Introduction-Bowfish Grouper Fish
Groupers are some of the most popular catches off the coast of Florida and are known for their fine taste as well as brute strength. This article explain about Bowfishing Grouper Fish that is important for bowhunters to hunting fish grouper at the lake or ocean.
There are hundreds of species of fish grouped (no pun intended) under the category of Groupers. These peculiar fishes have a very large mouth as compared to their body size and snap their mouth open to engulf small prey whole. They prefer to live in reefs which gives them the opportunity to ambush prey. They are also slow swimmers and do not have much stamina, which aids fishers well.
Bowfishing is rapidly gaining popularity as one of the sportiest and most satisfying ways to catch fish. While catching a grouper can be quite tricky, these tips and tricks on how to bowfish grouper fish will give you all the inside information you need to get this delicious feast on the table.
1.Choose the right season
Bowfishing is an extremely flexible sport in the sense that you can do it standing on a dock, in the water, or even from a boat. If you would like to stick to daylight hours for bowfishing, your best bet would be to head out during springtime in the spawning season.
If you are comfortable with fishing during the night, you can practice bowfishing practically at any time of the year. However, you would be most likely to score maximum catches during the spawning season or in fall when the waters are crystal clear. If you can, head out to fish during the mornings or evenings since these are the times these shy fish are the most active.
2.Fish in the right places – Look for underwater structures
You will almost always find groupers very close to underwater structures since they depend on these arrangements to ambush themselves for catching prey. Groupers generally remain to remain hidden among reef structures and you will very rarely find one actively swimming in free waters. The way that groupers catch prey is by remaining still within heavy structures and waiting for smaller fish to swim by so they can be engulfed.
Any reefs, natural or manmade, are perfect housing locations for schools of groupers. For our purposes, selecting a reef or kelp bed with good visibility and fewer obstructions is the ideal way to go. Because of this peculiar characteristic of groupers, you also have the added pressure of aiming right because losing them within the reef can be quite easy.
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3.Choose a strong reel and arrow
If you are here, you know that groupers are large fish that are known for both their size and strength. When you set out to bowfish a grouper, make sure you have a sturdy and robust fishing set with you.
If the first arrow is not enough to kill the grouper on impact, the chances of it snapping the arrow or reel with a sharp jerk are very high. Groupers have even been known to drag fishermen overboard when fishing traditionally, so it would be best to tackle this giant creature with capable equipment.
4.Approach from upwind and avoid shadows
This subtle point may not be quite obvious to those who are new to the sport of bowfishing. When you are hunting around shallow waters for your target fish, it is important to stay still and not alert the fish with sudden movements or sounds. As experienced bowfishers will know, you should ideally be at a distance of 10 to 15 feet from your target.
Due to this range, it becomes very common for fishers to cast a shadow on the fish. Your prey could be sensitive to such changes and might make a quick swim for its favorite hole. You could also try approaching the target from upwind for added assurance.
5.Aim for the front half when Bowfishing Grouper Fish
This crucial point is often overlooked when bowfishing and leads to a staggering number of missed catches. The front half is the part that contains the brain and other vital organs of the fish. A hit here is most likely to kill the fish instantly and save you arrows and/or tackles. Bowfishing is meant to kill the target instantly and ‘catch and release’ as practiced in the case of traditional fishing is not possible.
However, if the arrow misses all vital organs of the fish, you might be in for quite a bit of heavy tackling/wrestling with this giant.
6.Take refraction into consideration when aiming when Bowfishing Grouper Fish
This is one of the most critical points to keep in mind when bowfishing for groupers, or any fish for that matter. Experienced bowfishers all seem to have slightly different tips and tricks as to how they aim and shoot, but they all factor in the refractive index of water for sure. When you look at a fish from above water, you are actually looking at its apparent image. This is different from the actual position and depth of the fish.
If you aim straight for the image, you are most likely to miss (or go higher). One of the most common strategies used is to aim about 6 inches (15 centimeters) lower than the image for every foot of depth encountered.
7.Keep multiple arrows handy
This is also one of the essentials when bowfishing for a grouper. As you know, groupers can get large and weigh several hundred pounds. As mentioned before, you should aim for the front half of the fish when shooting. But in the case of groupers, this turns out to be quite a large area.
Since it is not always possible to hit the vital spots, it is highly recommended to keep several arrows handy so you can use more than one if need be. It is best if the first arrow immobilises the fish even if it is not dead. You can then use more arrows to secure the catch.
8.Prepare for a heavy tackle
This is more of a word of caution than a bowfishing tip. It is crucial nonetheless because of the amount of force this fish can exert. You should, first and foremost, aim to kill the fish instantly with the first arrow itself.
However, if things do not go as planned, make sure you hold your ground and have steady footing when tackling the fish. Groupers can exert an immense force when threatened and you must ensure your safety when approaching them.