You need a little more than an arrow and a bow when you want to go bowfishing for the first time — you should take these tips with you, too! Read on and discover our best tips and learn what to know before you go bowfishing.

Boat or shore

One of the big questions first-timers ask is whether they should bowfish from the shore or from a boat. Luckily, it’s completely up to you! Either of these situations can lead to a fruitful trip on the water, so don’t worry if you don’t have a boat.

If you have a boat, it’s better to use one with a shallow hull — the best bowfishing spots require you to get closer to the shore.

Bowfishing regulations

Different states and counties will have different rules that dictate where you can bowfish and what fish you can hunt. Make sure to check for your local regulations before you go bowfishing — you don’t want a fun day out to leave you with a fine.


Aiming is one of the trickiest parts of learning to bowfish because water fools our senses. When you get your arrow ready to fire, you need to make sure you’re aiming lower than the fish appears.

Often, you’ll need to aim much lower. A good rule of thumb is to aim about six inches below where the fish appears to be.

Bowfishing gear

While the most important pieces of bowfishing gear are your bow and arrows, there are a few crucial things to know about bowfishing on a budget. You can cut costs on your arrows, but make sure you pick up high-quality arrow tips if you don’t want to miss out on the big fish.

Now that you have the knowledge you need before you go bowfishing, don’t hesitate to schedule your first trip.

Bring a few friends along and make a day of it — even if you don’t hit a single shot, this activity is ridiculously entertaining to try.

The Life section is supported by Brethren Care Village in Ashland.

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