Most bowfishing bows are either recurved or compound weapons. Bowfishing with a longbow is a somewhat clumsy affair because of the length of the weapon, which makes it difficult to handle in the cramped confines of a boat or bowfishing platform. Aiming such a large bow downward might prove difficult as well. The minimum pull on a bow intended for bowfishing should be around 45 pounds, since there must be enough force to drive the arrow straight through the water and into the target fish.
A bow meant for bowfishing will not mount an archery sight, because such aiming devices are rendered useless by the refraction and depth-perception effects of water. Instead, it will probably have an anchor reel seat to accommodate a bowfishing reel – and will likely come with a reel attached already. Arrow rests can be added to the bow as normal, and several companies make good arrow rests specifically for bowfishing bows.
Bowfishing bows typically have aquatic camouflage coloration, which involves either an aqua color or a camouflage pattern in several different tones of aqua and blue. Whether this has much impact on the hunt’s success is uncertain, but it is possible that the bows will blend in with the sky more than ordinary bows and so, perhaps, might alarm the fish less.
The Browning Barracuda bowfishing bow is one good example of a weapon made for this intriguing and exciting sport. This compound bow weighs only 2.6 pounds, allowing you to change your aim quickly and smoothly in response to the erratic movements of fish. The axle-to-axle dimensions are 32”, and the brace height is 6.5”. One of the prime features of the Barracuda is that it has a zero let-off so that any draw length can be used effectively.
The Barracuda’s riser is extremely durable, partly because of materials and partly because it is cast. The recoil is minimal, as might be expected, so users of all strengths will find it easy to use on the slightly unstable surface of a boat. The bow comes with an arrow rest included – an AMS Wave Roller Rest – and with an AMS retriever roll with line as well. Two bowfishing arrows are in the package, with points included and built-in safety slide kits so that you can attach the line easily in such a way that you will be safe from snapback, which occurs when the line becomes fouled with the bowstring.
The Barracuda’s Aquacamo coloration provides a look at the typical appearance of aquatic camouflage. Of course, the coloration also helps to distinguish it from your regular bows – there is no chance that you will pick up one of your deer-hunting bows by accident when you are planning a bowfishing expedition. Picking a good bow is one of the secrets to success bowfishing, and there are many models of bowfishing bows on the market today.