The past several years I've been meaning to do some more bowfishing during the off-season, but just like with many things "life" just seemed to get in the way. However, this spring I was determined to get out and shoot some fish! Since I didn't have any bowfishing equipment my first step was to research what I was going to need and order it. After reading through some of our Bowfishing articles here on Bowhunting.com and talking to some of my bowfishing fanatic friends I settled on some AMS bowfishing gear.
AMS is one of the most widely recognized and well respected names in bowfishing, most commonly known for their extremely popular line of Retriever reels. Unlike the traditional spool that mounts to the front of your bow and has to be manually wound, the Retriever works much like a traditional fishing reel to haul in your line, and your fish. After looking at the various components I would need like the reel, line, rest, arrows, and tips I elected to purchase the AMS Bowfishing kit, which includes all of these items. The nice thing about the kit is that it literally comes with everything you need to rig up your bow for some bowfishing action.
The AMS Bowfishing Kit includes everything a beginning bowhunter needs to rig up their bow and hit the water. The kit includes the AMS Retriever Reel, 2 arrows with tips, an AMS Wave bowfishing rest, extra nocks, extra arrow slides, and an AMS bowfishing DVD.
After my kit was ordered and on it's way I started to think about my bow. I know bowfishing can be down and dirty, and hard on your equipment, so I wasn't looking forward to stripping down my Diamond Marquis and using it as a fish bow. So my first thought was to try and pick up and older used bow from my local pro shop and use that. Fortunately for me I was able to pick up a brand new Parker bow for SUPER cheap. This bow is a few years old, but has never been shot. I lucked out here, but would've been just as happy with an old used bow if that's all I could find.
Once my AMS Bowfishing Kit showed up and my new bow was in hand I set out to install all of the accessories. Much to my surprise, and delight, it only took me about 15 minutes to get everything set up and ready to shoot. The rest bolted on just like any arrow rest and I used my Easy Eye Laser tool to set up the center shot. Next I bolted the Retriever Pro reel on, which screws into the sight mount holes, and adusted that to the proper height. Finally I tied my arrow onto the 130 lb line and I was ready to go.
The following day I met up with my hunting/filming partner Mike Willand for the inaugural flight of the bowfishing arrow. We were "hunting" a flooded swamp connected to a major river that was litterally FULL of carp. My first shot of the day was a bit high, which can happen when you're a rookie bowfisherman. You also have to remember to "aim low" because the refraction of the water makes the fish look higher than it really is. Lesson learned!
My 2nd shot found it's mark though, and Mike was able to capture it all on film. Click here or on the image below to see me shoot my first carp of the season, and a few others as well.
Mike and I didn't have much time that Saturday but we did manage to shoot 4 or 5 fish in about an hour and a half. I had a blast and decided to go back on my own the next day. In about 2 hours I was able to shoot a dozen more carp, including some P&Y caliber fish! Well, they were big to me anyways.
My 2nd day of bowfishing prooved even more productive as I was able to take quite a few fish with my new bowfishing rig.
Bowfishing is a great way to keep busy during the off season, and it's a ton of fun as well. Mike's bowfishing gear is on order and you can bet you'll be seeing a few more bowfishing blogs from us before the summer is over. If you're interested in bowfishing I highly recommend you try it! And if you need bowfishing gear to start your newest hobby, we carry a full selection of products from AMS, Muzzy, Bohning, and more right here at Bowhunting.com. Click here to purchase bowfishing products in our online store.