of being a long term companion. Even after you upgrade to a new bow you might still want to keep this one because it’s just that functional. It’s loved as a compound bow for youth for its super fast speed, low level of noise, and incredible ease of adjustment.
The Diamond Edge SB-1 binary cam system helps in protecting…
- The strings stretch,
- Cams losing their tune and …
- General wear and tear and keeps your bow in perfect tune.
Diamond’s website is a great resource on keeping your bow in good shape with its videos that show step by step instructions on adjusting old or new bows.
6) Diamond Infinite Edge Pro Compound Bow
The infinite Edge Pro was conceived after the phenomenal success of its predecessor, Diamond Infinite Edge which was the best selling bow of all time from Diamond. Infinite Edge pro builds upon the strengths of its ancestors and makes it better. Its light weight is one of the first things you will notice when you get your hands on it. You will be amazed at how easy and comfortable it is to handle and can be carried along anywhere you go without an issue.
The draw length is now better, allowing the shooters who like longer draws. It has a completely redesigned cam system to give you the smoothest draw cycle. Diamond has also made improvements by adding a solid back wall and stabilizer giving it a perfect balance.
Infinite Edge pro is both a speed bow and a hunting bow. That makes it one of the best compound bows for youth and beginners in the market. At above 310 fps it’s reasonably fast for a starter bow yet it has a comfortable and smooth draw. This bow is light and compact enough for a kid. In fact, we would call it a child-friendly since it’s one of the most easily adjustable bows in the market. Part of its versatility is its ability to adjust with any hunter. With so many options to adjust, everyone can find a comfortable configuration that suits them best.
7) Southland Archery Supply SAS Rage Compound Bow
What makes SAS Rage a good choice as the best compound bow for youth and beginners is that it gives the Other compound bows in this list a run for their money when it comes to High quality and durability. With 270 FPS of max speed, it is not the fastest compound bow out there but it makes up for the speed with its strength because of piece layered limbs.
It’s light and durable enough to be used for bowfishing. In fact, it becomes very handy while bowfishing because of its lightweight and the strength of its limbs. Its the low price is a bonus but that does not compromise on the quality. It’s able to compete with its siblings from a lot higher and expensive class and gives them a good competition to prove their worth.
For those of you who are not buying a bow because they feel so expensive… This one is for you, low priced yet strong enough to last you many hunting seasons. For a compound bow that is meant for youth and beginners, you can upgrade that to a full-fledged hunter bow by adding a few inexpensive accessories. A good Dot Sight, a good peep, and a whisker biscuit will turn it into a reliable and affordable hunting machine.
8) PSE Ghost Take Down Recurve Bow
This fishing bow is hard-shooter and durable. Not the most modern and technical beast in the market but provides a very good bowfishing bow and arrow combo package on a budget. PSE Kingfisher Bowfishing Kit is definitely marketed as a beginner and youth fishing bow kit. It does not have the latest and greatest of everything but quite the opposite in the package.
This package contains the bare minimum that any beginner would need to get started in bowfishing. The bow itself is decently strong and durable with an all season camo. It’s a recurve bow that generally produces some noise when the bow is shot and this one is no exception. The noise will not matter as much while bowfishing as it would with other games as fish don’t as easily get spooked away with noise.
Recurve bows are now a thing of the past and have been replaced by more precise, compact and quiet compound bows. But if you’re in Love with the recurved shape, maybe you should consider this. All that said, this bow does the basics very well. When an arrow is shot it gives it enough punch to propel it through the water fast enough to catch the fish off, guard.
It’s easy to carry and transport because of its simplistic design and shape. Lesser weight because of lesser gadgets also help to keep its design light and compact. P.S. People who bought this were generally looking for a basic beginner and low priced fishing bow. Amazon has this for sale on an even better price. Most were getting it for occasional shooting and bowfishing.
- 36.8″ axle to axle.
- Weighs 3.2 lbs.
- Draw weight range from 25 to 40 lbs
9) Advanced PSE Kingfisher Bowfishing Package
The PSE Kingfisher bow has shown in another one of our reviews. This bowfishing bow and arrow kit package is completely different. This package is most certainly geared towards an advanced bowfishing hunter. Maybe it can also be picked up by beginners or youth who want to take up bowhunting more seriously and for the longer term.
