Do you love shooting a crossbow?
Do you love fishing?
Somewhere between the two is the sport of bowfishing. Bowfishing is the process of using specially modified archery equipment to engage in fishing activities, specifically shooting and retrieving fish. Using barbed arrowheads and careful aim, fish are shot with specially designed arrows attached to a fishing line to a reel that is kept on the boat. When a fish is shot with an arrow containing a line, it is then reeled in using a specialized reel. Obviously, this is a sport very different from a quiet day on the lake fly fishing. Many of these fishing bows take the form of a crossbow, which more and more sportsmen are finding is more than suitable for their work.
What Kind Of Crossbow For Fishing?
Most decent crossbows can be adapted to bowfishing with a few modifications and specialist bolts. However, if you want to buy a good crossbow package specifically designed for crossbow fishing have a look at the Parker Stingray (it is the crossbow to the right). It is an excellent crossbow for both the serious and the hobby crossbow fisherman.
The Larger The Fish, The Stronger The Crossbow
Of course, fishing with a crossbow does encourage the pursuit of specific fish. Some, such as the alligator gar and grass carp in freshwater environments, are unusually large, while others, such as the bighead carp, have life cycles and living habits that make their pursuit with bows preferable to pursuit with other fishing tools. In saltwater, where some fish reach truly large proportions, rays and most threateningly, sharks, are the most frequent targets of fishing in this manner.
Bolts intended for crossbow fishing are stronger and heavier than arrows intended for other kinds of archery, sometimes even stronger than bolts intended for land game hunting. They generally lack fletching, as this can cause a bolt to twist and turn to a random side underwater. Further, this kind of fishing is generally done at very short ranges where fletching is not entirely necessary. Most importantly, a specialty fishing line is attached to the end of the bolt, which is then attached to the reel via either a mechanical slide system or, more simply, a hole in the bolt’s shaft. Bolt heads intended for fishing are generally barbed to keep a better grip on any fish caught.
This kind of bow hunting is generally done at close range in clear, shallow water. If the water is particularly murky, specialized glasses do exist to help fishers get a clear aim on fish in certain types of water. For the truly dedicated archer, fishing with one’s crossbow can, in short order, became the greatest test of an archer ever.