Whether you are compound bowfishing or crossbow bowfishing the type boat you use can make a vast difference in your success and comfortability on the water.
The best boat for a bowfishing setup will be one where you can sit high or stand and be able to look down into the water at the fish.
The best bowfishing boat can have a flatbottom, a specially built v-hull or even have pontoons, which you will learn more about in this article.
Another feature to be conscious of in your search for the best boat for bowfishing is the ability to have stability as you stand and maneuver around in the boat to adjust lights and retrieve fish.
Bowfishing boats are intended for slow trolls through shallow water. In this case, you’re not necessarily looking for size in a bowfishing boat.
9 Things To Look For In A Bowfishing Boat
1- Good angle to the water
2- Adequate space to move and balance yourself
3- A stable platform for standing or sitting
4- An elevated platform
5- Lights for night fishing
6- Suitable power source for lights and accessories
7- Rugged enough to handle shallow areas
8- A strong enough motor to move through small brush
9- Good overall visibility into the water
The Best Bow Fishing Platform For a Bowfishing Boat
Make sure the bow fishing platform of the boat has a good angle for bowfishing. This is the basis for the search and capture of fish. As a bowfishing angler, you will require adequate space to move, as you have to balance yourself when using the bowfishing gear.
The elevated platform is optimal since it provides increased visibility and facilitates night fishing lights.
If your platform is not appropriate or you think this can be improved, you can take it to your local vessel repairer shop. They’ll usually be able to make a few customizations to the platform, which will make it perform better and meet the requirements for bowfishing comfort and stability.
Bowfishing Lights For Your Bowfishing Boat
Bowfishing lights are a must for bowfishing. If you enjoy night fishing, which is when lots of successful bowfishing is done, then lights will be needed for your bowfishing boat. You may possibly need a generator also, depending on your setup, which will dictate your power needs.
If you are going to require lots of energy to power the motor and lights of your bow fishing boat, determine the right generator size.
On the other hand, if you’re only using a few lights and a small trolling motor, then a good fully charged battery should be sufficient. It’s always a good idea to carry a second fully charged battery for safety, if battery power is your choice.
Keep in mind that LED lights need less energy than halogen lights.
Which lights are brighter, halogen or LED? LED light bulbs are much brighter than incandescent or halogen bulbs of the same wattage, but LED bulbs are not available in high wattages.
This means when replacing incandescent or halogen lamps with LED lamps, more LED lamps are often needed. Although you have more bulbs using the LED technology, you are still using 80% less electricity.
It’s important to realize LED light bulbs are vastly superior to halogen in longevity. Most lasting over ten times longer while consuming 80% less electricity.
While less power is needed for LED lights, note that halogen lights are less costly. It’s a good idea to do your research and then work out the figures to see which lights would give you a higher rate of return and are better for your situation before buying them.
You have the option of running your bow fishing boat lights from your main battery on your boat or using rechargeable lights that have their own batteries that you charge before going out.
These lights can easily be clamped to the side of your boat or you could even build a short platform that goes onto the deck of your bow fishing boat and attach your rechargeable lights to that platform.
What’s The Best Price For A Bowfishing Boat?
This brings us to the last big decision to make when purchasing a boat for bowfishing. That being the price. Do you really want to spend $25,000 for a bowfishing boat?
Let’s assume you don’t. Then here are several great options that can get you started for under $3,000.
Build memories that will last a lifetime with these great bowfishing boats below!
The Pelican INTRUDER 12 is a very stable “JON” style fishing boat. This boat can acommodate 2 anglers easily, and is easy to clamp rechargeable led lights onto its maintenance free grooved and riveted deck. This bowfishing boat offers great impact resistance and can contain up to 36 cubic feet of cargo.
It features bench seats, 4 vertical rod holders, built-in motor mounts, oarlock receptacles and carrying handles.
It’s made of RAM-X impact-resistant material. They built the INTRUDER 12 to last for many adventures. This boat will create fishing stories worth sharing with your friends and family for generations to come.
Another great bowfishing boat is the Pelican Boat Raider 10E. This is a 2 person fishing boat. It is 10 ft long and comes with a pre-wired motor mount.
It has a battery compartment with 12 volts electrical outlet in its convenient built-in pre-wired motor mount.
It has a stainless steel bow tow eye for securing tow lines or attaching your trailer winch hook. There are 4 mooring cleats for tying off to a dock or overhanging brush while on the water.
The comfortable seats with a 360 degree rotation allow unlimited angles to see into the water. They are movable fore and aft for comfort and increasing standing area in the boat. A convenient “fold and lock” seat back makes it easy to carry and store.
There are multiple storage compartments to store all your bowfishing gear for your trip on the water. With the carrying handles it’s super easy to carry your boat to the water.
This great boat even includes drink holders and drain plugs so you never need to bail water.
Included in the molded deck are two vertical rod holders. They are in perfect place to store and position fishing rods, if you would like to also use it as a standard fishing boat for trolling or multi-rod fishing.
Take a look at current price of the Pelican Raider 10E and availability HERE.
If the above options don’t quite appeal to you, then there are some reasonably priced inflatable pontoon boats that may.
Keep in mind these are inflatable. The material is very tough, 3 ply in construction, and very difficult to puncture. For added safety the 3 ply ultra durable pontoons have 4 individual air chambers.
There are options for two or one bowfisher. One idea is, since they are very reasonably priced and don’t require an expensive trailer to carry to the water, to own one inflatable pontoon boat per angler. This way you can go out in a duo and exercise more freedom while covering more water area.
Use your own judgement of how well you can handle yourself and the arrows before deciding to purchase one of these. They are a very inexpensive option and will work fine as long as everyone onboard is careful. If one pontoon gets a puncture, they are easy to patch and repair. The key thing is safety while in the water.
Here is a 2 person heavy duty for two series inflatable pontoon boat. The trolling motor is included in the price and the inflatable boat only weighs 118 lbs. This is the inflatable boat only. (only one seat is pictured)
Take a peek at this AQUOS 11.5ft / 12.5ft Heavy-Duty for Two Series Inflatable Pontoon Boat with stainless steel guard bar and folding seat for bowfishing. For great durability it has an aluminum floor board.
The AQUOS FM 12.5ft Fishme Inflatable Pontoon Boat only weighs 118 lbs (only the boat).
The Haswing Trolling Motor is suitable for saltwater and freshwater.
Portability is supberb. These boats don’t require a trailer so you can carry them to the most remote, hard to reach locations where big fish hide!
Safety is a number one priority. The 3 ply ultra durable pontoons have 4 individual air chambers. This allows them to provide the highest level of safety and performance.
Stability of these inflatable pontoon boats is very good. The wide stance of pontoons increase water contact surface and offer better balance and greater stability. This is super good for bowfishing.
If you’re wanting to look further into the Aquos pontoon boats line then this is their page with many boat options HERE.
Bowfishing doesn’t need to be too complicated and the equipment can be kept fairly inexpensive and reliable if you do a little planning like I showed you in this article. You can always use head lamps that attach to your hat if you want to go really simple, and using an electric trolling motor can keep you from making noise that may spook fish.
Bowfishing is a rising sport and is just catching on, so get started now with this superb equipment and enjoy the excitement it brings.
Did you know bowfishing with a crossbow is one of the fastest growing sports? Check out this article and learn how you can get set up here.
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