What makes this kingfisher bow combo kit better is the AMS Retriever #310 which is regarded as the best retriever in the industry hands down. Add to that 2 Sureshot penetrator arrows with safety slides and you have yourself a bowfishing setup that is hard to be denied. The bow itself is made with Aluminum handle and fiberglass limbs which keep the bow light enough. The rubber no glove finger protection is ideal for bowfishing in the wet environment. Protecting your fingers from blister will give you long days of bowfishing.
So if you are looking for a good quality kit that you can continue to use year after year without breaking the bank. This advance bowfishing package with PSE Kingfisher should be top of the list for you. A bow like this would make you want to go fishing every day. Find out more about this on Amazon.
- 36.8″ axle to axle.
- Weighs 3.2 lbs.
- Draw weight range from 25 to 40 lbs
10) Hoyt Carbon Defiant
There is no doubt in Hoyt’s dominance when it comes to making the best compound bows for beginners and seasoned hunters alike. Hoyt is known for it’s designing and manufacturing of high-performance quality equipment. Given Hoyt’s quality and dominance in the market, it’s only natural that not one but two of Hoyt’s compound bow have featured in our list of the best compound bow for youth and beginner. Carbon Defiant muscled its way into our list. With its quality and features, we just couldn’t leave it out.
The major advantage of using carbon fiber in bow manufacturing is the strength of this material. But that’s not the only benefit that you get with it. Carbon Fiber is also warm to the touch in low temperatures. That makes it ideal for hunting in colder climates. Carbon fiber is also lighter than both Aluminium or plastic fiber and yet stronger and lighter than both of these materials. Hoyt has done their research well to make Carbon Defiant a strong yet light enough to carry around for youth and beginners. Given the benefits of carbon fiber, it’s no surprise that the best compound bows in the industry are made with this very material. No wonder Carbon Defiant is considered to be top of the line.
Carbon Defiant’s balanced design makes it lethally accurate. The even bigger advantage is that its accuracy does not compromise the speed. It’s able to push the arrow on top speeds of 331 FPS – That is no small feat. Carbon Defiant’s strength and accuracy are evident in its price tag. Rest assured it is no cheap bow to carry around. It certainly shows it’s class during the hunt or just while it’s being carried around with its rugged yet strong build.
Buyers Guide For Best Bowfishing Combo Kit
Whether you’re a beginner or a pro at bowfishing, the following information will help you make an informed decision at what type of equipment should you chose for yourself. Wikipedia defines it as “A method of fishing that uses specialized archery equipment to shoot and retrieve fish”.
What is Draw Weight
When considering the draw weight, a basic rule of thumb is “The taller and stronger you are, you can choose a bow with higher draw weight”. When you’re making a decision on your next bowfishing kit combo, just getting a bowfishing bow or just getting a bow, Draw weight is one of the main factors to consider.
The reason why draw weight is of vital consideration is that it will play an important role in shooting an arrow whether you’re shooting a fish in the water or a large pray on land. In simple terms, it’s the amount of force/weight required to pull back the string and hold it steady without the need for any aid. Learn archery website has a very detailed explanation about why draw weight is so important and how does it affect shooting.
The draw weight of bows ranges from 30 to 80 lbs on most bows. What suits you best will depend on your strength, ability, technic and the length of your both hands when stretched to the sides. Other factors like your age and gender also come into play but in general, they do not affect the draw weight too much.
Does Bowfishing Kit Combo Includes Reel
Bowfishing Reel is what makes the bowfishing arrow different from other compound arrows. Should you really care whether your fishing bow has a reel attached to it right out of the box?
Well if it’s your first bow and you don’t have too much of an idea about the equipment they might as well go with the bowfishing kit combo rather than going through the hassle of constructing your own. This will save you time and get your feet wet in the ocean of bowfishing while you become more familiar with the details of what exactly suits your style of hunting.
