Bowfishing

.. y 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 archers list is the string. The string 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 neon colored string. For ease of sight and for finding an arrow that has snapped its cable, it is a wise choice for neon colored line. A new string has just been developed for night bowfisherman, it has a fluorescent “glow” when a black light is applied to the tip of the string. The last, but certainly not least important, is the reel, there are several types of reels, the drum reel, which is a cylinder that the string wraps around it and feeds off in the same manner. The second type is the AMS retriever reel, it is one of the most sophisticated reels, it uses a finger brake and”fishing” type crank.

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It is made especially for bowfisherman. The third kind is the Zebco 808 or the 818 models, these are regular fishing reels, but also double as bowfishing reels. They are mounted on a 12 or 18 inch rod the is screwed into the stabilizer hole of the bow. This rod and reel combination is the closest related to the sport of fishing. The last method of using a reel is that it doesnt use a reel at all, but is just to lay the string on the ground and hopeing that it doesnt tangle when the arrow is released or get caught on an exterior appendage of your body. Water diffraction is one of the worst problems a bowfisherman can encounter.

Water diffraction is what occurs whenever something is in the water. If you stick a rod into the water, as soon as the rod enters the water it gives off the appearance that its bent. This is the water diffraction at work. Especially when night bowfishing, water diffraction takes place, because most of night bowfishing is when the target is several inches or feet underwater. Since the target is underwater, then the archer must decide how deep is the target.

Although it may look on the surface it can be several inches underwater. The formula for bowfishing is for every inch underwater the target actually is, the archer should aim at least 3 inches below the target to defeat water diffraction. If an archer can accomplish this skill within seconds of sight of the target, the bowfisherman can start to consider himself well on the way to mastering the sport. Most bowfisherman seek targets as small as carp and gar, but a lot of archers seek bigger challenges. Alligator gars, rays, skates, sharks, alligators, and several big predators maintain a large portion of bowfishermans time. In some remote areas of Texas, videos have arisen of bowfisherman landing 150 pound alligator gars. These massive creatures are taken by the initial arrow of the archer. This arrow is very different from most arrows, as it has a break-away float or jug that detaches from its position on the bow. This floats along the top of the water as the large creature glides on the bottom of the river or lake.

As the archer nocks a second arrow, when the crew members pull up the creature to the top of the water, the archer lands a second and possibly a third arrow into the creature before its decent into the water. This process maintains for sometimes hours, waiting for the creature to tire and raise to the surface close enough to the boat so that a crew member can put a gaff into its lower jaw and pull its massive body onto the boat. Sometimes this has come with a very heavy price. In one instance, an archer had seven arrows into about a 175 pound alligator gar, and as they tried to pull the fish onto the boat, the sheer weight of the fish overturned the boat and everything was lost except for the lives of the crew and the fish. This can be a very dangerous sport in its own right, so not all bowfishing hunts are as nice as others, there are several dangers in this sport. There are recorded instances where bowfisherman have traveled the earth in seek of the great alligators and crocodiles. In one of these instances, a bowfisherman had shot several times at 10 foot alligators with the aid of his guide.

Unfortunatly he landed as many gators as he had come with. As the guide pointed his light to a 14 foot gator, the archer landed a perfect shot, but as the archer went for a second arrow, the gator started his death roll underwater and “cranked” in the string. This motion would have been alright, but as the float was not attached to the archers bow, but just sitting on the floor of the airboat, the archer had no control over his float or other equipment. As the spinning action seemed to reel in the string on the archers line, he nocked a second arrow, unaware of the danger he was in. As he was about to release his second arrow into the beast, the line which was wrapped around the archers leg, tightened and jerked him into the water, but not before the shot was anchored into the gators massive head.

As some quick thinking by the hunter, he grabbed his boot knife and cut the line loose. He grabbed the boat as a loud bang went off and the gator started his final decent to the bottom of the river, dead. As the archer looked up and saw the his guide, with smoking rifle in hand, and climbed aboard the 14 foot airboat. They pulled the massive creature aboard the boat and went home, but never forgetting the memories of the almost fateful night that could have costed the bowfisherman his life. Bowfishing, as the name implies, is the sport of hunting and shooting at fish with a bow and arrow.

The arrow has a barbed point and is tethered to the bow with a braided line. When the arrow is fired from the bow, the line feeds out of a bowfishing reel, which is attached to the front of the bow. When the arrow strikes a fish, the barbs hold in the fish, and the fish is played by hand. Another option the bowfisherman may choose for playing fish, is an 18 inch rigid fishing pole which holds the reel and attaches to the bow. From the small three pound carp or gar, to the 150 pound alligator gar in Texas and the sharks in south Florida, bowfishing is a sport that has no equal to the adrenaline and fun that it provides.