From big game to target practice to 3d shoots

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Postby shorehunter » Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:23 am

Any input would be great. In the past few years we have been harpooning skate here on the chesapeake. It is a blast but my friends and I would really like to start bowfishing for them. I have to older p.s.e. bows that i can make into bowfishing bows but don't know the exact way to do it. How much it would cost. I tried making it myself but the arrow just slapped the water. Any help. thanks
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Postby olddkguide » Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:24 am

The equipment to get started is fairly cheap. Any good archery shop should have supplies. Use a reel adapter where the stabilizer goes, a good closed faced reel with heavy line and several solid fish arrows is all you need to get started. Once your addicted thats when you start to pay out the bucks for rigging a boat just for bowfishing. If your like most folks it will be something fun to do from time to time. Total start up cost is around $150.
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Postby REDGUN » Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:44 am

I started with an old recurve and a coke can taped to it. Tie line ( I used the white twine like on a trot line) to the bow, wrap 20-50 yards around the can and then tie to a solid fiberglass fishing arrow (about 10-20 bucks).

Later on i got a better bow and a bowfishing "spool". It worked just like the can but looked better. I never liked the little rod with the reel on it. Used those reels as a kid, and they weren't very strong. I assume your "skates" are rays, they can get pretty big cant they?

Anyway, give it a try. Its a blast. :thumbsup:
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Postby Greenhead Grappler » Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:04 am

im with ya shore hunter. except im in LA with a camp on toledo bend. im trying to get into bowfishing and any advice would be excellent. if you dont mind i have a question to add.
is it better to go small skale with smaller light and boat, and take a quieter approach?
or is it better to go more light and generator? im guessing this means longer shots?
Canceling Flights in the backwater of Northwest LA
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Postby choclab » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:57 am

I use an old Martin Cougar with an AMS Retriever reel and 200lb. FastFlight line, and fiberglass arrows with muzzy points. There is no point in using a sight, just keep it simple. I will highly recommend the AMS reel because you are gonna take ALOT of shots before you get it down. Using an open faced spool will give ya an arm work out I would look at the local pawn shops for a cheap used old bow, or Craigslist. I wouldn't pay more than 100 bucks though. Here are a few pics of my bowfishing rig. I am under 200 total for everything.




And here is the boat that I use.... an Alumancraft 1756MV. I'm mounting a 3 or 4 foot deck this summer. I take the boat to the Columbia River and hammer 30-40 pound I would highly recommend a bow-mount trolling motor if you can afford it.



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Postby firebird » Wed May 14, 2008 4:40 pm

and here is your quarry...Image
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Postby spoonerlab » Fri May 16, 2008 5:00 pm

give up the skates and go for snakeheads
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Postby sdgr8wthnter » Wed May 21, 2008 3:26 pm

Bowfishing is very addictive. I'm just shy of 300 fish for the year. Ebay is another good place to get a bow for pretty cheap. I would recomend getting the ams retriver. Worth it's weight in gold.
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Postby Duckmaster44 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:22 pm

go to bass pro and buy the ams kit. it comes with a ams wave roller, ams retriver. line already in it. and 2 arrows. it goes for 135. the arrows that come with it i dont like to much so id recomend getting a few other arrows with stingray tips. i shoot carp snaping turtles gar and rays with the raytips they are awesome.
the reason i dis like the tips taht the package comes with is because i shot my 70 lb southern ray with it and once wi boated the ray the tip broke, they just arnt good quality in my opinian
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Postby Smackaduck » Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:03 am

Equipment can be cheap and simple to get started but Its like anything else if you want to full out you gotta pay to play. I shoot an oneida osprey and thats what I reccommend to anyone. For arrows check out and they will have anything and everything you need. Tips vary with species. For most of our shooting we shoot pirahna points. But when you start getting into bigger fish or rays I suggest the 4 barb stinger as it has hella holding power. We shoot spinners for most all of our shooting but If your going after rays a slotted retriever with a float should be in hand. Any other questions check out
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Postby schleicher » Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:18 pm


baught this boat from a guy who had it set up for bowfishing. it is mostly my duck boat but have plans of setting it up for fishing and bowfishing.
show me some pics of your boats for ideas on how to set it up for bowfishing. he kept to troller and the lights that mounted on the front rails

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Postby GroundSwatter » Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:36 am

To be honest, you can go to a pawn shot and buy a cheap compound, that was the first bow I got for bow fishing.

Recently I got a Browning® Barracuda™ Bowfishing Bow. As for the retrieve, I use a retriever pro bowfishing reel, it came with the browning bow I got. Its got the plastic piece with the nylon chord inside. Don't skimp on the retrieve, as having a nice retrieve makes life more enjoyable.

Also, you can get fancy and have a bunch of lights and a generator. Personally, I duct taped a spotlight to my bow. Its cheaper than a generator, and a lot quieter. It does get a little cumbersome having to point your bow everywhere you want to see, but sacrifice is well worth it.

My boat is a 15' flat bottom with a casting deck, similar to what he other guys have posted. Some people make raised platforms, so you can see better and have less water refraction to account for, but my rig works so I haven't gotten that industrious.

Its a great sport, when I lived in texas we could go to power plant lakes and kill the usual carp and gar, but occasionally you could run into a tasty tilapia and that was always a treat.
It's a fact that 70 percent of the people who purchase heavier tackle do so with the categorical I just lost a huge snook! Einstein Hairdo.The other 30 percent have either Tarpon Fever or are sporting a hand cramped into a claw from a deepwater grouper.
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Postby Preacher1011 » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:50 pm

For the light I take two or three guys with me and we all switch off shooting. You get a kill or three shots, then you get the light.
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Postby GroundSwatter » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:26 pm

I did that for a while, but when I go with my brother, he can't stand it if we're surrounded and he can't shoot.

Plus if the light is on your bow, the bugs stay out in front of you a little better, sometimes the people I have holding the light shine it on me and I get covered in them. Either way its like shooting in a snow storm.
It's a fact that 70 percent of the people who purchase heavier tackle do so with the categorical I just lost a huge snook! Einstein Hairdo.The other 30 percent have either Tarpon Fever or are sporting a hand cramped into a claw from a deepwater grouper.
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