The fishing line in the reel attaches to the Rail on the arrow. In some cases, the arrows do not have a rail so it connects to the back of the arrow(More on this in the arrow section). So once the arrow is shot and the fish is on the arrow, it’s reeled in the same way as any fishing rod. The bow acts as the rod and works as the lever to pull while the line is wound back through the bowfishing reel. The bowfishing reels being sold in the market are of two types, open or concealed in the drum. Concealed reels are better in my opinion because they keep the line from getting stuck with the ends of the reel.
What Hand Orientation of the Bow You Need
While hunting for a bowfishing bow – pun intended – there is a very important factor that needs to be kept in mind – Not all bows are designed the same. To make it easy for you to understand – The Right-handed bows are actually held in your left hand while the arrow is shot from the right – your dominant – hand.
For the left-handed bows, it’s the opposite.
While that might sound odd when we talk about it, but you wouldn’t think twice when you’re actually holding one in your hand. Most of the bows are made with people with a Right dominant hand in mind. That should not discourage the left-handed from taking up bowfishing for fun though. Left-handed bows are not that hard to find in the market. There might be fewer choices but finding a quality bow that fits your requirements is not that hard to find.
Archery talk forum has a great in-depth discussion about hand orientation and how it may affect your shooting. Nonetheless, not giving it a thought and just picking up one for your non-dominant hand may just make it completely useless for you. The right bow for you does not have to be right-handed, So make sure to give it some thought before buying one.
How to Calculate Dimensions(Draw Length)
Your draw length plays a vital part in what bowfishing bow you should choose. What you want to do is to match your draw length with that of the bow you want to get. A mismatch will compromise your shooting experience and that is the last thing you want while on the hunt.
There are a couple of ways to measure your draw length. The most accurate would be for you to stretch your arms out to form a T. Making sure that you’re standing up straight. Then keeping your shoulders in the same positions bend the elbow of your dominant and bend your head to look towards your stretched hand.
The draw length would be measured from the tip of the fingers of your stretched out the hand to the edge of your mouth. The second option would be to measure your stretched out arms while standing up straight forming a T. The measurement should be from the tip of the farthest finger on each side. Now take that measurement and divide it by 2.5. That should give you an almost accurate draw length.
Determining the draw length is explained in detail at Hunter’s friend website in their bow fitment guide. The third and recommended method is to go to a bow shop and have the pros measure the draw length for you. They’ve done it many times and know exactly how to measure it and help you match up with the best bow possible.
How Much Weight Will be Suitable for Me
Bowfishing is generally a lot more fast-paced than large game hunting. You will be spending a lot of time drawing the fishing bow to full draw and holding that draw for some time before shooting. All you need are bowfishing bow and arrow that are light enough to be held on full draw without causing much of fatigue to your shoulder muscles. If they’re light then carrying them around does not feel like a chore either.
Choosing the light but strong bow will give you the best bowfishing experience.
The weight of the fishing bow can be anywhere between 3 – 5 lbs for the most popular bows. The weight of the reel cylinder would be added to try to get that as light as possible. There are several materials used for the construction of bows. Aluminum, plastic fiber, carbon fiber or the mixture of carbon and Aluminum are some of the materials. The weight of your bow will vary greatly based on the material used to build it.
Fishing bows constructed with Carbon fiber are the strongest bows with the least amount of weight. Most bowfishing kits come with fishing bows made with carbon fiber. Carbon fiber bows are generally the most expensive as well. Nonetheless, it’s money worth spending when you consider the comfort and strength of carbon fiber. Add to that, Carbon fiber is warm to touch and excellent for cold weather conditions.
Arrow Parts and Types
Bowfishing bow and arrow kit are not complete unless you have at least one arrow included with it. Bowfishing arrow is a specialized arrow that is made specifically for bowfishing. So obviously it cannot be used for any other kind of bow hunting.
Bowfishing arrow has multiple parts that contribute it to being a better, stronger and effective arrow for the different types of fish in the water. In addition to that, there may be specialized arrows for the different types of fish as well mainly depending on their size but in general, if you’re staying below the 20-25 lbs fish, your single bow supplied with the bowfishing bow and arrow kit should suffice.
