During the summer, most of us shoot into targets to prepare for the fall bowhunting season. This time of year, there is one thing you can do to keep your skills sharp that is more fun than just shooting into a pile of foam. You can go bowfishing. Bowfishing is increasing in popularity largely because it is action packed. Getting started in bowfishing doesn’t need to break the bank. Brodie Swisher, founder of the, knows a few things about bowfishing. “Bowfishing is a great sport that bowhunters can participate in almost any time of the year. One of the great things about bowfishing is people can get involved in it without breaking the bank,” Swisher explained.

Some guys have high-end bowfishing boats equipped with fancy motors, expensive lights and raised platforms, but you don’t have to start there. “Many people start by picking up a pawn shop bow and a bowfishing real kit that comes with a bowfishing arrow and tip, away they go,” Swisher added.

The most sought after fish is the carp, but many go after garpike, dog fish and a few other species. “The cool thing about bowfishing is there are many carp to go after. It isn’t like going deer hunting where you might hunt for weeks without a shot opportunity. Most people who regularly bowfish rarely go home empty-handed.”

The best time to go bowfishing is during the late spring and early summer when carp and other garbage fish are spawning in the shallows of lakes and rivers. “If a person is starting out in the sport, they can wade around and shoot fish during the heat of the day and have a great time,” Swisher noted. “It’s fun and it keeps a person’s muscles strong and helps with eye hand coordination. I think it can help a person become a better all around archer.”

People who want to take the sport to the next level can bowfish at night while using spotlights. “Bowfishing at night is a blast. Shooting at fish as they go swimming by under the light is fun and there are many all night tournaments around the country that add friendly competition to the mix, which makes it even more exciting.”

If you get into bowfishing, you will end up with piles of carp. “Many people use the fish for fertilizing gardens and rose bushes. Some people even eat them. Regardless of what you do with them, shooting them is a great way to pass the time in the summer when there is nothing else to hunt,” Swisher suggested.

When bowfishing, most people use a recurve or bow like a Mathews Genesis. These bows can be fired quickly and without being at full draw. If bowfishing sounds like fun to you, get a cheap bow, outfit it with a bowfishing kit, a set of Pine Ridge Archery Finger Savers so you can quickly and easily draw, and fire the bow. You will be good to go.

About the author: Tracy Breen is a full time outdoor writer, consultant and game dinner speaker who often discuss how he overcomes cerebral palsy. Learn more about him at


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