When it comes to bowfishing, accuracy and awareness of your surroundings are crucial to your success. If you’re a beginner bowfisher, you probably want to improve your skills and have a much more enjoyable experience out on the water. Read on to learn three common bowfishing mistakes and get helpful tips on how to avoid them.
Mistake 1: Shooting Too High
One of the most common mistakes in bowfishing is shooting too high. Due to the refraction of light in the water, the fish appear to be at a different depth than they actually are. This optical illusion causes bowfishers to shoot over the top of their targets.
To correct this mistake, aim lower than where the fish appears to be, typically about 4–6 inches lower, depending on the water’s depth. With practice, you’ll become more skilled at adjusting your aim to account for the refraction.
Mistake 2: Approaching Wary Fish As Normal
Not all fish are the same—some are more skittish and wary than others, such as highly pressured fish. These fish have moved deeper to adapt to constant hunting. Light-sensitive fish are another kind of fish that are hard to catch.
Approaching these fish as you would any other will most likely cause them to swim away before you get the chance to take a shot. To avoid this mistake, learn how to bowfish light-sensitive and highly pressured fish. This involves getting the right tools and implementing stealth tactics when approaching wary fish. Keeping a low profile will increase your chances of successfully getting close enough to take a shot.
Mistake 3: Not Doing Your Research
Heading out on a bowfishing trip without adequate knowledge about the species you’re targeting is a recipe for failure. Research which fish are in season, their habitats, and proper shooting techniques for each species. Additionally, learning about local regulations and licensing requirements is necessary, as some species are illegal to bowfish. Ultimately, by thoroughly preparing for your trip, you’ll better understand the fish you’re pursuing and the best techniques for catching them.
Now that you know some common bowfishing mistakes and how to avoid them, you’re well on your way to having a successful bowfishing adventure. Remember—practice makes perfect, and as you implement these tips and techniques, your skills will undoubtedly improve. May your next bowfishing excursion be filled with accurate shots, stealthy approaches, and excellent catches. Happy fishing!