Warranty on Parts
Should it come to this, the warranty can come in very handy. Bows are normally built to be used in the rugged environment so user handling might always come in to question. But even then most manufacturers honor their warranty and stand by the quality of their product. All manufacturers would offer some type of warranty. The warranty period will vary for each manufacturer. So it’s best to get yourself educated about how long the warranty will last.
It will also help to know well before buying as to what type of warranty is being offered. That will help you understand what is covered and what isn’t. As with anything else, not all parts and not all circumstances are generally covered. It will be hard to find a manufacturer that will offer an unconditional warranty. Be sure to know that the repairs for your bowfishing bow and arrow can also be costly. So if you’re investing in the complete bowfishing bow and arrow kit, let the warranty factor into the money coming out of your wallet.
What is the Best Anchor Point for Drawing a Bow
The best Anchor point for drawing a bow varies from Archer to archer. It is as individual as a person. No one can really TELL you what your best anchor point is because it can only come with practice, reflection, and self-awareness. All archers shoot the arrow in their own style, those with a high anchor point are characterized as high archers. Others with low anchor point can be termed as low archers. Some just have the anchor point to the side of their face. If there are so many styles of shooting then what is this hoopla about the anchor point is, in the first place? So let’s start with the basics.
What Is the Anchor point?
The anchor point is part of the proper form of shooting with a bow. Whether you’re bowfishing or shooting a compound bow for the big game, It is the part of the fundamentals in learning archery and hunters ed. The anchor point is as important as your stance and body direction. Knowing your best Anchor point for drawing a bow also helps in determining the bow length that you should use. So when you have the bow on the full draw, the point of your face that the nock of the arrow touches is your anchor point. Now this will vary from person to person based on their body type, strength, technique, and stance.
In general, it’s advised to keep the anchor point between the chin and the lip, right below the closer edge of your lip. That is a safe area for the nock to rest before shooting because your facial features – skin, beard or a scarf you may wear in winter – might rub off while you make the shot. If any part of the body is too close or rubbing with the string or the arrow, it can cause the shot to miss hit.
So at the start, it’s critical for you to be aware of your anchor point. Once you become seasoned it becomes second nature. So in essence, as a guide for the best anchor point for drawing a bow should be between the chin and the lip, more to the closer edge of the lip. But as the archers get comfortable with shooting, they develop their own Anchor points for what suits them best.
Analyzing the Best Bow Anchor Points of Famous Archers
Why is the Anchor Point so Critical?
To achieve perfection in archery, every time you shoot an arrow, you want to shoot it exactly the same way… Shot … after shot … after shot. Accuracy can only come through repetition (This is one of the great lessons that Archery teaches for life). To get your shot to hit the middle of the bullseye every single time, you need to develop a solid anchor point for drawing a bow.
Another reason why you need to master your Anchor point is to be able to reproduce the same shot over and over regardless of the surroundings and conditions. The anchor point that varies – above your lips at times, below your chin at times, or ahead of your face at times – will give you an inconsistent shot without fail that hardly ever hits the target. So the best way to find your anchor point is to start from a template – if you will – that is a good starting point and then move it around a little to find out what suits you best.
How to Find the Best Anchor Point for Drawing a Bow?
There are a couple of methods that you can employ to find the best anchor point for drawing a bow. You can pick and choose any of these that you are comfortable with.
Ask a friend to “Spot” your shots: The best, quickest and easiest method is to ask a friend to keep an eye on your Anchor point before you shoot. An experienced Archer would be able to guide you and provide helpful tips.
Setup a Camera: If you can’t get anyone to help you or if you want to observe your own anchor point for correction, you should set up a camera that records your draws and shots. After all, practice makes perfect in archery and the Camera will work as a good tool to give you feedback.
Walk into your local Archery shop: Let the professionals handle it. Your local Archery shop has helped plenty of new archers through finding their best anchor point. They know where and how to correct the form and they can provide further tips and suggestions on how you need to achieve your specific Anchor point.
How Does Peep Sight help in Finding the Best Anchor Point?
Peep sight placement would be a good indicator of how consistent your Anchor point is. Whenever you change the anchor point, your head position will have to adjust to having a good look through the peep sight to make sure you’re targeting correctly. If you constantly have to adjust your head then there are only two possible reasons. Besides the peep sight not being placed right, there’s a higher probability that you’re not shooting from your best anchor point for drawing a bow.
