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bowfishing woman holding carp with bow

Bowfishing Tips: Before You Get Started and What You’ll Need

-By Treaver Woehr

Perhaps you have read another one of my bowfishing articles regarding the future of bowfishing, but in this article, we want to offer up some bowfishing tips that our team member, Alex Brandt, thinks every bowfisher should know for this new-age of the “eOutdoors” (the term is a slight exaggeration, but hopefully it drives home the point).

Bowfishing Tips

Each tip will be followed by a brief discussion of solutions to the issues cited and how we can follow the rules.

A big step in this growth process of bowfishing is gaining acceptance and coordination within the outdoor community before broadcasting to new audiences. To do this, we need to improve our reputation collectively.

man hold carp with bowfishing arrow stuck in it
Some farmers or local zoos may be interested in fish harvested while bowfishing. Never dump them in public areas of boat ramps.

These first two tips (“rules”) are dedicated to improving the reputation of the sport of bowfishing. And, if you’re new to the sport, these first two are especially important. But, even if you’re a seasoned bowfisher, a refresher is certainly always helpful.

Tip 1: Don’t dump fish in public areas or boat ramps.

Dumping fish in these areas gives bowfishers a bad reputation. Additionally, doesn’t help make the public water access points smell particularly inviting.

One alternative solution would be to find local farmers who may want to use the fish for fertilization purposes. Another option is to dump them on a large plot of personal private land where the smell would not bother anyone.

If you want to get really creative, look for a local organization that may be interested in taking on the fish. For example, some local zoos encourage bowfishers to donate excess fish to feed birds and other animals.

You could also eat the fish. But, if the sound of gar fish doesn’t exactly sound inviting to your taste buds, it’s good to know there are still options.

Tip 2: Know the laws in your area regarding species, bag limits and seasons

There are plenty of legal pitfalls when it comes to bowfishing, and you want to make sure all of your ducks in a row so no one is enjoying the sport illegally.

Be sure to call your local game warden, and they will (usually) be more than happy to let you know what the bowfishing laws are in your area before you have the chance to make a mistake.

If your game warden isn’t accessible, or the thought of doing so seems like too much of a hassle, there are tons of online resources you can find on the subject with a quick Google search.

The final tip relates to all bowfishers both old and new. This is one that was relevant years ago, but it is especially critical now. Not only does it involve preserving a positive reputation for bowfishing in the outdoor community, but it involves setting a positive example for the rest of the world as well.

man bowfishing
Those who bowfish should always be sure to be courteous of other boaters and those who may live nearby.

Tip 3: ALWAYS be mindful of your surroundings.

Guess what? With the rise of smart phones, everyone has a camera on them all hours of the day, and the internet loves to amplify bad choices.

We lecture kids on this topic quite a lot, but they are growing up in a social media-centric world and it’s just modern-day life. To be honest, adults need a refresher in this course just as badly as the younger generation does.

All it takes is one video of someone doing something they’re not supposed to for public opinion to shift on an outdoor activity like bowfishing.

This tip has a second relevant component as well. Try to avoid fishing heavily populated areas (especially at night). And, if you must be near houses on a crowded lake, try to be conscious of where you are shining your lights.

The same can be said about music. By all means, play whatever you like until your heart is content, but be sure to turn it down for temporarily when you are near houses at night, or when passing another group of boaters.

These things are simple, common courtesy. And, as human beings, we should really try to bring more of this back into this divided world. Lead by example and don’t follow the norm, especially if it’s not the standard your parents raised you by.

What you need to get started bowfishing

Now that we have covered the “dos and don’ts” of bowfishing in this new age, let’s talk about what you need to get started.

If you’re already an avid bowfisher, you can probably skip this next section. But, if you aren’t already bowfishing on a boat surrounded by LED lights and a pricy bow, you may want to stick around.

two guys bowfishing
You can get started by bowfishing from the banks of lakes and waterways in your area. But, should you decide to invest in a boat, you can start by searching Facebook or Craigslist.

