Does anyone here bowfish from a canoe or kayak? If so, any tips on how to get started, best species to pursue, best gear, best places, etc.
CONTACT YOUR LOCAL TACKLE STORES FOR INFO ON BOWFISHING CLUBS BEFORE YOU BUY ANY GEAR.
THEY WILL GUIDE YOU IN PURCHASING THE RIGHT GEAR SO YOU DON’T WASTE MONEY ON STUFF YOU DON’T NEED.
ALSO IF YOU JOIN A CLUB SOMEONE WILL HAVE GEAR THAT THEY WILL LET YOU USE OR MAYBE BUY TO GET YOU STARTED.
ALSO TRY YOUR STATE GAME & FISH COMMISSION FOR CLUBS IN YOUR AREA.
Used to bow shoot carp but not from kaya
I did all of my bowfishing from shore, shooting carp in spring and summer, and a few suckers. I bought a cheap aluminum bowfishing reel that taped to the risers of a bow, and a solid fiberglass fish arrow and barbed point with about 60 feet of nylon heavy string on it. It was a LOT of fun and I got so I would take the long shots and shots at fish quite deep just to give it variety. That was Columbia River sloughs and backwaters, loaded with carp. Suckers sometimes feed along shoreline rocks and make spring spawning runs in some creeks.
Spawning spring time pike would also be shootable though I have never done in in Canadian lakes. Salmon would be very easy to shoot in rivers but are not legal to shoot with bow anywhere I've seen them.
I think it would be harder to shoot from a kayak or even a canoe due to how low angle you would be in relation to the water surface. You wouldn't have much ability to change position or maneuver your body for a shot unless you have a boat steady enough to stand up when shooting.
Polararized glasses help a LOT to see fish under surface glare. I preferred a lighter bow, 45 lbs. or a litle less, rather than my big game bow which was 55 lbs., both of them recurves.
I'm just the opposite in that I avoid clubs etc. but without a doubt you could learn from people. A sporting goods store is just going to sell you stuff whether it is best or not, unless you find a sales person who personally bowfishes in your area.
Thanks for the info…
I was planning on using my 45# recurve that I picked up cheap. Nice shooting little bow and has a insert in the front of it, and I think a reel will fit.
Here in North Carolina, Flounder gigging is a popular way to fish. I figured I could use my bow instead.
As far as the canoe, I own a OT Penobscot 16 that I stand in and pole.
I’ve used the large bow reels that rest an arrow in the center and shoot through, and also smaller ones that mount above or below the arrow. I like the big one once you get used to it. It is quick to wind the line back on.
Sounds like fun.
45# is about right for a recurve. Use a real reel, you know the kind that goes on a fishing pole. A big one is nice since you can use heavy test line and have plenty of drag.
days of youth
I remember a time when I was a kid taking my brothers bow and some line to a marina in Hixson, TN. I had never bow fished in my life and my lack of experience showed when I watched a periscope with feathers traveling through the water until it went out of sight. Someday maybe I’ll try it again with better results.
I do it all the time.
In TN. You can only shoot carp, catfish, gar and suckers.
You'll want a canoe for bowfishing, and a pair of retractable stabilizers is a great accessory. I use both compound bows, and my home-made primitve bows. I also gig frogs from my canoe.
You can't beat a good canoe for all-around utility.
As for equipment, it is easier if you use a shorter bow, but I do use my longbow on occasion. A shorter bow is just quicker and easier to handle in the confines of a boat. And, although my compound bows are fine shooting instruments, I have found that my flatbows are much quicker for 'snap-shots'. I have several different set-ups. One of them uses a short rod, mounted to the riser, with a standard fishing reel on it. It is the worst one, because the line frequently hangs up on it. The best is just a simple aluminum spool with a crank handle on it. The line flows off of them smoothly with little friction. I use AMS WHite Arrow, carbon-spined arrows, with Sting-A-Ree Whaler folding barbs. My running line is 50-pound Trilene Big-Game monofilament. I've been using this set-up for years with no problems.