Avoid Torque Point
Torque points are a big no-no when drawing a bow. They can affect your anchor point and in turn, contribute to an inconstant shot that should be avoided. So What is a torque point? Torque point is any place on your face that creates an additional torque on the bowstring when you are at full draw. Generally, Archers create an extra torque point on their…
Nose: by letting the string press against their nose
Chin: By letting the skin on chin and cheek to draw back with the string.
Torque point is never good because it can cause the direction of arrow change from the intended target. The friction created by any torque point can cause the arrow to either lose speed or change direction. When you analyze many archers over time you will notice that there are various torque points that some of the archers create while holding the draw.
How to Get Consistency for the Best Anchor point
There’s an old adage, “Mastery can only come with repetition”. So once you have found your best anchor point, now is the time for you to make it consistent and make sure that you’re drawing at that point every single time.
All you need to do is ensure that you do not deviate from the anchor point that you have established. This will require consistency and tenacity. You might need to correct yourself multiple times, but keep at it. Initially it may seem like painstaking labor to get the perfect anchor, but eventually, you’ll get used to it. Once you have mastered that proper anchor, you’ll become your best critique. You’ll pick out your mistakes as soon as you make them.
Why Bowfish Instead of Plain Old Fishing
Bowfishing is a different sport when compared to fishing altogether. It requires different kind of temperament, different kind of mindset, a different state of being if you will. Frankly, the only thing common between the two is the fish. Bowfishing is more related to impulsive hunting instinct as opposed to the calm and lazy fishing mindset. It promotes activity and gets your brain going on top speed when you’re in the hunt.
- It’s not dull but a Very Active Sport: To start out, bowfishing is a very active sport, unlike its big brother. It’s more like hunting than it is fishing. There will be times when you’ll find yourself aiming at something every couple of minutes if not more. How many times you will hit the target depends upon your skills and accuracy. But you’ll hardly ever find any dull moments. To this end, you need to make sure that you pick a spot where there is plenty of fish lurking around and naturally you’ll find yourself going to spots that are crowded with fish. That is where bowfishing adrenaline pumps the most.
- Talk, Scream, Laugh out loud… It’s OK: It’s a very involved type of sport where you’re talking to your friends very frequently and getting exciting very often. So if you’re into hunting larger game on the ground, you would be much too familiar with keeping quiet and whispering and listening to nature.
You don’t have to do all that while bowfishing. In fact, it’s quite the contrary most of the time. If you’re with someone you will find yourself yelling and screaming and getting excited at times and that’s ok for this sport. Try doing that while shooting at an elk 10 yards away.
Best Vantage points to shoot
From the bank, Wading inside, from a bridge or top of the boat, bowfishing can be versatile and each one of the forms will have its own unique experience. I personally like to either hunt from top of the boat or from top of a low walking bridge. Both these experiences give me a better vantage point where I can look directly down… bring the bow to full draw … and shoot.
The angles of refraction become steeper when you’re shooting from the bank, the general rule of thumb is aim 10 inches below the target before you shoot – but of course, it is just a rule of thumb, you’ll have to adjust your aim based on what you see and how you see it. But in general, you should always aim beneath the fish rather than above.
Best Time to Go Bowfishing
Bowfishing is a great sport during the day but awesome during the night. This is a sport that does not limit you by the hour of day or night but is equally challenging regardless of the time you choose. So any time of the day is the best time to go bowfishing. If you’re fishing during the daylight hours you will need to take precautions about the sun battering down on your skin and eyes and the reflection and glare from the sun off the water since you will be moving around and trying to look through water.
The best idea is to take along a good pair of polarized sunglasses to save your eyes from the sun if you’re fishing during the day. A hat might also come in handy when the sun is at it’s hottest so you can use that to keep the sun off your face. When you’re having fun and enjoying yourself the time flies quickly so you might want to take precautions about the skin and take along a good sunblock even if you don’t plan to spend long hours in the sun. Besides these you might want to carry a light jacket or windbreaker should the weather warrant for it.
