Planning to bug out along the waterways, rivers, or coastal areas?
Great! You’re in the right hands.
In this post, I’ll teach you a new skill (and an effective way of gathering food while out there) – bowfishing for survival.
Also referred to as archery fishing, this practice involves using your bow to catch the fish. And you can easily do it in shallow water or from your little boat- making it one of the most flexible adventures on planet Earth.
Sounds interesting, right?
You’ll discover even more exciting details as you read our full bowfishing guide which I’ll walk you through in a few moments…
WAIT…if you think that archery fishing isn’t practical or you can’t do it, just think of the Indians who reside by the Amazon River and rely on bowfishing to catch their daily bread.
Bowfishing for Survival – How To Catch Fish With Your Bow:
Arm Yourself With the Right Bowfishing Equipment
Just like any other job, bowfishing requires you to equip yourself with the right equipment.
If you’re a serious hunter, I believe that you have most of these tools, so you’ll just need to pack them into your backpack and head to the waters.
If you don’t have them, don’t worry. You can get them anytime you want…they’re readily available on the market at reasonable prices.
These equipment include:
– A bow: yes, this is bowfishing, and you’ll need a bow to make it work. But which bow should you use? I’d suggest that you go for the compound or recurve bows. Clearly, these will give you the best results.
Both bows share a number of aspects and will offer sufficient drive force to send an arrow right into the heart of the fish…plus they consume less space in your boat.
– You’ll need a set of arrows in your bowfishing endeavors. But don’t make the mistake of picking just any other type of arrow. The perfect set should comprise of arrow made using light wood or fiberglass material. They should also have a sharp pointer that easily pierces through the fish.
– Hey, you’ll also need some bowfishing reel…and I mean the best bowfishing reel, not any reel.
(Optional, depending on the fishing situation) bowfishing gear includes gloves, rubber hip waders, and sunglasses with polarized lenses.
I assume you’ve the above “tools of work” with you right now, right?
Let the fun begin!!
#1. Pick a suitable water body
Choose a water body that will enable you to catch fish and give you the desired results easily. If you prefer a shallow after body, be sure to fish around your target fish- particularly close to the grasses and weeds that provide cover. And, of course, make sure the environment is clean so that you can see beneath the water surface.
Typically, you should be within a range of 3-4.6 meters (10-15feet) from the fish you wish to bow down. Ensure you don’t cast a shadow over the fish as this might spook and frustrate your bowfishing efforts.
Also, consider approaching your target from the upwind location.
#2. AIM your Target fish
Get ready for the most important step of bowfishing- aiming your target.
“How exactly do I do that?”
Are you wondering already?
Well, all you have to do is point your bow at the target fish and shoot it…nothing new
But there’s one trick you need to learn to correctly shoot that fish you’re targeting:
That is, how to point your bow at the fish you wish to catch. See, the light traveling from one medium to next (air to water in this case) results in refractions. Thus, you’ll see the refracted image (the apparent fish) of the fish you’re targeting more clearly on the water surface.
And if you point at the apparent fish, your arrow might go high, and you’ll perfectly miss your target!
Many bow fishers have learned this lesson the hard way, and if you ask them, they’ll all give you this piece of advice:
Point your bow as low as possible!
#3. Don’t Forget this Important Bowfishing RULE:
What if the fish appears in a different location? For instance, let’s say the fish appears about 6m (20 feet) away and 60cm (2feet) underneath the water surface. In such scenario, it means the location has doubled…If it appears about 3m (10 feet) away and 30cm (1foot) underneath the water surface, then you MUST point your bow 10cm (4 inches) low.
…and you’ll have to double the 10cm as well. In other words, you’ll have to point 20cm (8inches) low.
It’s that simple!
If you utilize this 10-4 rule in all your bowfishing practices, I can guarantee you that you’ll bag more fish than you can imagine.
#4. Time To Make That Shot!
Congrats! You’re on the last step to catching your target fish with your bow.
But there’s a real problem here:
You have to hit your target such that it dies right away…and that means that you’ve to target the first half part of the body of the fish. Needless to explain, this section contains many vital organs such as the brain, meaning you’ll kill it on the spot.
We all know that fish can swim really FAST in water. So, you don’t have much time between pointing and shooting. I believe that your archery experience has taught you speed and accuracy which you’ll need to apply here.
What if you’re targeting the bigger fish- like alligator?
You’ll need to shoot them at least twice so that you can strike them down.
After a lucky shot, pull in the line quickly. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to catch fishes at a single stroke with bowfishing!
I told you bowfishing isn’t that hard! After reading through the above guide, I believe you can catch some fish with only your bow and arrows.
This is a fun-filled practice that does take you no time to perfect it. With the right archery equipment and our expert guide above, you’ll be awed by how easy it is to catch fish!