For Bowfishing Events, Info, Articles & Equipment Visit AMS Bowfishing.

By Josh Morrissey 

Have you ever turned on the TV and saw someone bowfishing and then thought about how much fun it would be? Well it is fun, and it is very easy to get started.

There are basically 5 things you need: a bow, a reel, a good fiberglass arrow, an arrow rest, and good arrow tips. There are also some helpful items you will need to make your bowfishing adventure a success and I’ll cover those at the end.


AMS FishHawk

First, obviously the most important thing is a bow.  Most people use an older bow that wouldn’t be a huge loss if you accidentally drop it in the water.    

Also, many people who use a recurve or longbow.   It is however, much easier to set up a compound bow with newer bowfishing products than try to retro-fit a stick bow.  

There are a number of high quality compounds made just for bowfishing such as the new AMS Fish Hawk bow.  

The Fish Hawk is a compound bow that uses the speed and power to take down the biggest trophies, while shooting as easy as a traditional bow.


AMS Retriever Fishing Reel

Now after you get your bow ready, you need to get a bowfishing reel.  A favorite of most people, including myself, is the AMS Retriever Bowfishing Reel.  It is basically a bottle with the line in it.  The line is piled into the bottle, instead of wound up on a spool, which causes zero speed loss.  It is very easy to use and one of the safest to shoot.  

While the Zebco route will work, I highly recommend the AMS Retriever due to it’s ease of use and it’s safety.  

There are also other companies that sell bowfishing reels so you do have a wide range of choices. To me, safety is key and AMS is all about safety.


There are many arrows out there for bowfishing, but I have found the best are fiberglass.  The fiberglass arrows sink better and deliver more accuracy and power.  AMS also sells some great fiberglass arrows with Muzzy Bowfishing points on the end.  Sullivan Industries has also come out with a super fish arrow and point so you should look into both of these avenues. Some people shoot with fletchings on their arrows, but that can make it more inaccurate as it hits the water.  So, I use plain shafts.  I also recommend taking two arrows at least, just in case.

AMS Fish Arrow with Garpoon Point
AMS Fish Arrows with Muzzy Points

First the Muzzy’s.  The Muzzy point is like a fixed broadhead, but you can rotate the barbs forward for easy fish removal.  It is one of the most effective on bigger fish or fish with harder sides.  It also has great holding power and strength.

There are other companies that make similar points but the new Innerloc shows some real promise. This tip can be compared to a mechanical broadhead. A sharper angle on the tip provides exceptional penetration with the barbs folded tightly to the body  for better penetration, then the large 2 3/4-inch diameter barbs open. To remove the fish you simply unscrew the tip and fold the blades forward.

INNERLOC Graple Points



One of the biggest problems is Arrow Rests.  You may think your deer hunting Rest will work, but believe me, most will not hold the weight of a fiberglass arrow.  There are Rests, however, that are made just for the fiberglass arrows and bowfishing.  AMS’ newest one, the Wave Rest is one of the best.  It offers great arrow control when you need to quick swing and shoot and also uses rollers for minimal arrow wear.  

AMS Wave Rest
Fish Biscuit Arrow Rest

Another is the Carolina Archery Fish Biscuit, it is just like the Whisker Biscuit, but has sturdier bristles to hold the arrow.  

Note that you definitely do not want to use fletching or vanes if you use the Fish Biscuit for your bowfishing arrow rest.


Other items I would recommend for bowfishing include; polarized sunglasses to allow you to see through the glare on the water, a spotlight for night bowfishing, a hat, sunscreen, a cooler or something to put your fish in and finally a billy club to finish the fish off if it has some life left in it when you get it out of the water.

Now all you need is some water, a bank, a dock or a boat and you are ready to start having some bowfishing fun!

For Bowfishing Events, Info, Articles & Equipment Visit AMS Bowfishing.