10 Tips for Bowfishing

Hello there my fellow fishing enthusiasts and welcome to my post where we will check out my 10 tips for bowfishing this year.  Bowfishing is a not so traditional fishing option that may be incredibly addictive. However for anyone who has ever fired a bow and arrow, it is not as easy as it looks.

And of course with any fishing pastime, there are a number of tips and techniques you can implement to increase your chances of success.  Let’s check some of them out below:

Tips for bowfishing

Some tips for bowfishing success include:

1. Set realistic expectations

In bowfishing, the chances of  hitting your target are around the same as getting a bite – i.e. you will do a lot of shooting only to find your arrow will fly over the top of a fish or stuck an inch from its head in the mud. Remember that everyone misses since it’s all part of the game, and setting reasonable expectations is the best way to avoid frustration. 

In general, unless your a wizard with a bow and arrow, you will usually take five to 10 shots before you can hit your target. A trick here then is to limit your shooting  to within your “high probability zone.” This is an area where you have a better chance of hitting a fish. For experienced bow fishers, that could be a 20 -foot circle whereas for beginners it could be 2 foot.   As you practice more, eventually you’ll enlarge your probability zone.

2. Gets some good sunglasses

As bowfishing entails hinting for fish just under the surface in shallow water, a good pair of sunglasses is essential to ensuring you are able to spot your targets easier.  This simply means that if you spend most of your time bowfishing during the day, make sure your sunglasses are polarized. 

They must also fit properly to prevent light from entering around the edges and causing glare as such a situation could distract you or impair your vision. Of course, better fitting glasses are also more comfortable over time as well.

3. Scout for spawning areas

One of the simplest ways to catch fish during the day is to locate one of their spawning grounds where are usually found in shallow or weedy bay areas. Fish (such as Carp)that spawn in shallower areas cause a lot of commotion, making them easy to spot too.

Most species prefer to spawn when the water level rises and usually stay in water that is 2 to 3 feet deep. However, you should be aware that this will vary depending on the state and the weather. You will have an easier time shooting them if you can catch them while they spawn.

tips for bowfishing - fish everywhere

4. Apply proper form when aiming

Shooting form is probably the most challenging aspect of bowfishing and the most overlooked aspect of improving your aim. When flinging arrows from an unstable boat at constantly moving fish, it’s hard to focus on stance and form. However, any elite archer will tell you that proper form is the key to hitting the bullseye consistently. As a result, it makes sense to incorporate better form into bowfishing.

Here are some tips to improve your aim:

  1. Make a strong anchor point with the string against your face.
  2. As you would with a hunting bow, square your stance and shoulders.
  3. When aiming down at fish, bend at the hips. Don’t hunch your shoulders.
  4. To avoid pulling a shot, keep a loose grip on the bow with your bow hand.
  5. Keep your bow arm flexed to avoid string slaps and flinch.

Achieving a good form takes repeated practice and as with any discipline, once you have obtained the proper form, your body will be acquainted with it and do it naturally.

11/17/2022 06:44 am GMT Lasso Brag

5. Consider light refraction

One of the most common bowfishing mistakes is failing to account for light refraction. This fact implies that the fish are deeper in the water than they appear.

Light refraction must be considered when shooting from a distance meaning you will need to aim lower than the fish that appears in the water, for example. When you’re higher up in the water, you don’t have to aim as low, but if they’re deeper down, you’ll want to aim lower.

And while we are talking about light, just also make sure you are aware of your own shadow.  Many species are especially susceptible to this, and you may miss your shot as a result.

tips for bowfishing - fish just under water

6. Put on some gloves

Wearing gloves is good practice when you’re bowfishing to give you better grip on the bow  – especially if you are handling slimy fish – and also to protect you from spikes etc. as you remove your arrow. With carp, you don’t have to worry about their teeth as much, but if you go after another species, such as alligator gar, you’ll want to wear gloves because these fish have sharp teeth that can cut your hands to shreds

7.Replace your tips and pick your points wisely

As with fishing hooks, when it comes to bowfishing arrows, sharp tips are essential.  If you notice them becoming damaged, you should either clean them up with a file and sandpaper or replace them. Dull tips are a deal breaker and will all but guarantee to ruin your next hunt. Along with that, you should be shooting a point that is appropriate for your draw weight and quarry.

I would also recommend using a bright-colored arrow. One of the most significant advantages of using a brightly colored arrow is seeing where you hit in the water.  Most arrows are sold in the standard white color, but when bowfishing, it can be beneficial to use a bright-colored green, pink, or yellow arrow to see where your shot hit.

Tips for bowfishing - man aiming arrow

8. Practice makes perfect

And finally, as we discussed above, you need to practice to have your bowfishing skills honed. Fortunately, bowfishing practice is not a difficult process as all  you need is a body of water, equipment and a simple plastic bottle to submerge.

As you aim at the bottle, you will gradually develop your intuitive sense for aiming. Your accuracy will improve over time to the point where aiming will become second nature.


And there they are, my 8 bowfishing tips that would increase your chance of hitting your target prey. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual,  let me know of your experiences here.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections, or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time.

Have fun


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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

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