Getting started in bowfishing...


May 10, 2007, 12:46 AM
A buddy and I were talking today about taking up yet another expensive habit, bowfishing. We figure it is good off season practice for deer hunting and it will give us something to do while we are running jugs in the Tombigbee River. Are any of you into this sport? Any tips or suggestions on techniques and equipment? Can I buy a reel that attaches to my bow or will I have to buy a new bow all together? How much money am I going to be spending here? Thanks guys. I look forward to your responses.

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May 10, 2007, 02:09 AM
It can be done cheap. I picked up a old fiberglass 40# bow, used aluminum reel and one heavy fiberglass arrow and have hada ton of fun for practically nothing, and have shot bunches of carp at times. Just depends on how "into it " ya wanna get. whole mess is pretty much unaffected by water.

May 10, 2007, 11:15 AM
eliphalet, are you talking about the refraction factor when you say it's unaffected by water? Does the reel mount and dismount from the bow easily or is it something semi permanent? I love to bow hunt, but this whole bow fishing thing is brand new to me.

May 10, 2007, 11:17 AM
Doesn't have to cost alot.
I suggest setting up a bow you can shoot instinctive and not rely on sights. a recurve works great. carp are fun and aligator gar are a blast but you'll also need tougher gear for them.
I used to get some funny looks from motorists when I strapped myself to the guardrails with my treestand safety belt and leaned out to shoot the carp under the bridges.

May 10, 2007, 11:42 AM
eliphalet, are you talking about the refraction factor when you say it's unaffected by water?

Old Fiberglass recurve bow and aluminum reel or what is called a reel, it is kinda like a spool, 8" diameter or so, that is attached perpendicular to the bow with clamps, and you wind it by hand. So the whole thing can be submerged and it;s still fine was what I meant. Unless the bow string stretched I imagine it could be left under water a week and be just fine. The way mine is the "reel" can be attached or taken off in a minute or two but that old bow is only used for fishing so it's left there. It is a very simple set up compared to todays bows but it is fine for me to fish with.
I think you can find what your looking for in a cabelas catalog or maybe check into a company called Net Craft they used to have nearly anything and everything to do with fishing.

May 10, 2007, 02:21 PM
I haven't done any bowfishing for quite a few years but I preferred a heavy duty Zebco type reel that was mounted on a rod that screwed into the bow stabilizer hole. It was much faster and put less drag on the arrow than the open face type reel. I used to shoot carp in a nasty overgrown pond. Those fish were so nasty even the stray cats wouldn't eat them. They were so thick at times, you really didn't have to aim. They put up a pretty good fight if you don't hit them in a vital area.

May 10, 2007, 02:47 PM
good info. thanks guys. Found a reel on ebay for $30 and bought an old bow from a buddy for $50. Don't know if I can beat that.

May 10, 2007, 03:09 PM
Way to go, arrow and all you'll be under $100 I betcha. I had not thought of ebay. but it's a great place to find items no longer for sale in retail. This is very close to what use. About the only difference is mine mounts with clamps. Find carp and your in for some fun.

May 10, 2007, 03:26 PM
I think we are gonna hunt down some gar. Lots of long nose and alligator gar around here. This is just what I need, another addiction.

May 10, 2007, 03:32 PM
In Mississippi you can only bow hunt 2 fish species legally the last time I did it. Acadamey Sports used to have the equipment.
Yea it sucks.
I am glad to see more Mississippi people in here.

May 10, 2007, 05:46 PM
what are the two species? Longnose and alligator gar?

May 10, 2007, 05:55 PM

Go to page 3 line 5, its up to 4 fish.
Buffalo, carp, gar and bowfin.

May 10, 2007, 06:05 PM

Damn, beat me to it. Just checked that myself. Is it legal to bowfish at night from a boat? Hang on...let me check that link before you answer that.

May 10, 2007, 06:07 PM
Okay, nothing there about it. Guess I'll have to keep looking around.

May 13, 2007, 10:19 PM
I use a AMS retriever #310 on a Browning Cobra Recurve. Works great. I tried using a reel and didn't like the line whip. The retrievers work great with the plastic arrow slide and cost $65-90 depending on where you get it. Be careful, Bowfishing is addicting.

May 18, 2007, 01:45 AM
Marksman13, take a look here.

May 18, 2007, 08:54 AM
you're coming up on Carp spawning season!

You'll need a flat bottom boat though.... during spawning season they're in like 2 feet of water or less. But you can see them in even the murkiest water!

Go with spiderwire braid, it seems to have the best diameter to weight ratio. their 60 lb stuff is like 8 lb monofiliment and is totally unbreakable. I broke a reel on a carp using that stuff and had to pull him in by hand. right at 18 lbs, and angry as hell!

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