One of the big concerns we hear with bowfishing is that it’s expensive to get into. However, this is not necessarily the case. Below is another three-step process for getting into the sport.

Start Simple

First, all you really need to get started is a bow with a reel and string, an arrow or two, and some polarized sunglasses. Rather than investing in a boat right off the bat, you can “test the waters” by simply finding a bank to bowfish from.

Next stop: A boat

Secondly, once you and your buddies are comfortable with the sport of bowfishing and know it’s something that you will continue to enjoy, you can start the process of looking for a boat.

Obviously, boats can be expensive. But, you can keep things pretty cheap if you hunt for deals on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.

Once you have acquired a boat, all you will need is a trolling motor and some cheap LED lights you can buy off Amazon to put on your new boat (even if it’s used, it’s new to you, right?)

A quick search shows us you can get a two-pack of 40-Watt LED lights for around $40. Buy three of these, and you are all decked out and ready to go!

Share your content

Now that everyone is ready to bowfish, here’s what we hope you will do… Create great bowfishing content and share it with the world!

The great thing about the evolution of technology is that you can get your start creating content with your smartphone.

You don’t have to start off with fancy cameras and GoPros. Just download some editing software onto your phone and start making movies about your life. Once you’ve gotten comfortable with this, then you can invest in some nicer equipment.

If you make videos, we guarantee it will be worth the investment.

When we started 573 Outdoors, we sat at a kitchen table and realized that documenting our lives wouldn’t just be for other people. All of our biggest catches, failures, and unforgettable experiences in the outdoors could be for us to cherish forever as well.

It is something we can show our kids someday and say, “look how ridiculous we were.”

>> Check out hunting and fishing t-shirt designs

You can’t put a price tag on documenting memories with your best buddies.

You can still send in your favorite clips to different pages to promote (and we definitely love to see that content pour in), but it is important for you to start stitching together your own videos as well.

Our fans are who have built us up so rapidly, But, we feel like it would be selfish to suggest you should send all of your experiences only to us. We care more about the longevity of the sport of bowfishing than we do our own business.

The path forward

We started 573 Outdoors to celebrate our friendship, become a part of a fantastic community, and to start a revolution in the world of bowfishing. To do that, we can’t be the only ones out here. We want to create a lasting impact on the sport.

While we love amplifying other people’s content in conjunction with our own, we don’t want to be the only ones (or one of an elite few) shouting to the masses forever.

If we can get people on board with this and gain some traction, the money will arrive and be put into the sport, leading to more popularity and more eyes.

Maybe there can even be a Major League Bowfishing tour someday as there is with bassfishing. It all starts with this next group of content creators, and if we leave a good reputation and try to make a difference, we can leave this thing a heck of a lot better off than we found it, and our sport can grow for the better.

Now, who is ready to jump into the sport of bowfishing with us?

treaver woehr of 573 outdoors
Treaver Woehr is co-founder of 573 Outdoors. Follow on Instagram.
largemouth bass in hand

Drop Shot Rig 101 | The Best Rig for Deep Water Bass

Written by: Ralph W. Peiper

In this article we’ll cover the basics of what I believe is the most effective setup for catching bass in deep water, the Drop-Shot Rig. You’ll learn exactly what the dropshot is and how to effectively catch fish.

We will also cover the proper terminal tackle to use as well as how to rig and tie it up. The best and favorite soft plastics that produce quality fish will also be covered. This all added up will help you increase your chances at catching that new personal best!

Scroll down to go straight to the step-by-step instruction for how to rig a drop shot.

smallmouth bass in hand
The Drop-Shot Rig is one of the most effective ways to catch bass suspended in deeper water.

The Drop Shot Rig | What Is It?

