As the name suggests, bowfishing is not your traditional fishing. It won't be wrong to say that bowfishing lies somewhere in between fishing and hunting. The basic concept of bowfishing is that you take a bow and use fishing arrows and reels to catch fish from short distances. These arrows will be attached to a line so that you can easily retrieve the fish once you have hit it.
The biggest advantage of bowfishing is that it can be done at any time of the day or night and that too throughout the year. The sport has become very popular all through the United States, especially in Florida and Mississippi Delta. If you are new to bowfishing, read on to find out everything there is to know about this popular sport.
What is Bowfishing?
Bowfishing has been growing in popularity in the last few years. As the name suggests, bowfishing is the process of hunting fish using a bow and arrow. While it may sound very simple, the game of bowfishing comes with several twists here and there. It won't be wrong to say that bowfishing is nearly the same as bowhunting, but there are some major differences between the two.
When you indulge in bowfishing, the targets tend to be much closer than the distance you would normally find your targets in the woods while hunting. There is no need to have long-range shooting skills in bowfishing, due to which even beginners find it very easy to enjoy bowfishing. Close-quarter fishing also means that you don't need too much-specialized equipment.
Therefore, bowfishing can be best described as a combination of bow archery and fishing in one sport. This is why people who bowfish are also known as archer-anglers. This is an incredibly fast-paced and exciting sport, and the United States is one of the best bow fishing countries in this sport.
How to bowfish, and is it hard?
The basics of bowfishing involve shooting at closer range and greater frequency. In bowfishing, the shots are much closer and more frequent, which is why beginners often find it easier to pick up this sport and have great success on the first attempt itself. Since there is no need for specialized equipment, bowfishing is accessible for beginners.
The goal of bowfishing is to first get to shallow water and get close enough to shoot the fish with an arrow. The arrow is attached to your reel with a string. Remember that you need to get pretty close to be able to shoot the fish. You also need to be looking out for the fish, identify which type of fish it is, and then take the shot.
The lesser water there is between you and the fish, the better it will be because as the arrow travels through the water, it starts losing energy. So if the travel distance is less, it will hit the target. If the travel distance is more, it might not be able to travel the full distance, or the arrow may not make sufficient penetration into the fish.
You can go bowfishing all year round. Daytime fishing is usually best during the springtime when the fish are spawning. Nighttime bowfishing can be done all around the year, and you will get good results. You can take any kind and size of boat for bowfishing.
What are the best places for Bowfishing?
It's not without reason that the US is often referred to as a bow fishing country. Here are some of the best places for bowfishing in the US:
Texas: There are several great bowfishing spots in Texas, especially the Trinity River. The portion of the river that flows between Dallas and Houston provides the best opportunities for bowfishing. Some of the most commonly caught fish here include catfish, gar, and carp.
Mississippi River: Being one of the longest rivers in the bow fishing country, you have over 2300 miles of river to choose from. The entire river is full of sought-after fishes like the common carp, alligator gar, and paddlefish.
Florida coast: Florida is a great spot for bowfishing as you will find many saltwater species there, including catfish, mullet, flounder, sheepshead, stingrays, and spadefish.
Bull Shoal Lake in Arkansas: This is perhaps one of the most underutilized places for bowfishing in the US. Located in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, this scenic and pristine location is home to a huge population of many common species of fish, including gar, bass, catfish, and carp. This has made it a popular spot for bowfishing.
What type of gear do you need for bowfishing?
When it comes to bowfishing gear, you do not need to buy the most expensive equipment. You only need three basic things to start bowfishing. These are a bow, an arrow, and a reel. Almost any recurve or compound bow will work for bowfishing. There are several types of bows used in bowfishing. While the recurve bows are more conventional and more basic, compound bows have more strength and speed, but they also require more maintenance.
Most bow fishers tend to choose a 30 to 40-pound draw weight for bowfishing, though almost any draw weight will work quite well.
Bowfishing arrows are different from the arrows that are used in hunting. The basic arrows are manufactured from fiberglass shafts, and they have a special point that lets the arrow pass through fish but not come back out. There are many different types and brands of bowfishing arrows available.
If you are looking to buy the best bowfishing equipment, it is best to head to Vapor Trail Archery. Vapor Trail Archery is one of the top three bowstring manufacturers in the world, and you know that with their arrows, bows, and other accessories, you cannot go wrong.
Not only does Vapor Trail sell the best quality bows, but you also get the best drop-away arrow rests, arrows, and other high-quality archery equipment from here. With a three-day shipping guarantee and lifetime service for your bowfishing equipment, there is perhaps no better supplier for bow fishers.