At night, the dynamics of bowfishing change quite a bit. Your technique remains the same now you need to look through the water in total darkness. So it would be a novel idea to carry along a spotlight. That helps you see through at least a few feet of water. As an alternative, a really good and strong flashlight can be used if a spotlight is hard to come by. But without any of these, your bowfishing venture out will be as blind as darkness. Bugs and mosquitoes can always be an issue near open water so you should plan ahead by taking along an insect repellent.
Teach Me the Tricks of How to Bowfish
You would see this newbie mistake of aiming too high. What they’re doing wrong is not calculating for refraction. The general rule of thumb is that you need to … “Aim beneath the fish NOT above it”. So you should always aim below where the fish appears to be. But how far below??? This will depend on a couple of factors and will only become clear after some trial and error.
Firstly keep a check on the angle that you are shooting down on. What that means is that if the fish is far from you then your angle of refraction is wider and you have to shoot farther below – normally 10 to 15 inches – to compensate for the angle. On the other hand, if the fish is closer, your angle of refraction is narrower and you need to shoot 4-8 inches below the fish. These are just some numbers for reference but you can only figure out the real deal once you get ready… Aim and shoot.
What NOT to do While Bowfishing… Precautions
Before you jump into the bowfishing world headfirst it would benefit you to first find out about what NOT to do during your bowfishing adventures.
The bowstring always needs to be tied to the slide at the front of the arrow and not tied to the end of the arrow. If it’s tied to the end, it is bound to inevitably get stuck in the bowstring and snap back… and if that happens there is a very high likelihood of major injuries, so prevention is better than the cure. It will benefit you to no end to find out first how and where exactly the bowstring should attach before you unleash your first arrow.
The perfect way to find out any issues can be avoided but practicing what is called the “Walk around” in the aviation industry. Just like a pilot would walk around the plane and check all the vital parts of the plane to ensure a safe flight, you should do the same with your bowfishing equipment.
A quick visual and physical Check of …
- The screws and bolts,
- The tension of the bowstring,
- Visually inspect any damage to the bow,
- Checking the string and retriever,
- Checking the slide on the arrow where the bowstring connects
… are all the major checkpoints that need to be ticked off before you head on out on your adventures.
All in all, Bowfishing is a great sport. It does not require a lot of time to prep and does not require a lot of time and planning to go out. You can be in your PJs sitting at home and decide to go fishing on the creek or lake nearby all of a sudden and just hit the road without much of a prep. It does not matter what time of the day or night you make your decision, all you need is the equipment and you’re all set.
Bowfishing Guide for Equipment You will Need for Bowfishing
Let’s go Bowfishing…
If you like bowfishing, you should know that bowfishing bow and arrows are made of what material – that depends a lot on the kind of fish you’re after. Bowfishing? Is it some kind of fish wearing a bow… That may be a response from a novice. Someone who has not felt the adrenaline rush of this amazing, relaxing, outdoor activity. Bowfishing is an outdoor activity that is quite unique because it combines the focus and precision of archery with the lazy relaxation of fishing.
Bowfishing bow is not a very distant cousin of a longbow or crossbow. How is it different from other bowhunting games? Well, it’s all in the name. Unlike its cousins, bowfishing has to do with lots of water, lakes, brooks, or creeks. Basically, wherever you can find any type of fish and that’s where all the bowfishing enthusiasts flock to. In this post, you will learn about…
What do you Hunt by Bowfishing?
If you can hunt a deer with a bow and arrow then why can’t you do the same to the fish? After all, they too live and breathe the same as all other living beings… Ok, maybe not breathe the same but you get the idea. So you will have to adapt your technique a bit for shooting arrows underwater.
Not only that but it will help to modify your aim a little bit as well because if you’re looking down in the water from an angle, it will mess up your depth perception and make the objects appear closer than they actually are. It will take some trial and error but you would always shoot slightly below the line of sight because of refraction. So as long as you have the right technique conquered, you can hunt for any type of fish and then some.
Bowfishers… or bowfishing hunters as we like to call ourselves like to hunt catfish, paddlefish, common carp, bowfin, grass carp, bighead carp, tilapia, and alligator gar. Now as you can tell those are all fish from fresh water. Here in Minnesota, fresh water is all we have because we are just so far away from the sea on either side. Lake Superior is the closest thing to the ocean we have but for one… it’s so far up north that it’s practically in Canada, and secondly… who are we kidding… It says in the name… it’s a lake.
