When it comes to bowfishing, you will need a good boat that can be used in different seasons.
Whether you’re a first-time angler or an avid bow hunter, we’ve explained some factors to consider when making your decision.
What to Consider When Getting a Boat for Bowfishing
The following are some things you should look at when buying a new one.
1. Good Angle to the Water
The first thing is to get an angle to the target area where you want to bowfish. If you don’t get this right, then you won’t be able to catch anything.
It’s important that you select a good location to anchor your boat, which has enough length to give you enough room to maneuver around while trying to cast or retrieve something.
Also, make sure there aren’t any obstacles on either side, like rocks, trees, and more, which can hinder your fishing efforts.
2. Safety and Maintenance
We all need a safe boat that can withstand the test of time without losing its shape or breaking down. You should be able to find out how much it will cost you to maintain your boat once you get it and how much money you will be able to save from buying a new one every year.
One can get a good idea of the boat’s maintenance costs by checking with a local dealer or looking online for estimates.
3. Water Clearance
Most of the time, bowfishing boats will be used in shallow waters. Therefore, you need to find out if your boat is designed to work in such areas or not. If it is not, then you should get a boat that has deeper keels and is strong enough to withstand the rough waters.
You also need a bowfishing boat that has enough clearance so that it can pass through shallow areas without any problems. If you need a boat that can go through shallow areas, then you should buy a boat with higher clearance, as this will help it stay stable.
4. Boat Style and Shape
Bowfishing boats come in different styles like stern drives, center consoles, and bowriders. These different styles have different characteristics, which you need to consider when choosing the right one for your needs.
You can choose from various boat models like the Alumacraft Tiki, Bayliner 4045, C&C 4045, and more. These boats are also available in various shapes and sizes.
The accessories that you need to choose for your bowfishing boat depend on the type of fishing you plan to do. If you are planning to use it as a fishing boat, then you will need accessories like rod holders, trolling motor, a fish finder, a compass, GPS, and a radio.
You can also get a bowfishing boat that is designed to be used in fresh or salt water depending on your needs. If you plan to use your bowfishing boat for saltwater fishing, then you should get a boat that is designed for such waters.
6. Adequate Space to Move
Another important factor is the size of the boat itself. Make sure that the boat you buy can accommodate not only yourself but other people who might come along with you too.
This means that you must take into consideration how many people would normally accompany you in a particular season. Most fishermen prefer to take their families with them since they believe that it gives more fun and excitement.
However, if you’re planning to go alone, then do check whether there is adequate space inside the boat to allow everyone to sit comfortably without having to stand up throughout the whole trip.
Some Reasons Why You Should Consider the Size of a Boat Before Purchasing One
Some boats even have special compartments built especially for women and children who usually stay seated most of the time.
Boat size is one of the most important factors when choosing a bowfishing boat. You need to make sure that your boat is big enough to carry all the gear and provide a comfortable seating arrangement for your family while fishing or just having fun together on the water.
If you are looking to catch some big fish, then you can choose a boat that has more weight capacity.
You should also look at the size of the fishing area where you want to go. Some boats are built for fishing in narrow areas, while others are built for wide-open areas.
For example, if you want to get a bowfishing boat for a shallow area, then you should consider a boat that is small and sturdy, while if you want to get one for deep waters, then you should get a boat with a large deck area and large wheels.
7. A Stable Platform for Standing
Most boats have a small platform mounted near the back end, towards the stern of the vessel. On such platforms, people generally stand during fishing operations to perform certain tasks like casting or retrieving.
There may be times when you’re using these platforms for launching and landing fish. Even though they seem convenient and easy to handle, sometimes they may prove difficult to control due to waves hitting against them.
So it becomes very necessary to ensure stability by making proper adjustments to keep everything under control. Otherwise, accidents could happen, which might spoil your entire day.
Therefore, it’s always better to opt for a boat that provides plenty of space for movement. Such vessels help you avoid accidental falls.
8. An Elevated Deck
You should also inquire about elevating decks on boats. These surfaces are generally made up of plastic material. They provide extra protection against rough sea waters. But they cannot withstand heavy winds.
When storms hit, you mustn’t forget that windy days often bring high tides. As such, you must pay attention to the height of the deck. Usually, such structures are located near the front part of the vessel.
Hence, such boats must be equipped with sturdy anchors to prevent them from being carried away by strong currents caused by bad weather.
Anchors attached below the surface of the water act as buffers between the boat and the bottom of the ocean bed. Once pulled down deep, the anchor gets locked firmly into place. Therefore, it helps stop the boat from moving forward abruptly, causing possible injuries to those involved in operating it.
9. Lights for Night Fishing
Nighttime is ideal for catching fish. While doing so, you must remember to put on powerful lights fitted to the bowsprit (the long pole extending upwards) of the boat.
This makes it easier for you to spot the object you wish to land or catch. Many bow hunters have found this method quite effective because it allows them to see what they’re doing clearly, even at night.
Also, try looking at the distance between the light and the targeted zone. That way, you’ll know exactly how close you are to the shoreline. At least 10 feet should suffice.
10. A Suitable Power Source
Power sources vary according to the type of boat you intend to purchase. Generally, gas-powered engines are preferred over electric ones. Electric motors require less maintenance than their counterparts.
Gas-powered models offer greater flexibility. They enable you to operate the engine manually or automatically through fuel injection systems. Such devices produce fewer emissions and cause less pollution.
11. Handle Shallow Areas
If you plan to visit places where the depth of the lake or river drops lower than 4 feet, then it’s advisable to equip your own boat with special equipment called fenders.
Fenders are essentially large rubber rings fixed onto the outer hull of the boat. Their purpose is to protect the inner parts of the vessel from getting damaged by the sharp edges present underneath it.
12. Strong Boat Engine
It’s vital that you pick a model that meets your needs. One popular brand of boat engine is Yamaha. Other manufacturers include Johnson, Evinrude, Mercury, Black Diamond, Sea Eagle, Stearns, and others.
All these brands offer reliable, quality products suited specifically for your requirements. Take note of the horsepower provided by each unit. Don’t settle for just 1 HP unless you really need that much strength.
Always ask for 2 HP more than what you actually need. This is because additional units add weight to your boat, thus increasing its overall dimensions.
More muscle equals heavier construction. Heavy construction means higher costs. Higher horsepower also means more noise and vibration. And finally, larger boats demand bigger storage spaces.
13. Good Visibility
Make sure that you’ve checked thoroughly regarding the visibility offered by the chosen model. Each year, thousands of people die after colliding with objects hidden beneath the surface of the water.
This happens mostly due to poor visibility. Check the viewing capabilities of the boat before purchasing it. It’s essential that you examine both horizontal and vertical views. “Horizontal view” refers to the width of the area visible to you underwater.
A vertical view deals with depth perception. Depth perception refers to the range of distance that you can cover with ease. Both these factors together determine whether the boat you’re interested in is suitable for your intended usage.
Buying a boat is not a very simple task and you need to do proper research before you buy one. The last thing that you want is to buy a boat and find out that it does not have what you wanted in the first place.
So, before making your final decision, check out some of the things that will help you make the right choice when buying your next boat.