Article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Interested in getting started with bowfishing or want to upgrade to a dedicated fishing bow?
We selected the Cajun Bowfishing Sucker Punch as the best bowfishing bow for most fishermen. It comes equipped with everything you need to get started bowfishing including 2 arrows and a reel.
Whether you are a seasoned veteran or new to the sport, the Sucker Punch bow will help you start catching fish right away.
See our picks below for the best bowfishing bows including recurve, compound and youth bows.
Are you an experienced bowfisherman? We want to hear your opinion on the top brands. Leave a review below or vote for one of our picks.
In This Guide:
- Best Compound Bowfishing Bow
- Best Recurve Bowfishing Bow
- Best Youth Bowfishing Bow
- What is a Bowfishing Bow?
- Recurve vs Compound Bows
- Can You Use a Hunting Bow to Bowfish?
Top Pick: Cajun Bowfishing Sucker Punch Review
The Cajun Bowfishing Sucker Punch compound bow is ready to go right out of the box. It comes with a hybrid bowfishing reel and 2 fiberglass piranha arrows.
This bow has a 50 pound draw weight making it a great all around option for both bowfishing and hunting. It has enough strength to help you catch big fish, yet light enough to not slow you down – weighing only 3.2 pounds.
We chose the Sucker Punch as the best bowfishing bow because it is Ready to Fish when it arrives at your door, making it easier to get out on the water. Plus, this bow meets the needs of the majority of our readers whether they are beginners or experienced bow fishermen.
- Cajun hybrid bowfishing reel
- 2 white fiberglass piranha arrows
- Fishing biscuit arrow rest
- Cajun blister buster finger pads
- Deep cam grooves prevent derailed strings
|Draw Length:||17″ to 31″|
|Peak Draw Weight:||50 lbs.|
|Bow Weight:||3.2 lbs.|
Best Recurve Bow: Cajun Archery Fish Stick
One of the reasons bow fishermen prefer recurve bows is because it allows them to snapshoot fish on the move. Something you can’t do with a compound bow without the risk of breaking it.
When deciding which bow to recommend as the best recurve bowfishing bow, we unanimously picked the Cajun Archery Fish Stick.
This bow stands out from the crowd because it comes ready to fish when it arrives at your door. It has everything you need to catch fish right away including a drum reel with line, rest, arrow and finger savers.
The Cajun Archery Fish Stick has 45 lbs peak draw weight which will give you enough power to shoot both fish and wildlife during hunting season.
However, one of the downsides of recurve bows is their sheer size. The Fish Stick has a bow length of 56 inches – nearly twice the size of some smaller compound bows. Long recurve bows can make it difficult to bowfish on a small boat and harder to fish while wading in deep water.
That being said, if you are a fan of recurve bows, then you’ll love the Cajun Archery Fish Stick.
Best Youth Bowfishing Bow: Barnett 1108 Vortex H2O
In our search for the best bowfishing bows, several people recommended we check out the Barnett 1108 Vortex H2O.
It is advertised as a youth bow with a draw weight of 31 to 45 lbs. However, this is enough power for most adults who want a compact and lightweight compound bow for bowfishing. But buyer be warned, since this is a youth bow it only has a draw length of 28 inches.
This bow weighs only 3 lbs without accessories, making it light enough to take just about anywhere. Plus, the axle to axle length is only 28 inches which means it will take up less space than a traditional compound bow.
But don’t let it’s size fool you. The Barnett 1108 Vortex H2O still has plenty of power with an arrow velocity of 188 feet per second (FPS).
We should point out that some retailers describe this product as a “bowfishing kit.” However, you should know that this bow does not come with a bowfishing reel. We recommend ordering an AMS Retriever Pro at the same time, so you’ll be ready to fish when they arrive at your door.
Have you tried the Barnett 1108 Vortex H2O? Leave us a comment below and share your experience.
What is a Bowfishing Bow?
A bowfishing bow is similar to a hunting bow but with a special fishing reel attached. Of course, the fishing line is attached to the arrow instead of a fishing hook.
All you need to do is aim for a fish in the water, release the arrow, then use the reel to pull them in the boat. It’s about as easy as shooting fish in a bucket!
Don’t believe me? Check out the video below to see how easy bowfishing really is:
When shopping for bowfishing bows it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. A few of the features to consider include:
- Axle to axle length
- Draw weight
- Draw length
- Bow Weight
Recurve or Compound Bow
When shopping for bowfishing bows, you’ll need to decide whether you want a compound or recurve bow.
You will probably get a different answer about what style of bow you need from every fishermen you ask. That being said, we will briefly cover the differences here.
|Compound Bow||Recurve Bow|
|Pictured: Cajun Bowfishing Sucker Punch||Pictured: Cajun Archery Fish Stick|
The first thing you’ll notice when looking at compound bows are the wheels (also called cams) at the top and bottom of the bow. The cams are designed to make it easier to pull back the string while giving you the same performance as a recurve bow. This means less fatigue for the fishermen over a long day of fishing.
When you first pull back the string on a compound bow it will be hard until it reaches the “let off” point.
On a few of the bows we reviewed below, this point is around 60%.
So, when you pull back the string it will get easier at about 60 percent of the way back – around the point where it would take a lot of energy on a recurve bow.
In contrast, recurve bows do not use a pulley system. The resistance on the string is linear, meaning the farther you pull it back, the more strength you’ll need. Of course, the farther you pull it back, the more speed and distance you’ll get out it.
Many avid fishermen prefer a recurve bow over a compound bow because they can aim and shoot faster.
Recurve bows have an advantage over compound bows to catch fish that are on the move. In many cases recurve bows are cheaper and easier to maintain as well.
Can You Use a Hunting Bow to Bowfish?
In most cases you can use your hunting bow to go bowfishing. All you need is a kit to transform your hunting bow into a bowfishing bow.
That being said, you still may want to purchase a bow that is dedicated to bowfishing.
Well, when bowfishing for large fish like carp, catfish or alligator gar you will probably have to work hard to get the fish in the boat.
This fighting will put additional wear and tear on your bow, possibly causing parts to prematurely break.
The last thing you want when out deer hunting is to have one of your cams break from wrestling with a 75 pound gar earlier in the year. Not a good way to start hunting season if you ask me.
That’s why we recommend purchasing a bow specifically for bowfishing.