What Type of Equipment will I Need for Bowfishing?
As exciting as it was for me when I first found out about it, Bowfishing is not a new fishing technique although it is relatively new as a sport. It has been a traditional way of fishing in the Philippines since time immemorial and based on its simplicity it has existed in many different forms in different parts of the world.
The tools for bowfishing can be very simple. A simple bow, a barbed arrow that clings on to the fish once it’s hit, with a fishing line connected to the arrow on one end and to a reel on the other that’s connected to the Bow to reel in the fish once the shot is made and the fish is barbed to the arrow. The modern bowfishing equipment can be as simple or as precise as you want to make it. There are tons of bows out there that make bowfishing fun, easy and a type of precision fishing. Technology has also changed the Arrows with time from simple bamboo, feather or wooden arrows to aluminum, carbon fiber, Aluminum Carbon fiber Hybrid and tons of new materials for the adventurers.
Selecting the right bowfishing arrow depends upon what kind of fish you want to use them on. Best bowfishing arrows are actually made up of materials with multiple parts on its own the major part of it is the shaft, then you have the point and barbs. One thing missing from the bowfishing arrows is the flinch since that would only slow it down once it enters the water.
a. Arrow shaft:
Arrow shafts are not very techy to look at. They’re just a straight round stick made with different materials. But I’ll tell you bowfishing arrows are made from what material because Materials is exactly where the technology resides. Bowfishing arrows are generally made from Fiberglass, Aluminum, Carbon fiber, or the combination of the latter two. There are other materials out there as well but these are the best ones out there and based on what you’re going to fish you should choose one of these.
Aluminum is strong and cheap but it can be heavy. So it should be used if the price is a concern but you need something that is durable and strong. Carbon fiber – which by the way is the material that the pros will recommend as the best bowfishing arrows material – on the other hand, is light and strong and by far the best material out there, but it’s pricey, so if price is not so much of a concern then you should go with that.
Thankfully the technology has caught up to the Arrow manufacturing process and you can get Aluminum and Carbon fiber hybrids that do not compromise the strength of either of these materials but helps in making the price more affordable. So if you’re looking for the best bowfishing arrow for the price, go for the hybrid.
b. Arrow Safety Slide:
Bowfishing arrow safety slide is an accessory that is specific to bowfishing. Arrow slide is not used in any other type of bow hunting. You can do without an arrow slide – or arrow slider as it is sometimes called – but you should plan on using it at least in the beginning. It is also sometimes called an arrow safety slide. As the name suggests, the biggest purpose it serves is the safety for the user. It keeps the fishing line away from the bowstring where it can get stuck and snap back. Therefore it works really well as a safety precaution.
If you wanted to go cheap, you can leave the slider out but you’re not going to save so much money to offset the safety and practicality it brings to bowfishing. The best way to shoot the fishing bow is that when the bow is cocked with the arrow, the reel should be completely retrieved in to make sure there is no slack that can get stuck. While the bow is cocked and before it is released, the slider is near the point of the arrow in the front, as soon as the arrow is released, the arrow goes forward and the slider moves to the end carrying the fishing line with it. This motion keeps the fishing line away from the bowstring.
c. The Point:
Point is the very tip of the arrow. It contains a sharp point that helps it to penetrate the fish through tough scales. When you buy an arrow you need to make sure that the points are changeable with screws. The point gets banged up very quickly because there are rocks and sometimes concrete around water and the point gets a pretty good beating. If you need to change a point, it’s really easy, just unscrew the old one and screw in the new one.
d. The barbs:
A critical part of the arrow for bowfishing. This is different from the arrows for larger game. It’s a part of the point of the arrow and can be flipped or retracted so that the arrow can be taken out of the fish. Without this, the fish will not stay on the arrow instead it will be bleeding and injured and will be impossible to retrieve, most probably falling prey to other predators or just die from injuries. So you want to make sure that you have a good set of barbs that can hold the fish once hit.