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Can you Use Crossbow for Bowfishing? (The Most Comprehensive Guide)

Bowfishing is an exciting sport in which anglers utilize a bow, retriever reel, and a hooked arrow with a bow fishing line connected.

Whether you’re bowfishing throughout the day or at nighttime, there are several tried-and-true methods for a great vacation.

But, can you use crossbow for bowfishing?

Yes, you can easily use crossbow for bowfishing. It won’t make much of a difference than fishing with a rod and reel. In fact, it will make the whole thing more exciting for sure.

can you use crossbow for bowfishing
Can you Use a Crossbow for Bowfishing?

Most people think of fishing with a rod and reel as the major gear, and bowfishing is an alternative to traditional ways of obtaining freshwater fish. Even with the most advanced equipment and years of experience, catching a fish is difficult enough.

For the seasoned anglers who want to try something different, employing more ancient tactics may be satisfying since it connects the angler with the oldest techniques, which were formerly the only way to supply food for the table.

Furthermore, the fish obtained using these crude methods are nongame and non-native species, posing a danger to native game species.

Can You Use Crossbow for Bowfishing : The Actual Answer?

With the aid of the line and reel system, bow fishers may shoot fish with bow and arrow, crossbow, rifle, pistol, or even blowgun-type weaponry. Bowfishing has been practiced in North America, Europe, and Asia for hundreds of years.

 Fishing with a crossbow is just as controlled as fishing with a rod and reel. However, you must acknowledge that it’s much more sophisticated and entertaining.

Yes, you can now fish with a crossbow, and crossbow bowfishing activities are among the most entertaining sports one can ever have with any bow.

Bowfishing with a crossbow can be a great deal of fun and exciting if implemented right and with concerns in mind.

What to Know About Crossbow Fishing?

Crossbow fishing has become increasingly popular. To improve your fishing experience, though, you must utilize the correct sort of crossbow fishing gear.

Crossbow Fishing
What to Know About Crossbow Fishing?

Regular bows may not be suited for fishing since they are difficult to transport and shoot quickly. Fishing crossbows are an excellent compromise between fishing reels and bows.

 If you’re going to bowfish from a boat, make sure it has a flat bottom and can go into shallow water. Make sure it has hang-over rails so you can have a better shot and a quiet motor so you don’t scare the fish away.

Advantages and Disadvantages of  Bow fishing With a Crossbow 


  • Bowhunters may use crossbows to hunt faster, for longer periods, and with lethal precision. To kill an animal with an arrow, you must be near it, whether you’re using a standard bow, a compound bow, or a crossbow. If you currently own a crossbow, getting started may be quite affordable.
  • You only need a few barbed bolts to link a specific fishing line on a reel while engaging in the crossbow portion of the sport. That bowfishing reel is situated on the bottom front of your bowfishing crossbow, below the bolt path’s path.


  •  Some states prohibit any type of bowfishing for sport species such as bass. Check your local regulations. When you’re fishing with a rod and reel, it’s not always the same.
  • Returning the fish to the water is unlawful. Take all of the fish you come across. Some of us choose to capture and release just for the sake of the sport, but in the crossbow and ordinary bowfishing, we are forced to retain every fish we catch.
  • Another disadvantage of using a crossbow for fishing is that it is heavier than current compound bows.

How to Setup a Crossbow for Bowfishing?

To set up a crossbow for bowfishing, you’ll need a few accessories and some installation know-how, which you’ll find below! We’ve discovered a fantastic selection of crossbow bowfishing mounts. It’s long-lasting, tried-and-true, and guaranteed.

The AMS Bowfishing Crossbow Carp Kit is the ideal method to rig your crossbow for bowfishing. This package comes with a 25-yard spool of 200-pound braided Dacron line and our best-selling, time-tested Retriever Pro reel.

Retriever reels may be mounted to a crossbow with this non-handed mount. Simply attach the Retriever to the base block, insert the handle with at-screw, and mount the base block.

AMS Bowfishing Crossbow Carp Kit
AMS Bowfishing Crossbow Carp Kit

The Chaos FX point is made of stainless steel and is ideal for all types of fish in shallow water. Because heavy-duty barbs only require a little amount of penetration to engage and release.

Bolts are solid fiberglass, 24 inches in length, 22/64 inches in diameter, with a half-moon nock and AMS Ring System attached. Retriever Pro reel with 25 yards of 200 braided Dacron line Sleek-X Crossbow Mount is included in the kit.

