LAST UPDATED: March 10th, 2017
If you asked someone their thoughts on the best bow for bowfishing 10 years ago, you’d likely hear, “Go to the pawn shop and get the cheapest old bow you can find.” Pawn shop bows were standard equipment a decade ago for shooting fish. However, times are changing quickly and so are the bow offerings now available to the bowfishing community. The thought process on money spent on a bowfishing bow is also changing drastically. Shooters are now hanging up their old “vintage” bows and purchasing bowfishing rigs that cost as much as the bow they’d shoot for deer and other big game. Although it’s not a requirement to break the bank on a bowfishing setup, having quality equipment will certainly help prolong your enjoyment of this growing sport.
Here’s a list of some of the best bowfishing bows from the guys and gals who love to chase fish with a bow.
Mission Archery recently introduced a handful of new bows that continue to build on their incredibly affordable and adjustable bow line.
The Mission Craze bow is one of the most popular bows you’ll find for bowfishing anywhere in the world. People simply love this bow because it is so well suited for anybody and everybody. And the new Craze ll makes a great bow even better. Powered by the F.I.T. (Focused Inertia Technology) Cam System, the Craze II offers best in class performance to archers of all ages, sizes, and abilities.
Big or small, this bow is made to fit them all. The Craze ll features draw lengths of 19-30 inches and 13-70 pounds of draw weight adjustment without the need of a bow press. This is particularly handy should the need arise for bow repairs or adjustment while on the water. A new grip and riser design give the Craze ll added strength and stability and help reduce overall weight from the bow. And with 10 different color options, there’s pretty much something for everyone.
A new bow hits the market from the folks at Fin-Finder this year with the introduction of the Poseidon.
The new Poseidon bowfishing bow from Fin-Finder is a slick new bow featuring a smooth draw and no specific draw length for fast snap shooting at darting fish. Matt Smith of Fin Finder says this bow has several years of research and development built in to it.
The Poseidon offers ample mounting options and locations to accommodate more retrieval systems and sights than any other bowfishing bow on the market. Specs on the Poseidon include 25-40 # draw weight range, 2 5-31 inch draw length range, and is 31 inches axle to axle, and comes with pre-stretched strings and cables.
Watch the video on the Fin-Finder Poseidon.
John Paul Morris and the rest of the crew at Bass Pro Shops have been instrumental in creating new opportunities for the bowfishing world. Bass Pro launched the U.S.
Open Bowfishing Championship in 2013 and has continued to watch this event experience tremendous growth. This year’s U.S. Open Championship roster filled up in about 12 hours with 275 bowfishing teams.
In addition to this year’s championship, Bass Pro is hosting the first Bowfishing Fair in Springfield, MO. This event will be the platform for the launch of Bass Pro’s new Archenemy line of bowfishing products. This line will include the Archenemy Bowfishing Package. The Archenemy is a rugged, high-energy compound bow with a 32″ axle-to-axle length for comfort and maneuverability.
The bow has a great look with a cool color scheme but also has all the features a heavy hitter bowfishing bow should have. A constant draw weight designed for snap shooting and a super-smooth draw cycle make this bow a pleasure to shoot. The bow is a great option for shooters of all ages with an adjustable draw length up to 30 inches.
The Archenemy Bowfishing Package comes ready to fish with an Archenemy Rapid Fire Arrow Rest, Archenemy Nemesis Reel, Archenemy Reel Seat, Archenemy Tourney Series Gar Arrow, and Archenemy Tourney Series braided 200-lb. test line.
When I look around at some of the top teams competing at bowfishing tournaments around the country, it’s not uncommon to see Oneida bows in their boat.
Why is this bow favored by so many of the top teams?
For starters, the bow is lightweight, smooth to draw, and shoots like a dream. It is built from a lightweight, durable casting and offers a wide range of poundage and let-off selections. “I like the fact that the Osprey offers plenty of power at lower poundages,” says Andy Cardwell, president of the Bowfishing Association of America. Cardwell also mentions that once you learn how to work on one you can totally rebuild the Osprey in the boat with very little tools should the need arise. The bow packs the punch needed to shoot everything from small rough fish to gators.
