Why Should I Start Bowfishing?

Targeting Big Gar and Carp
June 1, 2017

I can’t get enough bowhunting.

And I can’t get enough different types of bowhunting. That is why years ago I turned to the waters for a different kind of action.

I am talking about bowfishing of course.

Trying their luck fishing with a bow and arrow will humble the best fisherman you know.

The most common problem one has when trying to bag a fish with an arrow is always shooting over the target. You have to consider the refraction that the light causes in the water when looking at a target from an angle. Even knowing this undeniable fact, archers instinctively aim directly at the target. It takes a lot of practice and I can attest to the fact that you will miss many more fish than you get. Hence…the laughter begins!

Bowfishing is fun for just about any age or experience level. Even if you’re not an experienced archer, bowfishing can be a fun new way to enjoy the outdoors.

I once was asked to accompany a friend of mine who hosted a hunting television show. Nathan Jones of Wild Extremes called me out of the blue and just told me he was in my neck of the woods and wanted to know if I wanted to try my luck at bowfishing. I had never been before and I thought it would be fun so I accepted. To my surprise, when I arrived, there were two boats, decked with lights and 3 cameramen. I had no idea that he was about to film a television segment on bowfishing.

My wife had no idea that I would be out until sunrise, and I was extremely nervous about doing a TV show about something I knew nothing about. I do remember that I was sweating so much I was sure that I made the lake rise 3 inches with all the extra water my sweat glands provided!

It did not take long at all before we were spotting fish everywhere. I would pull the bowstring back and aim at an object in the water that looked like it might have been no more than 15 yards. I smiled for the camera as I released the arrow at what was to be a sure hit.

WRONG! A clean miss! As a matter of fact, I kept missing…over and over again. I absolutely knew that you had to aim low, but I had no idea how low.

My only consolation was the fact that Nathan, who is an expert marksman with a bow, was missing left and right as well. We both laughed hard for the cameras, but deep down we knew that we had better score here soon or he would have no show.

I recall that I thought to myself “if I hear one more time that you need to aim lower, I might just throw the bow down and jump in the lake myself”! However, I kept my cool and was more determined than ever to master this sport.

Finally, after many tries and many hours (it seemed like that anyway), I pulled my bowstring back on a nice carp and let loose.


My first bow-kill fish and it was on camera too!

The host of the show had to congratulate me on scoring before him. Of course now I looked boldly at the camera and started explaining how one has to aim very low at these fish. By the time I was finished my two minutes of fame as a bowfishing guru, I even convinced myself that I knew what I was talking about!

Since that long night, I have gone bowfishing as much as I possibly could.

I love it.

You can have conversation with your fellow bow-fisherman, you don’t have to stay completely still to get a shot (unlike any other species I have been hunting with a bow), and what really is good is the fact that you never lose an arrow! Simply reel it back in and use it over and over again!

Talk about a challenge. Imagine you are aiming (very low) at a moving target while all the while you are on a boat that is constantly moving forward and also rocking back and forth at times.

I love it and so will you.

So go do some fishing this summer, but bring your bow instead of a rod and reel.

Most of all remember to be safe and have fun out there.

Story by Lou Marullo



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