Not many people know about a sport called bowfishing. When people think of bowfishing, they think that you must lose a lot of arrows because the archer has no way of retrieving his or her arrow after launching it off its rest. This is a very big misconception in a very misunderstood and mysterious sport. As most people don’t understand about bowfishing, then don’t know that most bowfisherman rely on the darkness of night to cover them as tthe approach their prey. A specially rigged bowfishing boat with archer aboard the pvc platform, as the floodlights gaze onto the water’s edge, the archer draws back his arrow and settles its sights on the unsuspecting Asian carp, the archer releases the arrow to hear a sound only too familiar as the arrow breaches the soft skin of the spawning carp. After the adrenaline ceases, the archer reels in his prize for the evening. Only a true bowfisherman can feel tthe power it has to know that he controls the lives of the prey he takes. This feeling can’t be described in words, but can be felt with the utmost power and audacity of a life being saved or taken. BBowfishing is a sport that requires both hunting and fishing skills as well as knowledge of each sport. Bowfishing is similar to hunting because of it’s use of the archer’s favorite weapon, the bow. The bow is considered to be one of the most difficult weapons in any hunter’s arsenal. Along with it’s light weight and easy maneuverability, it also boasts an extreme challenge to whomever uses it to it’s full potential. Whether you decide to walk along the primal side and use a traditional bow or a recurve bow, you achieve the most out of your sport without using sights, a rest or release. Or if you choose a more modern and faster method of archery, you will achieve aa sense of accomplishment with either of these great weapons. A traditional bow is mostly what the Indians used when they made their first movement to this great land. It is a straight “stick” that is slightly bent back towards the string. A recurve bow is a more modern version of the traditional bow. It is massively bent at the end toward the riser or rest, and when at full draw, the tips of this bow are in line with tthe string. Upon the other hand, you could move up with technology and acknowledge the existence of a compound bow. The compound bow in many people’s minds have upgraded the sport of bowfishing to a more technological standpoint. Although compound bows have been around for quite a while, over the last three years, they have boosted themselves to an unbelievable height. From back in 1975, the average speed of a bow was about 175 feet per second. About a year ago, I bought a magazine the showed the emphasis and excitement of the “new bows” of which claimed a whooping 300 feet per second. These days, in the recent magazines, have showed new and recent studies on a 400 feet per second bow. These technologies can be measured in many ways to their successes and failures. The positive side to a bow this fast is that your arrow can get to your target quicker without spooking it. The negative side is the infamous question: Why would anyone require that much speed? There is really no other answer but the fact of “bragging rights” and that you don’t spook your target. In this sport of bowfishing, you use an average of 775 to about 150 feet per second, depending on where you are fishing. If you decide to let your prey reside in a more of a pond setting or a small lake, then you need less speed. If you require quick shooting in a big lake or the ocean, then you should decide on more speed, because if you decide on slower arrow release then you have a chance of missing your target. My current bowfishing bow is set at about 100 feet per second, because I maintain target by shooting at small rough fish such as: carp, catfish, gar, and small turtles. Bowfishing is similar to fishing in the respect of your target. Along with it being similar because of fish, it also maintains a similarity to the reel that it uses. The tools of this trade lie in the number of items you can fit on your bow. It also depends on which type of bow you are using. If you shoot a recurve or traditional bow, then you require less items. With a traditional or recurve bow the archer has lost the use of sights, a rest, and other implements. A compound uses the implements such as: ssights, a bowfishing rest, and optional release, and a nock saver. The required items on a bowfisherman’s list should be as follows: a custom bowfishing arrow, a special cabling system, special bowfishing string, and a reel. Without any one of these items, a bowfisherman would be not be able to complete his art. The arrow is one of the most important items on the archer’s list, it is the single most important thing in the sport of bowfishing. It is like a normal arrow in looks, but when broken down it is made of fiberglass instead of graphite or aluminum. One end of the arrow is similar to regular bowhunting, that is of course, the nock. A nock is a plastic piece that is glued to the end of the arrow and has a notched end, of which holds the arrow on the bow cable or bow string. At the other end of the arrow is tip that contains two straight barbs, which keeps the fish from coming off the arrow while the fish is being played. After the fish is played, the archer can, on some types of tips, turn the end of the tip which releases the barb’s
straightness. As this happens it lets the barbs point upward, and the archer can then push the fish off the arrow without much resistance. As it’s not required by some archers, but is next to the most important for others, is the cabling system for an arrow. This contains the “life support” of the arrow. I firmly believe that without this system, you would lose a lot of arrows, unfortunately I know this from several personal experiences. The cabling system cconsists of a stainless 800 pound test steel wire, 2 beads, a swivel, and two crimps. The wire slides through two pre-drilled holes in the arrow, then wrapped around the arrow’s shaft, the into the crimp, and then crimped. After sliding the bead, the swivel, and the other bead onto the arrow, the wire slides through the other pre-drilled hole and then again crimped. The archer’s string is then tied onto the other end of the swivel, completing the cabling rrig. This allows the tension not to rely on the string, but the cable, and also it allows the string to move along the arrow without friction. The next very important part of the archer’s list is the string. The sstring comes in a variety of strengths, mostly for bowfishing, an average of 300-400 pound test braided line. This is used for most applications, although when fishing for 150 pound alligator gar in southern Texas, you would need around a 600 to 900 pound test line. An option on string is color, a lot of bowfisherman prefer a ...
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