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Saltwater bowfishing?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:09 am
by Ryan
Has anyone in SA tried bowfishing in saltwater?

Re: Saltwater bowfishing?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:47 am
by Philip Roets
Not yet, but you need a spear fishing license before you try it...

What is a good poundage bow to do bow fishing with?

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Re: Saltwater bowfishing?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:10 pm
by Guardian
Philip, only see your post now.

To answer your question on poundage for bowfishing, I turn my 70lb bow down to 55lb which is the lowest I can safely go. Lower down to 40lb is probably better, depending on the setup.

Some of our club members had their bows over 60lb at club bowfishing competitions in the past, but I reckon one is playing with fire. One already puts a lot of strain on the 50-80lb dacron. If anything goes wrong, something will break - and maybe cause some injuries.

My fish bow is an old (1994) 70lb Buckmaster turned to 55lb, It is a slowish single cam bow and I shoot it with fingers. ABU closed-face reel on the front with 80lb braid. Aluminium arrows modified without vanes at the back and plastic coated steel trace down the side of the arrow for braid to clip onto. Home made barbs between shaft and field point at the front. Shot many Tilapia and some carp (with special permits from Nature Conservation)

Re: Saltwater bowfishing?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:31 pm
by Philip Roets
Thank you Guardian, im thinking of seting up my kids' bear young gun while they are still to small for it. It has a maximum DW of 50#. I just need the reel and braid. I already have an arrow to use.

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Re: Saltwater bowfishing?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:53 am
by MrBallistic

I have done a few tests in a pool to see the significant difference in poundage and what the effects were. I tested with a normal say 500Gr arrow, I know the fishing rigs are way heavier but it was for the means of testing.
Surprisingly the higher the poundage the more the arrows speed is broken and slowed. I tried my girlfriends sons bow at 30lbs and was surprised at the depth achieved. I have an old Taiwanese compound which can only go to 55lbs but I have it set around 45-50.
I think the depth one is going to "hunt/fish" at may deternine the poundage ??
Someone that has done this extensively may be able to give us more info.....

Re: Saltwater bowfishing?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:41 pm
by Ican
The following is an excerpt from an article by Dr Ed Ashby...

"As the arrow’s velocity is increased the resistance does not increase equivalently. The resistance increases exponentially. The resistance of a medium to penetration is reliant on the square of the object’s velocity (assuming objects of a given coefficient of drag; i.e., using arrows with the same external profile, material and finish). In other words, if the arrow’s impact velocity doubles, the resistance increases by a factor of four. If the impact velocity quadruples, the resistance to penetration increases 16 times!" : Dr Ed Ashby ... n-W19.aspx

Re: Saltwater bowfishing?

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:37 pm
by Guardian
I don't know in what type of water you want to bowfish, but we've only shot fish near the surface to about a foot under the surface. You'll find it quite tricky to hit a fish at an angle if it's deeper than that, because the light refraction from the air to the water makes the fish appear shallower than it is, so you have to aim under the fish to hit it. The steeper the angle and the deeper the fish, the lower you have to aim.
I used to practice from my braai down into the pool at a steep angle shooting at submerged blocks of foam anchored with fishing gut and sinker to be suspended about a foot under the surface.
As far as the arrows go, the heavier the better. But just remember the fibreglass fish arrows are very heavy and drop very quickly. You need to practice first to see how far you can shoot it accurately.
Asby's tests were done with trad bows and heavy arrows weighing from 500 to about 900 grains. Not really relevant to bowfishing. But heavy arrows do penetrate better through any medium including water. Some of my friends shot many fish with normal carbon arrows of 450-500gn.