For me, crossbow bow fishing adventures are among the best amusement I’ve ever experienced with any kind of bow.

You can bowfish using the crossbow, but there are a few things you should be aware of before starting.

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We will discuss setups, reels and lines bolts, rules and licenses, and where to fish to ensure the highest success such as deep or shallow water.

If you do it correctly and are conscious of safety, you’ll have bowfishing on an archery a lot of enjoyment and excitement!

Have you ever thought of different ways to improve your archery skills outside of your target or practice within the forest? Crossbow fishing is an excellent method to use your crossbow even when you’re not working in the forest.

If you’re seeking a way to remain sharp ahead of the season starts, or are tired of watching the same target every day, then bowfishing using a crossbow may be a suitable sport for your needs perfectly. Stay tuned for certain important guidelines and suggestions we’ll discuss below regarding licenses required, your setup, the best water to fish, and the specific rules for the sport of crossbow fishing.

Positive Things to Know About Bowfishing With A Crossbow

The process of getting started is affordable if you already own archery. If you’re interested in the crossbow portion of the game, you’ll require a few bolts to join a specific fishing line (usually comprised of dacron fiber) to reel. This bowfishing rod is attached to your bowfishing crossbow in the lower end, below the bolt’s path.

If you don’t wish to connect a reel that has dacron lines to your crossbow, you could use your existing rod or reel. I’ve provided more details on how to do this in the tips further down in this article, but here’s a quick procedure to follow. Open the bail, or click the button on the reel as if you were casting an ad. This lets the line freely flow out. After that, you can pull enough lines to join the bolt of your crossbow.

There are two options available in securing your line with the bolt. One you can use the slide ring. The second option is that of the slide with safety. Both are shown below. For knots, you can make use of any knot that you are confident will be held.

Slide Rings



Safety Slide

What kind of bolts do I need for Crossbow Fishing?

Bolts for fishing with crossbows weigh more than standard game bolts. They can penetrate more easily into the water, and the majority of the fishing fish that you catch will be within 20 yards of the target. Here is a video that will give you an idea of what you can expect from a high-quality crossbow bolt for fishing.

Another benefit of fishing with a crossbow is the diverse species that you can catch during the sport. You aren’t required to consider which bait to choose or whether they’re feeding. Fish eat during a specific time of night or day, therefore you must be in the water during these times. Many people choose to use a crossbow to catch fish that are considered to be invasive species, simply because the majority have no restrictions. However, it’s best to consult any nearby DNR as well as DEC to find out the exact species you can use the crossbow to catch.

Be sure to check your local regulations, but the majority of places allow fishing in the evening, with these exceptions. It’s not legal to use a crossbow for game fish in the evening other than hickory, American shad, and channel catfish. Blue catfish as well as flathead catfish. It is therefore recommended to limit your evening fishing only to fish that are not game only if you you know the species of fish you’re collecting. All you require is a good light source to shine through or over the water. A lot of fish are drawn by light, and this can work in your favor.

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Quick Tips: Here is an alternative to using the rod and reel that you already own to complement your crossbow. This eliminates the need to buy and connect a reel to your crossbow. It is enough to connect your fishing rod and reel line, at a minimum of 10 pounds. test and secure it to the slide on the crossbow bolt. I suggest using 50 pounds. test to make sure you are successful. In the video below, they use the standard rod and reel, not one connected on their crossbow. The video was shot at an unnamed sandpit in Gothenburg, Nebraska.

What are some Bowfishing Crossbow Contradictions?

It is not legal to throw the fish back in the water. Harvest all fish you hit. Many of us prefer to fish only for fun and catch and release, however in bowfishing with a crossbow and other bows, we must keep every fish we catch.

Certain states don’t allow bowfishing of any kind of bowfishing to catch bass, a sport fish. Be sure to check your local regulations. It’s not always the same when fishing using a reel and rod.

Another disadvantage of using a crossbow when fishing is that it’s extremely heavy when compared to contemporary compound bows. The reason for this is that they can overwhelm fish, and the bolt cuts into them completely, particularly those that are in the water like carp. It is possible to fray the line as well as endanger the bolt if it comes in contact with the surface below or in the vicinity of the fish if they are in shallow waters.

They’re great for alligators, but it’s not the subject of our discussion since we’re focused on fish. I can imagine that they’d be fantastic on sharks since they’re quite tough, but when it comes down to species like carp, rays flounder, and redfish, you’re discussing a 100-pound bow, when we can do it with a 50lb. draw, or perhaps 40.

Another reason why a crossbow designed for fishing is not as effective as the compound bow is that they’re much slower than drawing a regular bow. It’s not about how fast the arrow is, but to redraw it and also the capability to attempt it again. Additionally, fish move in schools often, so even though it takes some time, when bowfishing with the compound bow or recurve bow, the crossbow is noisy and slow for drawing the bow back to aim for a second time.