What exactly is the Drop-Shot Rig you may ask? Basically, it’s a rig with the weight below your hook, where the bait is suspended above the bottom, allowing you to fish deep water, where bass are often suspended and feeding.

The drop-shot is an extremely versatile setup (not just for finesse fishing) and can be constantly evolved and experimented with. Many fisherman, from amateur to pro, believe the drop shot is not only the best, but also the most effective rig for catching bass year-round. So, everyone who loves catching bass should learn how to tie the Drop-Shot Rig.

Hooks and Weights Needed For Drop-Shotting

The hooks and weights for the drop-shot rig have evolved over the years from experimental, into highly effective terminal tackle, made specifically for this rig.

When choosing your hooks, go with a circle or finesse hook for best results. Personally, I like to use an octopus style drop-shot hook as the fish usually set the hook for you rather than having to set it on your own.

Go with a size 1 or 2 hook depending on bait size and species you are targeting. The smaller the better. Less profile means less chance of a fish getting wise to your setup.

You can use other knots, such as the palomar knot with the drop-shot rig, but the uni-knot is what I recommend for this setup.

The drop shot rig can be used with a variety of baits and methods including the wacky rig and carolina rig.

Just about any weights will work. Weight size depends on the depth of water you are fishing and the wind conditions. 1/8 oz is the standard, while no bigger than ¼ oz should be used.

Specialized tungsten weights are designed with a clip on top so you can run your tag end through and clip it to your line with a simple overhand knot. This allows for quick release, should you get hung up on the bottom allowing you to reel in your hook and bait.

That’s all there is too it when it comes to terminal tackle. Now, let’s move on to the baits.

Baits Used With The Drop Shot Rig

The baits for the Drop-Shot Rig are endless, ranging from flukes to worms to a few unknown fishing objects (UFO).

The best baits to use, however, are those that mimic bait fish, since they are the what bass feed on the majority of the year.

Fluke styles work best for hungry and active fish. But, when the bite is slow, put on a straight worm to encourage a nibble from a finicky fish.

It is never a bad idea to experiment and try something new. You can hook up a creature bait, or my personal favorite, the Keitech Swing Impact. The slightest twitch will incite a feeding frenzy. Always remember flukes and worms work best but sometimes choosing the bait less casted could be your glory day on the water.

How To Rig A Drop Shot | Step-By-Step Instructions

The setup for the Drop-Shot Rig is quite simple once you get the hang of everything... See below

Time needed: 1 minute.

How to rig a Drop-Shot step-by-step:

  1. Thread the hook.

    Thread the fishing line through the eyelet of the hook. Be sure to leave an appropriate amount of tag line to tie your weight to. A tag length of 12” to 16” works best.

    threading eye of hook on drop shot rig

  2. Tie your hook knot.

    A Uni-Knot works best when tying your line to your hook. See instructions on how to tie a Uni-Knot.

    attaching drop shot hook with uni knot

  3. Loop tag end back through hook eyelet.

    Before tying your weight, be sure to loop your tag end through the eye of your hook, so that when your weight touches the bottom, it positions the hook horizontally, creating a more natural look to your bait. This also provides an optimal hook set.

    putting tag end through hook eyelet

  4. Attach your weight.

    Now, just tie your weight on wiht a simple overhand knot and all you need is bait!

    hands tying on drop shot weight

Scroll down for more info on how to fish the Drop-Shot Rig.

Bait Placement And How To Fish It

Soft plastic placement is key with the Drop Shot Rig. Go through the head portion of the bait. This will give your bait a more natural look as it moves up and down with the hook in the water column.

Wacky rig and Texas rigging the bait on the hook also works well depending on the situation and conditions. This can be Finessed, Dead Sticking and vertically jigged, however the majority of the time, just work it like you would a Carolina or Texas Rigged setup.

When you are around schools of active fish, try twitching, hopping or shaking the bait to get a reaction strike from a hungry bass. After, you want to get a hook in that bass’s mouth!

