The 2016 year was the first year that I picked up my bow and said to myself that I wanted to try bowfishing out.
I called up my friend Don Barrett at Barrett’s Bowhunting in New York and ask him what I would need to start and he set me up with a Mathews Mission Craze in all black(my request) with a bowfishing rest a bowfishing reel and a bowfishing arrow. I ordered my bowfishing tip and Broadhead from Inneroc Broadheads. It was the “Innerloc Grappler”. I also ordered the Gar target from Innerloc to practice.
After shooting and setting my bow to around 45 or 50 pounds I shot and shot and realized this was going to be more challenging then I originally planned for.
Before I go any further rambling on here is a list of things that I would recommend having before you go Bowfishing!
You’re going to want to buy a bow that you don’t mind getting a little beat up because I promise you that it will get scuffed around multiple times during the bowfishing season. I chose a Mathews Mission Craze from Barretts Bowhunting for its lighter weight and it’s cheaper price tag.
2.) Bowfishing Reel
I chose the Cajun Archery Cajun Bowfishing Reel for the ease of use and that it came with line installed. It worked great for me and I will use it again next bowfishing season.
3.) Bowfishing rest
I used the AMS Wave for the simplicity but there are many others out there to look at and I might change that up next year for something to hold my arrow on a little better but still be able to “quick load”.
4.) Bowfishing Arrow/Tip
After trying out the generic bowfishing arrow and tip I quickly called up our partners at Innerloc Broadheads and they set me up with the Innerloc Grapid Glow Max Arrow – 5/16in. The Grapid point is an absolute must and I wouldn’t go without it again. The tips are razor sharp as well. I also have a safety slide installed on my arrow as well, I would highly recommend using one. I know I will continue to be using mine.
5.) Net or Gaff
This is a must. I lost countless fish by not having a net or not utilizing it anyways. It’s foolproof and will help you land that giant that might slip away if you don’t have one or the other.
6.) Fishing License
For those of you that don’t know if you need a Fishing or Hunting License. Here you go.
7.) Aim Low.. Then aim lower.
The main thing to help you will be to practice but when in doubt never let this leave your head.. Aim low and when you think you are low enough… Aim Lower. The refraction from the water causes the illusion of a fish higher in the water.. Well it’s lower. Not to mention your arrow seems to want to go back towards the surface of the water more and more the more horizontal and farther away you shoot. So I prefer shots directly under me or within 5 feet away or 2-2.5 feet deep.
This one is optional. I have a Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14′ Kayak that I can stand up in to shoot it had a lot of room and great manuverability. If you don’t have a boat or can’t afford one, don’t panic, people bowfish from the shore all the time.
Those are what I would personally say you will need to start off your bowfishing fun.
This is a hobby that I will be right back at next year and I hope to see you sharing some photos with me as well!
– Nick Kravitz