What is the best bowfishing Setup?

The majority of reels have 200 pounds. Dacron line that’s approximately 25 meters long. Bolts are equipped fitted with a slide for safety that you can connect the line for retrieval. There are numerous crossbows to pick from. It is possible to spend more than $1000 or as low as $100. You could even purchase an older model and then make it work. It’s just a matter of making sure that you can attach the rod to it. Even if you aren’t able to connect a crossbow fishing rod in this article, I’ve explained how to utilize a standard fishing rod as well as a reel by attaching lines to the slide that is designed to protect. It is suggested to attach a bowfishing reel using the dacron lines to your bow. This will make it much easier to complete the task by yourself. Although you can lay the reel and rod down when you aim it, it can get tangled and other issues could arise. Another alternative is having someone else who can hold the rod and reel to your side while you aim at the crossbow. It is always best to be secure and considering that crossbow fishing reels are fairly inexpensive and will last for many years I suggest using one specifically designed for crossbows.

Do I require A Sight for Crossbow Fishing?

It is such a fast and intuitive sport that using the scope on your bow isn’t advised. However, you can use it, unlike hunting deer and hunting deer, you don’t have the chance to look at your target until you are required to remove the bolt. If a scope has been connected to your crossbow, it is easy to take it off. There is no need for the sight to utilize your crossbow efficiently for bowfishing as it’s more of an instinctual release. After you’ve tried it a few times, you’ll be able to get the feel of where to aim your desired target. The majority of fish are less than 20 meters from you, so it’s fairly simple to get your bow aligned quickly and precisely in the direction you’d like it to move.

Are there any specific rules I’ll need to follow To Crossbow Fish?

Always call, send an email or go to the site of your local authority for fish and games to make sure you’re adhering to the rules for your state and zone. Some say it’s okay to use bow fishing but they’re banned to hunt. It is important to research details related to your state for a precise answer and avoid issues. It is also advisable to print and carry the rules to carry with you. The game warden might not be aware of the specific law therefore this is a great option to ensure your safety. Never fight with a law official. Show them your documentation and let them know that you are concerned. Inform them why you took that extra step to find the details you’re presenting to them.

What kind of fishing licenses Do I need to get?

You’ll require an official fishing license for bowfishing success with crossbows. Certain states do not allow bowfishing to catch sportfish. Make sure to check the fishing regulations within your area to determine the requirements for specific permits or stamps for sport fishing. Always check on the internet or make a phone call before going out to the waters. It takes only some minutes to find the info you require. It can save you from embarrassment and thousands of dollars. Remember that these rules have been put in place to safeguard our waterways and make sure we can play the sport we love for a long time in the future.

Where to Fish and Do I Need to Decide Shallow instead of Deep Water?

Crossbow fishing is a popular sport within freshwater ponds, rivers, and lakes. In the saltwater ecosystem, there are beaches bays, estuaries, or bays. All you need is to be able to see the fish. Whichever body of water you decide to choose typically, you’ll fish in shallow, clear areas that are 3 to 4 feet thick (0.9 up to 1.2 meters). There are a few reasons for these two reasons: first, the fish you want to catch with a crossbow tend to prefer shallow waters. Additionally, water is dense and slows crossbow bolts down quite quickly. the less water the bolt is forced to travel through, the more power it’ll have when it hits the desired target. However, when you have water that isn’t deep enough, the bolt may lose its direction completely. Many people believe that even though the crossbow is more powerful in weight than a compound bow, the bolt can travel further underwater. It’s not the case.

How Do I Install a Crossbow to be used for Bowfishing?

Are you prepared to use your bowfishing crossbow? All you need is accessories and some knowledge of how to install it, which you can find here! We’ve found an excellent choice for Bowfishing crossbow mounts. It’s sturdy, tested over time, and backed by a warranty.

AMS Crossbow Bowfishing Mount

This bowfishing rod is mounted on your bowfishing crossbow at the lower front, below the bolt’s path.

Click the image to see the price.

The best method of rigging your bow for bowfishing is by using The AMS Retriever Pro Crossbow kit. It includes everything you need to turn your bow into a bowfishing device.

It is a Retriever Pro kit that includes the most sought-after, long-running, and time-tested Retriever Pro reel filled with 25 yards of 200 pounds of cordoned Dacron line.

Its Sleek-X Crossbow non-handed mount allows the installation of retriever reels onto an archery crossbow. Mount your base blocks, attach the handle using at-screw, then attach the Retriever.

Also included are Three Chaos FX Crossbow Bolts which are 24″ long and with a 22/64″ diameter, made of solid fiberglass with half-moon nock as well as AMS Ring System installed. The stainless steel Chaos FX points are perfect for any fish, and it is also suitable for shallow water. They come with a shorter length and pivoting barbs with a heavy-duty design.

These bolts of high quality require minimum penetration to get engaged and release by loosening the tips.

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