This bow offers the best of both worlds when it comes to design concept. It brings the smoothness of shooting a recurve with the power of launching an arrow from a compound. It draws fast, providing ample opportunities at darting fish.
Specs on the Osprey include a draw length of 26-32 inches, draw weight of 30-50 lbs., and weighs in at 3.4 lbs. The Osprey has stainless hardware and comes in a variety of color options. See the Osprey at cponeidaeagle.com.
The folks at PSE set out to make a bowfishing bow for the person who sees bowfishing as more than just an off-season hobby, but a passion that runs deep.
The Tidal Wave is what they feel is the perfect bowfishing bow for the serious bowfishermen. The Tidal Wave was engineered with a constant draw weight for snap shooting, features a 32″ axle-to-axle length for maneuverability, and a durable design that’s able to handle extreme conditions.
The Tidal Wave weighs in at just 3.3lbs. and has a draw length to 30 inches.
After realizing that a lot of people were using the PSE Discovery bow for bowfishing, PSE decided to do it up right and put this slick little bow in a bowfishing package with a special camo.
The Discovery 2 Bowfishing compound features a light, compact design, a constant draw weight out to 30″, and an economical price, making it an ideal bowfishing tool for any budget.
The Discovery Bowfishing bow is 31 ½ inches axle to axle and weighs in at 3.3 lbs.
The crew at Cajun Bowfishing wanted to bring a better way of doing things on the water when they unleashed their new Sucker Punch bowfishing bow package.
A night of bowfishing can be brutal on equipment. The new Sucker Punch was designed to handle the rigors of a night on the water. The bow’s 35.25″ axle to axle length allows for comfortable shooting all day or all night without finger pinch. The Sucker Punch is light, weighing in at just 3.2 lbs.
The deep cam grooves on the Sucker Punch prevent derailment when this bow is thrown around in the back of the truck or bottom of the boat. The Sucker Punch brings versatility with the option of a constant draw cam or draw length specific modules included.
The Sucker Punch is available as a bare bow or in a bowfishing package with the new Cajun Hybrid Reel.
Watch the video on the Cajun Sucker Punch.
When you think of Barnett, you typically think of crossbows. However, you can now add bowfishing bows to the mix as Barnett has launched into the bowfishing world in recent years with the introduction of their Vortex H20 bow.
If you’re looking to extend your archery season, and do it on a tight budget, the Vortex H20 may be the rig for you. Of all the bows mentioned here the Vortex H20 has them all beat on price with a cost of less than $150. Young or old, the Vortex was designed to fit shooters of all sizes with an adjustable draw weight of 31 to 45 lbs. and adjustable draw length of 26-5/8” to 28”.
The bow has 60-70 percent let-off and wears its own Reaper H20 finish on the riser. The Vortex H20 comes in right hand only.
Muzzy jumped in the game this year with the introduction of their new Addict bow.
The Addict is a recurve bow that is fun to shoot and has a price tag that’ll make you smile as well. The Addict is the perfect bow for the traveling bowfishermen due to its ability to break down nice and compact, without the use of tools. It can easily be stashed in a small suitcase, bag, or under the backseat for the ultimate on-the-go bow.
The Addict packs plenty of power for fish with its 40# draw weight at 28”. It has a magnesium riser and an overall length of 58”. And you’ll be hard pressed to find a lighter bow than the Addict with its super-light 2.25lb mass weight.
AMS is a leader in the bowfishing industry with a product line like no other. Bowfishing is what they do. In fact, bowfishing is all they do.
The company actually has several bowfishing bows in their product line, but their latest creation, the SwampIt, was designed specifically for shooting big fish. A lot of the other bowfishing rigs on the market top out at a 40lb draw weight, the SwampIt was designed with a 40lb-50lb draw weight range for penetrating deeper water…and bigger fish.
The bow features dual cams for increased power and all stainless steel components to keep it free from corrosion. This bow draws smoothly and is a great option for snap-shooting at fast fish. The SwampIt comes standard in a Swamp Green KOI Carp Camo pattern.
Watch the video on the SwampIt.
There’s plenty of great new bow options to make your next bowfishing trip a huge success. And the beautiful thing is, there is something for everybody with plenty of options in varying price, function, and fit. Take the plunge this summer and experience bowfishing like never before with one of the great bows.