The sport of bowfishing and bowfishing equipment have, perhaps, evolved more rapidly during the past few decades than any other sport that has existed for that long a period of time. A few decades back, ordinary bows were used for this sport, and regular arrows were fitted with lines for fish retrieval. Needless to say, this put bowfishermen at some risk of injury or even, occasionally, death from arrow snapback as the line became tangled in the bowstring. Most bowfishing was carried out from shore, and there was little specialized equipment for the bowfisherman to use.
Huge changes have come over the sport of bowfishing, however, largely because of immense and useful advances in the bowfishing equipment and gear that can be used during the course of the hunt. The use of boats and fishing platforms have made bowfishing more engaging and exciting, with boat-based bowfishing being the most dynamic and interesting type for many fishermen.
The bows used in bowfishing have changed from the ordinary bows used just a generation or two ago, to specialized compound bows that are made to be lighter than regular bows and are colored with rather garish ‘aquatic camouflage.’ Arrows have changed to include safety slides – line attachments on the side which keep the bowfisherman safe from snapback and prevent the line from becoming fouled with the string – and special heads for both soft-skinned fish and armored fish such as the alligator gar.
Arrow rests meant for bowfishing have been designed for bows, special glow-in-the-dark arrows allow you to track your catch even at night, and a variety of reels, floats, and other bowfishing equipment also help you to control your fish and keep track of it after you have hit it. There are even alligator kits for bowfishing for these large, aggressive reptiles in the muddy waterways of the south – game both spectacular and dangerous, and a true challenge for the bowfishing sportsman.
Bowfishing has expanded from a little-supported sport into one as thoroughly developed as regular deer hunting, various kinds of specialized angling, and so forth. Now, with the aid of these ingenious equipment and accessories, bowfishing has become a fascinating blend of fishing and hunting – prowling the slow-moving waters of the United States with bow in hand and arrow on string, in search of the perfect catch. From small fish to the spectacular alligator gar, there are innumerable fishing opportunities awaiting those who equip themselves with the highly-developed bowfishing equipment on the market today.