Did you know that bow fishing is a popular hobby for many Americans particularly in the South?
This love for fishing led to authorities finally placing a law that requires you to obtain either a freshwater license, a saltwater license, or an all-water license before you proceed with bow fishing. This law only applies if you are 17 years and above.
Apart from obtaining the fishing license, you do require a bowfishing boat and fishing equipment to get started.
The Bow Fishing Experience
Bow fishing gives you the thrilling experience of hunting for dinner using your very own archery skills. Fishing can be done from the water’s edge or by simply wading through the water.
However, the best way to truly enjoy fishing is to go trolling through the water on your specially designed bowfishing boat.
Bowfishing boats can be considerably improved to increase mobility in the water and get better access to favorable fishing spots.
How to Choose the Best Bow Fishing Boat?
If you’re new to the bow fishing game, you might be wondering how to choose the best boat for you. Here are a few guidelines:
- Look for a boat with a narrow V-shaped or flat bottom – a jon, dory, or pontoon boat will do fine.
- You could also consider using a fiberglass motorboat with a short hull and quiet motor.
Now, that you’ve got that out of the way, what do you have to do to make your boat more effective?
1. The Boat’s Platform
Ensure the boat’s platform is at a good angle for fishing. This is the base for the fish search and capture. Anglers require adequate moving space as they need to balance themselves while using their gear. An elevated platform is ideal providing enhanced visibility and facilitating bowfishing lights for night fishing. If your platform isn’t suitable or you think it can be improved, you can take it to your local boat repairers and see if they can make a few customizations to the platform to make it better.
2. Choose the Boat Materials Carefully
In order to reduce weight in the hull, lightweight aluminum is the best platform material. People tend to show a preference for steel as it’s easier to weld. You can save yourself from welding and use plywood instead – it’s long-lasting and easier to cut.
3. Place a Guard Rail for Safety
Never overestimate your bowfishing skill and stay safe. The boat does tend to move with the current even in fine weather. Maintaining your balance and maneuvering your bow could prove to be challenging. A guard rail surrounding the fishing platform will provide support and prevent slipping when the boat rocks. Other safety measures could be installing stairs to get to the platform, and also learning to wear appropriate fishing gear such as boots and warm clothing to keep out the cold and prevent slipping on the boat’s wet surface.
4. Add a Motor to Power the Boat
You may enjoy paddling to your favorite fishing area but using motor power is not a bad idea. Make sure it’s not noisy though or you’ll end up scaring away the fish. When purchasing one, consider your boat’s size and the motor’s features. A battery-powered trolling motor designed for fishing purposes is a good option for bowfishing.
5. Factor in Boat Size
Bigger isn’t necessarily always better. You need to remember that the larger the boat, the more powerful the motor requirement. You will need at least 30-pounds of thrust for a 12-foot jon boat and 55-pounds for an 18-foot dory. Using a bulky steel platform or carrying heavy supplies will increase the boat’s weight leading to a need for more power. The effectiveness of a trolling motor type also depends on the boat size. A bow-mounted motor is comparatively better than a stern-mounted one.
6. Bowfishing Lights
If you relish night fishing, then your bowfishing boat will require a generator and lights. Decide on the right generator size for powering your boat’s motor and lights. LED lights require less energy than high-pressure sodium and halogen lights. Even though LED lights require less power, remember too that halogen lights are less expensive. You’ll have to do the maths to see which lights will give you better rate of return and are better for you before purchasing them.
Get Bowfishing Today!
Bowfishing gives you the fascinating experience of hunting, even if it’s just fish.
Apart from a boat, all you need is a cheap bowfishing bow, a fish arrow and something for holding your line. Armed with these six great tips, you’ll be able to improve your bowfishing experience significantly.
We hope these six tips will be useful and will go a long way in helping you enjoy this hobby more.