5 Essential Bowfishing Equipements You Must Have In 2021
Bowfishing is the process of catching fish with a bow and arrow. It really doesn't take much to get started bow fishing. You can always add more, but initially, all it takes is a bow, a good reel, some bow fishing arrows, polarized glasses, and a hat. Different bow fishing situations require different arrow and tip designs. Make sure you have enough of the right arrows for your bow fishing outing.
A second-hand bow is all you need for starting. Compounds recurve, longbows, use what you are comfortable with. They all work great for bow fishing. Rummage sales are great for bow fishing bows; I've picked up several for $20.00 apiece. You can also check the used bow section at your local archery shop or ask a few friends if they have an old bow or if they know of someone who might you'd be surprised.
A nice rig for the more severe bow fisherman is this pistol crossbow that can be purchased for under $100
The reel is the essential part of bow fishing. To have the most fun and get the most fish, you want a revolution that can quickly handle missed shots, and when you do connect with a fish, the reel needs to be able to take the fish as well. There are three types of reels. There are the traditional spool-type reels, the closed face reels, and the AMS Retriever Reel.
AMS Retriever Bowfishing Reels
The AMS Retriever Bowfishing Reels are altogether different and the reel of choice. There is no bail to release, no lost arrows. There is nothing to remember to do before each shot. The Retriever reel is mounted to the side of the bow in the bow's sight holes. If you choose to use sights, sight can be mounted merely over the top. The line of the Retriever is stacked in a plastic bottle rather than the wound on a spool. When you shoot a fish, the line flows out of the bottle after your arrow with literally no drag. If you miss the fish, pull the trigger to crank the bar in. If you hit a smaller fish, apply pressure to the motivation and crank him in. If he's a real fighter or a larger fish, there is no adjustable fighting drag, but you can get him in by pumping your bow with a little practice. Pull the trigger to pinch the line, pull the fish in toward you, and crank up the slackline. A couple more times, and you've got your fish.
Fiberglass arrows work great. They are powerful, take lots of abuse from hitting rocks to bending with a flopping fish, and spring back in shape for more abuse. There are also aluminum-clad arrows for extra weight and strength, but they are quite a bit more expensive.
SAFETY DEVICE FOR ARROWS:
A cable system or similar device is necessary to increase the safety of bow fishing. Anytime you tie your line to the tail of the arrow and shoot it from a bow, you're asking for trouble. Arrow snapback can result. Upon release, the line's trailing loop can tangle with the bowstring, the bows' cabling, the arrow rest, or the archer wristwatch, etc. If the cord should tangle with any of these objects, serious injury could result.
Using a cable system or AMS's ring sets is the solution to this problem.
The cable system consists of a metal or plastic cable with a swivel that runs from the tip to the arrow's tail. It is assembled by drilling holes, feeding the thread through, pulling it tight, and crimping the end clamps. The line is attached to the swivel and slides down the cable when in flight. The swivel allows the archer to control the position of the line while drawing the bow. By keeping the swivel and bowfishing line in front of the bow, there is no longer a trailing loop of line nor any obstacle for it to tangle with.
AMS has recently found a more simple solution. A simple stainless steel ring with a stop screw. The ring slides up and down the arrow's shaft, similar to that of the swivel, and is stopped by a stop screw installed in the arrow's tail. The function is the same. You tie the line directly to the ring, and it can freely slide up and down the arrow shaft. Before drawing, makes sure the line and ring are in front of the bow, no trailing loop of line, and no obstacles.
Bowfishing requires the use of special bowfishing tips. Think of a broadhead. They are designed to go through the target and cause lethal damage, but that's it. Bowfishing points have barbs that go through the fish on the shot – when retrieving; they hang on to the fish so that you can get him into your boat.
The Muzzy points are very tough and work great for big, hard-sided fish. They have a removable tip that can be replaced when necessary. The barbs are fixed with a holding area of about one inch. To remove a fish with the Muzzy points, you need to release the barbs before you can release your fish from the arrow. Just twist the tip a couple of times to remove the barbs, turn them back, and pull the arrow back through the fish.
Shure Shot points are another challenging point. They are another compact design also with fixed barbs, but the tip is not removable. They offer a little more holding area than the Muzzy points, but probably less penetration. The great thing about these tips is that a couple of twists of the arrow shaft will release the barbs and the fish without touching the direction of the arrow.
Another type of point is the Sting-A-Ree points by Cajun Archery. The fact is quite long, and they are great for smaller fish. The barbs are collapsed as the arrow passes through the fish. As you pull the needle back, the barbs catch on the side of the fish, open up and hold tight to the fish. The holding diameter of these points is nearly two inches. As with the Shure shots, a couple of twists of the arrow shaft will allow the barbs to collapse and the fish easily removed.
The importance of wearing polarized sunglasses while bow fishing cannot be emphasized enough. Polarized sunglasses dramatically reduce the glare of the sun on the water when bow fishing. By lowering the glow, you can see deeper and further out into the water. By visiting deeper and further, you can see more fish. Clip on's work, but we've found that polarized glasses with side shields seem to work better. When you're scanning the water for fish, the best view of the fish when bow fishing is with the sun to your back. The side shields offer additional protection for your eyes.
Selecting lens color is essential. Dark Gray lenses block the most sunlight and are used for bright and sunny days. Medium Amber lenses are typically used more for overcast and hazy days. Light Gray lenses are used for the first and last light of the day.