Bowfishing is big news in North America, with many men and women enjoying the thrill of hunting fish with a bow and arrow. Not only is this a really enjoyable sport but it also has a positive impact on the fishing environment. Hunters fish for what is commonly referred to as ‘garbage fish’, thus getting rid of them from the waters and restoring a better equilibrium. Therefore, traditional anglers will love you for it!
Garbage fish include many different species, such as typical bottom feeders, common carp, gars, barracuda and even alligators. You can fish in both saltwater and freshwater, in the day or at night and with various types of bows. The many choices available in bowfishing make this a very attractive sport for many.
Once you make the decision to give bowfishing a go, you will need to invest in some equipment. If you already hunt, you may have much of it already and in fact you can use your standard bow if you prefer. However, there are specialized bowfishing bows available on the market, for a truly authentic bowfishing experience.
Bowfishing arrows are much stronger than a typical archery arrow, for they need to be able to travel through dense water and still have enough energy to penetrate the target. They are typically made from fiberglass or carbon fiber and are designed to be shot from closer ranges than those shot at deer or bears in the woods.
Bowfishing bows tend to be very simple in design and have a low draw weight. Due to the nature of the prey and its habitat, a sight is not required and you must rely on your own instinct to aim correctly. It is a general rule to aim low for this offsets the refraction of the light on the water, which makes the fish appear closer to the surface than it actually is.
Whether you choose a compound, recurve or longbow design, there are many bows to choose from. Below are some of the best bowfishing bows on the market right now.
Best Bowfishing Bows
Cajun Bowfishing Sucker Punch Bow
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You can’t explore the world of fishing bows without considering this bow. By far one of the best bowfishing bows available, it features a fishing biscuit arrow rest and Cajun blister buster finger pads for both convenience and comfort.
Weighing in at only 3.2lbs, the engineering of this bow allows you to hunt for bigger fish such as carp or alligator gar. It features the Cajun Hybrid bowfishing reel and deep cam grooves to prevent derailed strings. There are two interchangeable draw modules, allowing you to choose your draw length from 17 to 31 inches.
This is an extremely popular bow and you really won’t be disappointed with it.
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PSE Discovery Bow
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Measuring 31.5” axle-to-axle length, it is convenient to use in cramped spaces, such as on a boat, and has a draw length range up to 30”. Featuring a colourful camouflage design, this fun bow is a firm favourite with many fish hunters.
It is manufactured in the USA and provides you with the assurance that it is top quality equipment. The maximum draw weight is 40lb, meaning it is more than adequate for your bowfishing needs.
Weighing in at only 2.7lbs, this really is a fantastic bow for those of you wanting a lighter option. This bow is durable and very reliable and also features a safety slide and Snap Shot Rest.
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Parker Stingray Bow
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A different option in the world of bowfishing, this is a specially designed crossbow with open sight. It features an adjustable limb weight range from 100 to 125lbs and is heavier than many other bows, weighing in at 7.5lbs. Perfect for those who prefer a sturdier feel.
It has its own fishing line, arrow and pre-mounted retriever system for convenience. The Dracon line is braided for strength and is highly visible when in the water.
This option really is great for anyone who prefers the feel of a crossbow and if you hunt regularly, why not get one of these to extend your season and hunt for fish.
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Muzzy Recurve Bow
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This is a fantastic bow from a very well-known and reputable company in the hunting industry. It features a 58” long 40# at 28” takedown recurve, offering a lightweight magnesium riser to reduce vibration and increase strength.
It has a Muzzy XD Pro reel, which comes pre-spooled with 150# line. Also featuring a fish hook rest and finger guards, this bow is easy and comfortable to hunt with.
With a maximum draw weight of 45lbs, you can hunt fish of all shapes and sizes. This really is a lovely bow for anyone preferring a more traditional bow.
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AMS B205R-KOI Fish Hawk Bow
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This bow weighs only 3.4lbs and comes in both right and left-handed options. With a draw weight of 30 to 40lbs, it is perfectly adequate for bowfishing. It has a draw length of 15” to 30” and features a 20% let-off.
This excellent bow has a custom engineered Solo-Cam, allowing for snap-shooting as you get maximum arrow speed at even the most minimum of draw lengths. This bow allows for fantastic manoeuvrability and there is minimal finger pinch, making it easy and comfortable to use.
AMS Bowfishing is one of the industry leaders and with this bow it is easy to see why.
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As with all forms of hunting, practice makes perfect. So once you have the best bowfishing bow for your requirements, you will need to get out on (or in) the water and starting shooting. Remember to aim low and don’t be put off by how fast the fish move. Follow your instincts and you will do just fine.
It is a very fast-paced sport, so be sure to keep yourself in good shape in order to stand the best possible chance of going home with a plentiful bounty. You will also need to be mentally sharp, as you need to concentrate and shoot repetitively at short distances.
Above all, be patient. Let the fish come to you and you will surely be rewarded.