Bowfishing is an exciting alternative method for fishing. However, it can be a hard skill to get down. To begin with, you’re going to need to get the basic supplies.

  • a bow
  • a bowfishing set up (consisting of an arrow and some sort of reel, both available at local sporting goods stores)
  • a place to go with rough fish and where it is legal to shoot them
  • a powerful, bright spotlight, preferably with candle power in the millions (if you plan on shooting at night)
  • a boat, though you can shoot from shore if you know fish are coming close enough to the bank

To put all these to good use, follow these steps. First, you’re going to want to set your bow up with the reel and arrow and get used to shooting it – practice a little. A great way to practice is to try and sink a water bottle in a pond to get a feel for shooting at a target underwater. Remember to always aim low.

Next, you’re going to want to find the place you plan on shooting. Once you’ve got that figured out, decide if you can shoot from shore or if a boat is needed. Make sure you check with the local regulations to make sure it’s legal to bowfish on the lake or body of water you plan on shooting.

Once you’ve got your spot lined up, your going to want to find a friend to go along, especially if you go at night. Bowfishing is a lot easier with more than one person, so that while one person shoots the other can hold the light. Bowfishing is always more fun with more people anyway!

No one will hit the first fish they shoot at. Just don’t give up because its bound to happen sooner or later! These tips helped me get going on my first bow fish-hunt and they’ll do the same for you.

Photo: Nick Perla

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