Bowfishing for a beginner

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nathanielrthomas

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Hello guys, maybe I shoulda posted this is another section, but anyway. I had a guy come up to me at the gas station the other day and tell me I have an excellent boat for bowfishing. I have a 1448 flat bottom heavy duty G3 with a deck on the front that is almost 7' long, flush with the gunnels. Its really stable. The question is, what do I need to get started? Ive never shot a bow before in my life. Just looking for a solid beginner rig. Thanks fellers.
 

Quackrstackr

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For a beginner rig, I would pick up a cheap used recurve bow and get one of the hoop style reels.

I wouldn't spend a lot of money on it until you see whether you like it or not.
 

nathanielrthomas

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Thanks Quackrstackr. I spend too dang much on conventional fishing to invest much into this. lol

Anyone on here have a pic of something like hes talking about? Or have and old one they wanna sell? Thanks again guys. A picture would speak a thousand words right now.
 

Quackrstackr

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If you can find yourself a cheap recurve and pick up a kit like this, you'll be set.

https://www.shopatron.com/products/productdetail/Wee+Stinger+Bowfishing+Kit/part_number=4990F/1547.0.1.1.16284.398.0.0.0?pp=8&


I would link to a recurve on ebay but people pay insane prices for them there. You can find them cheap if you keep your eyes open. Really cheap if you can find one at a yard sale or something.
 

Deadmeat

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I agree with Quackrstacker except I like to use a compound bow. I shot a recurve for many years until it finally broke and I was unable to find another one. I managed to pick up a really cheap compound bow and have used it for the past 27 years and just love it. The only other recommendation I would give is to use AMS 200-pound or similar line. I've lost a lot of arrows in the past when the line broke until I found this stuff. Your boat sounds like it's rigged out perfectly for bowfishing. I have a G3 1544 that I've extended the deck on for bowfishing and it works great.
 

Quackrstackr

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You can pick up old compounds cheap as well but they can be a bit more of a problem if they are out of tune and need new strings/cables. That's the only reason that I recommended the recurve for a first bow.
 

Deadmeat

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Yeah, I agree. There's just not much that can go wrong on a recurve, unlike compounds. But once I went with the compound I'd never go back. It's just so much easier to hold for a longer time when you've got a moving fish or you need to sneak up on one with a minimum of movement.
 

lbursell

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Haven't bowfished in long time, but I agree with going with a fairly cheap compound. Makes it so much easier to hold your draw until you have confidence in your aim.

One bit of advice - Always, Always, Always pay attention to how you loop your line around the drum reel. Many years ago, I was concentrating more on talking than on winding my line back on the reel. i accidently looped a wrap of 100 lb test behind the reel, then got the last 8 or 10 feet wrapped normally. Next shot, the arrow goes out the 8 or 10 feet - line snaps tight - and the arrow is flying straight back at me. Way too quick for any kind of reaction to avoid it. Thank goodness I was wearing glasses or I would have probably lost an eye.

Don't want to scare you away from bowfishing. What happened was entirely my own fault. Sort of ranks with putting your boat in without the drain plug. One time is all it takes to learn the lesson. Bowfishing is big fun.
 

ShadowWalker

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Old post, I know. But I agree with what's been said already. If you rather have a compound bow look for a Bear Black Bear. They pretty much have a set price of going for no more than $30 on eBay. Then you can expect 15-25 in shipping. I had one set up as a loaner and never had an issue with it.

They go cheap because they max out at 45 lbs and are an older bow. But most bowfishing set Ups are in the 35-45 lb range.
 

Nussy

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Ok guys, I'm reviving this thread as I just setup my bow for bow fishing and I know absolutely nothing about it and I have no friends that do it. I bought the AMS bow fishing setup that I put on an old compound I had. Is there anything else I need besides just the bow setup?

I have a few questions. Do you use sights or simply shoot instinctive? Release or fingers? I hear you are supposed to aim low, but how low and does it vary depending on how deep they are? I'm doing to try to keep the population of carp down in our lake...which I know is impossible....but I have no use for the fish, what do people do with them? Just throw them away? Or are their places that actually want them.

Any insight would be great..thanks.
 

RiverBottomOutdoors

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Nussy said:
Ok guys, I'm reviving this thread as I just setup my bow for bow fishing and I know absolutely nothing about it and I have no friends that do it. I bought the AMS bow fishing setup that I put on an old compound I had. Is there anything else I need besides just the bow setup?

I have a few questions. Do you use sights or simply shoot instinctive? Release or fingers? I hear you are supposed to aim low, but how low and does it vary depending on how deep they are? I'm doing to try to keep the population of carp down in our lake...which I know is impossible....but I have no use for the fish, what do people do with them? Just throw them away? Or are their places that actually want them.

Any insight would be great..thanks.


Instinctive shooting....fingers....when you think you're aiming low, aim lower. I eat some garfish, bury some carp for fertilizer, toss the rest on private land and let the critters take care of them.

What's the poundage on your bow? I shoot less than 40lbs.

Pic of my setup
bofishingbow.jpg
 

Deadmeat

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Just one more thing: Don't skimp on the line. I use Brownell's 200 lb. Fastflight line and love it. Many times the line that comes with bowfishing kits is cheap stuff that breaks really easily. Lose a few arrows at the cost of a fiberglass shaft and a bowfishing head and you'd wish you had on some quality line.
 

Nussy

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Thanks guys, my bow was an old compound bow that I had set around 60-65lbs for whitetail hunting. I know people usually crank them down so I did but I'm not sure exactly where it is currently. Guessing in the 40 range. I bought the AMS setup just like in the previous pictures so I'm guessing I'll be OK with the line. I'll have to pickup some fingers for it since I've always used a release.
 

Quackrstackr

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I shoot a release because that is how I shoot normally. The bow was originally set up to fit for form with a release so I see no need to try to shoot fingers and be out of form.

I also have sites on it. Sometimes I use them, sometimes I don't. It usually depends on the distance to target and it's depth.

I'm pretty sure the line that comes on the AMS retriever is the same line marketed under the Muzzy brand. You will be fine with it.
 

whistler

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Glad I found this, I have been putting off bowfishing for some time and got the urge again. Think I'll look into getting rigged up. I don't bow hunt but have and old compound that will work. Maybe some Big Headed or Silver Carp will show up and I can try to cook a few of those rascals. They have been here for a number of years however not in any numbers. If not I'll take our regular carp and make me some trapping bait.
 

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