You can also use a crossbow having Standard 4×32 Scope and Arrows the Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR Mossy Oak Bottomland Crossbow for bowfishing. Specifications include 6.6 pounds weight, 34.875 X 20.125-inch dimensions,375 feet per second, 18.125-inch axle to axle width.

Step through riser made of fiberglass composite with a single bolt assembly and an anti-dry fire trigger-tech trigger. There are no artificial flavors.

The Barnett 17455 crank cocking device is compatible. kinetic energy of 118.6 and 4×32 millimeters multi-reticle scope, two 22 inches headhunter arrows, lightweight quiver, rope cocking gear, & lubricant wax. Ships are put together.

How to Use a Bow fishing Crossbow?


You won’t be able to get the most out of your crossbow until you understand its components. Bowfishing crossbows come in a variety of designs, but they all have certain similar characteristics.

Cocking Safety

Insert your foot through the stirrup and rest it on the bottom of the floor of your boat to keep it in place while you load the crossbow. Hold the strings linked to either end of the curled limbs with both hands after the stirrup is in position.

 Drawing on one string more than the other might cause the strings to go off-center, compromising your fishing crossbow’s precision. Purchasing cocking assistance is another viable solution.

Even if you employ cocking aids, you will still have to draw both strings back until you reach the cocking mechanism.

Shooting Arrow

For the materials of your arrows, you can pick from fiberglass, carbon, aluminum, or carbon aluminum. We recommend avoiding aluminum arrows for novices and instead opting for carbon aluminum or carbon arrows.

They have a lower chance of breaking, although they are slightly heavier. This will make aiming a little more difficult, but it’s preferable to squandering money on arrows that you could shatter in the first few tries.


The length of the compression stroke has a significant impact on the speed of the arrow released from the crossbow. Longer fishing crossbows may fire at speeds of up to 400 mph. The arrow’s length and weight, on the other hand, slow it down.

When hunting large fish, you’ll need to shoot arrows with more sheer power, which means sacrificing speed. Smaller fish, on the other hand, should be chased using dexterity rather than piercing strength.


The more costly the gadget, the more likely it is to be equipped with high-tech scopes that can be adjusted, such as red dot scopes. Fishing crossbows with cocking mechanisms are advised for your convenience and to make it easier for you to cock your gadget.

Are There Specific Rules One Need To Follow For Crossbow Fishing? 

Always contact your local fish and game authority by phone, email, or reading their website to confirm you’re respecting the rules for your state and area. Some may argue that it is acceptable to use a crossbow for fishing but not for hunting. 

To avoid issues, you should examine facts about your state to receive a precise response. It’s also a good idea to print and carry a copy of the regulation. Because the game warden may not be aware of the particular legislation, this is an excellent method to be safe. 

Never quarrel with a law enforcement officer. Simply show them your documentation and explain that you are concerned.

Are There Specific Rules One Need To Follow For Crossbow Fishing?


Get Your All Questions Answered Here:

Can any bow be used for bow fishing?

Bowfishing is a sport that may be conducted in a variety of ways. Bowfishing may be done from a small boat or in deep waters. Bowfishing may be done at any time of day or night.

Any archery bow will suffice (longbow, recurve bow, or compound bow). Compound and recurve bows are smaller, have enough power to launch an arrow, and take up less room in your boat.

Because it can’t account for depth or refraction, an archery sight on your bow is worthless.

Can you go fishing with a crossbow?

Yes, a crossbow may be used to bowfish 

 Is it illegal to fish with a bow and arrow? 

Bowfishing for non-game fish is permitted in several states. Fish species are legal in different parts of the country.

Bighead carp, common carp, grass carp, catfish, buffalo, and various types of gar, notably the huge alligator gar, are some of the most commonly shot freshwater fish.

A normal fishing license is required for bowfishing crossbow success. Bowfishing for sportfishing is not permitted in several states.

Check your local fishing rules to determine whether any special stamps or licenses are required. Before heading out on the lake, it’s always a good idea to check online or call ahead.

Final Thoughts

 If you enjoy hunting, you will quickly pick up on bowfishing and may find that you enjoy it even more than hunting. It’s important to remember that having the correct bow for your fishing activity is critical to your success.

Use your hunting crossbow instead, as it will not provide the greatest results. Select the best equipment for you and the location where you will try your fortunes.

This might become one of the most enjoyable activities to do with your friends while also relaxing.

Rocky D

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