When the fish bite gets tough, dead stick your bait or slightly shake your bait without shaking your weight this can get even the most stubborn of bass to bite.

Work around points and rock pile or humps, deep in the water column, fishing any structure where foraging bait fish might congregate.

Don’t be afraid to experiment a little, because anything can work for a hungry bass.

You can use the Drop-Shot for other fish as well, like trout.

We hope this article about the Drop-Shot Rig was informative and helps you to put a hook N1 and land that new Personal Best so when all your fishing buddies ask how you did it you can confidently say, “The Drop Shot Rig is the most effective rig for bass fishing anywhere at any time!”

ralph peiper holding smallmouth bass
You can follow Ralph Peiper on Instagram: @sgt_smallmouth or subscribe to his YouTube Channel.

^Header image and smallmouth bass image in this article provided by Brad Alan (Instagram: @tactical_testosterone)

How To Tie The Uni Knot

In this N1 Outdoors® video we show you how to tie the versatile Uni-Knot (or Hangman’s Knot). Step-by-step instructions below video. We hope it helps you Put A Hook N1!

The Uni Knot [Hangmans Knot] | Step-By-Step Instructions

How to tie the uni knot illustration

Time needed: 1 minute.

Instructions for how to tie the Uni Knot

  1. Thread line through eye of hook or lure.

    threading eye of uni knot hook

  2. Grab the “tag end” of the line (the end NOT connected to your spool).

    grabbing tag end of uni knot

  3. Make a loop with the tag end of the line.

    looping tag end of uni knot

  4. Pinch the top of the loop you just made against the line with your index finger.

    holding uni knot loop end against line

  5. Loop the tag end of the line inside and around the top of the loop 5 times.

    loop the tag end 5 times

  6. Slowly pull the tag end away from the hook/lure.

    pulling tag end of uni knot

  7. Trim the tag end of the line. FINISHED! You have completed the Uni-Knot!

    trimming tag end of uni knot

See below for video transcript of how to tie the Uni-Knot

(Uni Knot video transcript)

Hey everyone. We know many of you enjoy learning how to tie different types of fishing knots. You may have watched some of our other videos on how to tie the palomar knot, or double palomar knot.

Today, we’re going to show you how to tie the uni knot, sometimes referred to as the hangman’s knot. And, it’s not a very difficult knot to tie, but we want to show you how to do that. And, it’s a great knot for just about every fishing scenario. So, it’s a good one to have in your skill set. So, we’re using just a lure today, because it’s a little bit easier to see and hold onto for the video and 12 lb. mono.

So, we’re going to take the line, insert it through the eyelet. And, we’re going to pull about 6 inches or so on the tag end.

You’re going to take your two fingers right here. And, we’re going to just hold them right here above the eyelet.

We’re going to take the tag end and we’re going to make a loop. We’re going to loop it and then we’re going to hold that loop against the line in between those same two fingers. So, this is what it looks like.

We’re going to take the tag end and we’re going to go down behind and through the big loop and then back up and we’re going to keep twisting that around like that five different times. So, we’re going to take the tag end and begin to loop it. One, two, three, four and five. And, when you’re done, the tag end will be sticking up right here.

Now, you can just take that tag end while you’re still holding the line against the eyelet and begin to pull on that tag end. And, you’ll see that knot begin to cinch up in the middle of the line.

Now, you can let go of the tag end, grab the long end. Hold onto the lure and just pull. And, you’ll see that knot cinch down on the eyelet of the lure, or the hook in your case. We’re going to take our snips and snip there.

Now, you’ve got a really strong, very versatile uni knot. And, this knot is great, as I said, for many fishing scenarios. You can use it for line to leader combinations as well. There’s many different uses for that.

So, we hope you’ve enjoyed learning how to tie the uni knot, or hangman’s knot. And, we hope you Put A Hook N1.

Be sure to check our Put A Hook N1 fishing shirt designs!

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