Bowfishing is dedicated to the months of summer for the hunting season and its really addictive. Hunting for suckers, gar and carp on a river is the ideal way to spend time outdoors along with a way to ensure your skills in archery stay sharp. In addition, it’s really fun and as soon as you start to get the hang of it, you will want to advance to the next level which involves catching a lot more fish.
Below are a couple of tips to make sure you get the most out of your bowfishing experiences this summer.
1. Invest In Good Sunglasses
When spending most of your time bowfishing during daylight hours, ensure that your sunglasses are actually polarized. I will admit that I have made the mistake of buying a cheap pair of “polarized” sunglasses from my local Walmart or drug store with the thoughts that I would just end up breaking them. But honestly, these types of sunglasses are not worth your time when you are a bow fisherman.
Before you buy a pair, compare them and make sure you try each pair on. The sporting goods shops usually have holograms to test sunglasses, so you are able to see how strong they are. Personally, I prefer the warm tints, but after trying on a few pairs you will find out what you like. The sunglasses must fit you to ensure light is not able to get in around the edges causing a glare. If you are unable to see your prey, you won’t be able to shoot them.
2. Choose The Right Tip
Ensure you are using the right tips for bowfishing according the fish species you are interested in targeting. I have unfortunately had to learn this the hard-way and lost many fish along with some large gar, due to using the incorrect tips. The tips with a small prong are not suitable for soft-bodied and large carp as they usually rip straight out. A flimsy blade will also snap off inside a large gar due to their tough and durable scales. I always recommend the 2- or 3- prong, that comes with spring-loaded and sturdy blades which have enough width to hold carp as well as stout enough in order to successfully hold large gar. The Cajun Sting-A-Ree or Cajun Garpoon Tournament points are some of my favorites. You should definitely try out the different types before deciding on which one works well for you.
3. Keep Your Tips Sharp
Your bowfishing tips should always be sharp according to Getrecurvebow.com. When shooting in shallow and rocky areas, the tips will eventually become dull. When a tip is dull it creates larger holes on impact which allows the arrow to easily slip out and the fish will slip off the arrow. Points on the ends of most bowfishing tips will screw off which means they are easy to replace. Alternatively, you can use a grinder or file to keep them sharpened.
4. Mix It Up
When it comes to bowfishing avoid being too cautious about getting out of your boat. If you mainly bow fishing from your boat, then you miss out on ideal opportunities when it comes to shooting in creeks and small coves that your boat is unable to reach. These are the waters that often hold plenty fish and on occasions some of the biggest fish.
The largest gar I have ever caught was located in a small creek which was inaccessible to all types of boats. In the same way as not getting out of your boat, if you mainly bank fishing or wading you could also be missing out in association to the access you will get from a boat. In this situation, it could be harder to solve, as boats are an expensive investment. However, there are alternatives that are cheaper. Paddle boards, kayaks, canoes and rowboats are all ideal choices when it comes to bow fishing. These will get you out into new territory without having to spend a fortune.
5. Dial In The Reel
If the bow fishing areas that you prefer hold many fish, ensure you use the reels that will not bird’s nest your line. For the high-volume shooting, the reel that you need must allow for an increase in quick shots. You may find that a hand-reel is not effective, or you might need to oil and clean your spinner-reels from the year before. It is always a good idea to replace your line in the bottle reel well before hunting season starts. There is not much worse that locating a massive carp and your line tangles or your push-button release becomes stuck because it is dirty.
6. Learning How To Scout
Always be on the lookout for new bow fishing areas. Consider conducting your own research online or pull up a few maps. The DNR website in your state should offer maps on the public waters along with lists of the fish in all the water bodies. If you drive past an area with public water which appears like it holds fish, don’t hesitate to stop and have a look. It also helps to familiarize yourself with the different fish species in your area and the water types that they prefer to inhabit. An example of this is that the suckers usually prefer running, clear water, while carp usually prefer muddy and murky water. Buffalo fish and gar prefer the creeks and rivers. I found a few of the very best bowfishing areas by accident. So, what I am trying to say is don’t be afraid to explore your options.
7. Snap Shooting
The tips might draw a bit of ire from archery-form fanatics, yet snap shooting happens to be an essential skill when it comes to bowfishing. However, snap shooting will only really work when you shoot a bow that is free from a let-off or you shoot a recurve. If you are not familiar with these terms, I explain snap shooting when only drawing the bow back about half-way and releasing it before you come to a full draw. Without having to worry about perfect aim, you are able to shoot faster, which is important for killing the quick-swimming carp.