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Bowfishing: Nighttime Success

Bowfishing at night adds an extra challenge to the already exciting sport of bowfishing. As always, check the regulations in your area and note any species limits or restrictions before you venture out to the water. Once you’ve given yourself a refresher, grab your gear and a bowfishing light and get outdoors.

Light the Way

When you’re bowfishing at night, a bowfishing light is necessary to illuminate the fish and give you better visibility. Most bowfishing lights are LED lights. Choose a warm yellow, green, or white LED light, because those hues will light up the fish without being too bright. Bowfishing lights can easily attach to the railing of your boat deck. Position the lights so they are casting as wide of a range as possible.

Bowfishing at night also brings the added benefit of not having to account for the sun casting shadows. When you’re bowfishing during the day, the sun moves your shadow as it moves across the sky. If you choose a fishing spot accordingly, facing the sun so that your shadow is behind you, and you stay in that same spot for hours, your shadow will eventually wind up in front of you, in your fishing area, and spook the fish. When bowfishing at night, your light will be in the same spot until you move it, so you can stay in the same spot for hours without worrying about your shadow encroaching on your fishing space and scaring the fish.

Stay Shallow

A good tip for bowfishing in general but even more applicable at night is that the deeper the water, the further the arrow has to travel. If you get into deep water, the arrow can only dive down so deep into the water before the line runs out. If you stay in relatively shallow water, you’ll know that the fish are within your arrow’s reach. Staying in shallow water at night will also help your visibility because the fish won’t be able to dive straight down and out of your light’s field of vision.

Staying shallow also helps in terms of refraction. If you’re following the 10:4 rule which suggests aiming 4 inches low for a fish that’s 10 feet away and 1 foot deep in the water, then you’d have to keep upping your compensation as the fish dives deeper. The less water the fish dives down into, the less you’ll have to compensate in your shot.

Stay Energized

If you’re bowfishing past sundown, you might start to feel the fatigue of the day fall on you. Hydrate with one of our FUEL Energy hydration powder stick packs before you go and give yourself a natural boost of energy to stay alert for your nighttime bowfishing adventure. The 100mg of caffeine (from green coffee bean extract) in each pack will keep you ready to reel in the big catch well after sunset.

Bowfishing is a great way to get outside, enjoy nature, and reel in some fish. Keep the tips above in mind if you decide to bowfish at night. Whatever time of day you choose to bowfish, we’re just glad you’re taking part in the “Feel Better, Get Outside” lifestyle.

How do your bowfishing tactics change when you’re bowfishing during the daytime compared to bowfishing at night? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!