Why fish with a boring old fishing rod when you can fish with a bow and arrow? Obviously, catch-and-release isn’t an option with this technique, but if you like to catch fish to cook up for dinner, this might be a fun alternative to try out. However, you’ll need a whole separate set of equipment in order to do so, which is why we’ve put together a list of the essential gear you’ll need to start bowfishing.
Bow and Arrow
The obvious inclusion for bowfishing would be a bow and a set of arrows. We still wanted to include it, though. That way, we could let newcomers know that they can use any bow and arrows that they can get their hands on. Of course, there are ones made specifically for bowfishing, but you can add the attachments you need for this activity to almost any set that you find.
The key thing you’ll want to make sure you have here is a set of arrowheads specifically made for bowfishing. You can find those as well as any other bowfishing gear for sale mentioned in this blog post in our online store.
A Fishing License
If you fish regularly, you’ll already have this, but you’ll need to get a fishing license if you’re coming from a hunting background. You’ll need to check your local laws just to be sure that it’s all you’ll need, though. A few states require bowfishers to have a modified hunting license as well.
Reel and Fishing Line
Once all the legalities are squared away, it’s time to start getting the equipment that will turn your standard bow into one that you can fish with. The most essential gear you’ll need to start bowfishing will be the reel and fishing line. Without this, you’re just shooting fish that you’ll never be able to retrieve.
However, you can’t use a regular fishing line and reel. This is because the arrows’ speeds are way faster than what a normal fishing set can handle. Plus, ones made for bowfishing come with ways to attach them directly to your bow.
For regular fishing, seeing into the water isn’t as crucial since you simply have to be patient and wait for the fish to come to your line. On the other hand, bowfishing requires you to have a direct line of sight with the fish. If the sun is starting to go down or the water is murky, seeing your targets might be close to impossible.
Fortunately, you can attach a flashlight directly to your bow in order to see the fish better. As a bonus, most fish are naturally attracted to light, so as long as you don’t move it around rapidly, a fish might willingly swim into your line of sight.
Fishing Gaff or Net
The final piece of gear you might need will be either a fishing gaff or net. Once you pull the fish out of the water, it might be hard to contain on your own. Gaffs will be helpful if you’re going for larger prey, but a simple fishing net will suffice for smaller targets.