Experienced archer looking to add another skill to your arsenal, or beginner wondering how to get started? Bowfishing is both a fun and rewarding activity for all ages and experience levels.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to cut through the mud and find some real information when it comes to bowfishing; that’s where we come in.


Below you will find what I consider to be the essential tips for bowfishing that will get you out on the water in no time.

By the way,  also check out our detailed guides on:

Know Your Regulations

Before you embark on any bowfishing trip, it is vital that you check the local regulations as these vary between states and can carry hefty fines if not observed.

In some states, a regular fishing license or bowhunting license will suffice, while some such as Ohio only allow fishing licenses for bowfishing.

Legal gamefish also depends on the state you are in; ordinarily, invasive species are fair game with catfish, stingray, tilapia, and redfish legal in some areas.

You also need to be aware of the areas it is legal for you to bowfish, with many states listing public territories where bowfishing is prohibited, but traditional fishing is fine.

To reiterate, always know the regulations, obtain the necessary licenses, and respect the area.

Finding a Hot Spot

If you are just beginning your bowfishing journey and wondering where to start, your best bet is to contact local archery stores.

These stores will be able to either share their own knowledge with you or put you in contact with someone who can.

Many areas also have bowfishing workshops or classes that you can attend, giving not only a technical overview but a lay of the land and hotspots.

Many beginners are put off bowfishing, believing that a boat is necessary, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Wading the banks of rivers and creeks will quickly familiarise you with bowfishing hotspots.

If you know what types of fish are in your locality already, this method will be even more accessible.