5 Bowfishing Products You need to get started

The weather’s getting nicer and the carp are swimming into shallow waters. That can only mean it’s time to go bowfishing!

The popularity of bowfishing has been taking off in recent years as fisheries managers stress the need to rid waters of invasive species such as Asian carp, grass carp, flathead catfish and others, and as more and more bowhunters and anglers are discovering how much fun bowfishing is.

What is bowfishing? It’s shooting fish with a bow and arrow. The arrow has a line attached to it for reeling in your catch.

You can use a lot of the archery gear you already have to go bowfishing, but there are many products aimed specifically at bowfishing, which can really help boost your success on the water.

Here are five bowfishing products you’ve got to have to sling arrows at underwater targets.

  1. BOW – Both compound and recurve bows will work. The emphasis with a bowfishing bow is on being able to draw and shoot it quickly. Mechanical releases can be used, but many bow anglers prefer to draw with their fingers because it’s quicker. Peak draw weights from 30-50 pounds are common. You’re going to be shooting very short distances – rarely over 10 yards – so having long-range energy isn’t an issue.
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AMS Bowfishing E-Rad Bow

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Cajun Bowfishing Fish Stick

  1. ARROWS – Bowfishing arrows are built primarily to knife through water, so they are much heavier than standard arrows. Most are made of fiberglass or a mix of carbon/aluminum and fiberglass. Again, you’re not shooting very far, so heavy, slow arrows aren’t a problem.
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Easton Bubba Buoy Bowfishing Arrow

  1. POINTS – Bowfishing points are unique from other arrow points. They’re designed liked barbed hooks so that they penetrate easily, but they are then tough to pull out. When a shot fish takes off, the barbed bowfishing point hopefully will keep the arrow from sliding out and allow the fish to swim away.
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Bohning Raptor Fish Point

  1. LINE – Having a line attached to your arrow is a must. It’s the only way you’ll be able to retrieve that arrow, and any fish you shoot. Regular, monofilament fishing line is sure to become a tangled mess in no time. Bowfishing line usually is braided nylon. It’s more supple and is far less prone to tangles. It’s also very strong, making break-offs at the shot a rarity.
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Muzzy 150# Tournament Bowfishing Line

  1. REEL – I’ve certainly seen people simply drop line at their feet, stand on one end and shoot an arrow, which is attached to the other end of the line. But that’s a messy way to bowfish. The line is likely to get caught on things around your feet. Bow-mounted reels make line retrieval much easier. There are open-faced reels, which require you to wind on the line by hand, and there are reels that look like typical fishing reels. They’ve got handles that you wind to reel in the line after a shot.
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AMS Bowfishing Pro Retriever Bowfishing Reel

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