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1.) DParker - 04/01/2014
We have a lot Needle Nose (aka, "Longnose") Gar in the lake by my house, and with their spawning season fast approaching I'm contemplating my son and I bowfishing them from the banks of some of the feeder creeks in the area. To that end I have three questions:

1) I'm not interested (at least not at this point, maybe I will be later) in buying dedicated fishing bows for either of us, so if I do this I'll need to start out with the gear we've got, which are two compounds. They're set up for only about 60# pull weight, but I'm given to understand that's a little on the heavy side for bowfishing. I'm wondering if it will be too heavy not just for fishing, but doing so from the bank of a shallow creek. I don't want to be losing arrows and line every other time we shoot because they got buried in the bottom and couldn't be pulled out easily.

2) Assuming item #1 isn't a deal-killer, does anyone have any recommendations on bowfishing kits for compounds?

3) Has anyone here eaten gar, of any species? From reading around I get the impression that they're actually pretty tasty, though a pain in the butt to skin in order to get at the meat (and the eggs are toxic to warm-blooded land vertebrates, including humans). But I've got tin snips and I'm not afraid to use them.

Yeah, I could go over to BowfishingCountry.com and ask these...and I still might. But I wanted to start here first. It's not like we don't need the traffic.
2.) Ohbuckhunter - 04/01/2014
AMS. There pretty good from what I've read.
3.) bluecat - 04/01/2014
Had to mess with those things daily when I was in Mississippi. Be sure and wear gloves because the opercle (gill flap) is razor sharp. They brought top dollar down there at the fish markets so locals thought they were tasty. I never had one. I heard they skinned them with a linoleum knife. Deerminator is a good source and I bought a rest based on his recommendations.

AMS is the way to go on a retriever system. Make sure you get arrow slides too so the attachment to the arrow is [B]in front [/B]of your rest.

Calling Deerminator, calling Deerminator...
4.) DParker - 04/01/2014
Thanks. The AMS gear appears to be quite popular, with even the manufacturer being out of stock on some variants of it.

Another question: The AMS Retriever Pro kit includes a roller rest. Is that necessary, or can I just stick with an already mounted capture rest (Octane, Whisker Biscuit, whatever)? I think there's probably sufficient clearance in my Octane rest for the diameter of those fishing arrows.
5.) bluecat - 04/01/2014
They make a Whisker Biscuit just for bowfishing. It has stiffer bristles. I can't comment on the roller rest. I had one and never used it as I like the containment systems. Either way, make sure you get an arrow slide kit so all the linkage is [B]in front [/B]of your rest and arrow is out the door before the line catches up. Deerminator would tell you all this but I bet he's watching porn.
6.) bluecat - 04/01/2014
If you do get a gar I'd be interested in what you can do with it. Always regretted not eating one. You always see recipes for gar balls, but I don't think their balls are big enough for a good meal.
7.) NEBigAl - 04/01/2014
Get the AMS
8.) DParker - 04/01/2014
[QUOTE=bluecat;18466]If you do get a gar I'd be interested in what you can do with it. Always regretted not eating one. You always see recipes for gar balls, but I don't think their balls are big enough for a good meal.[/QUOTE]

I've read a few resources as well as a few videos and they seem to be pretty consistent both as to skinning approach (at least the basic principles of it) as well as the edibility of the meat. Here's the most recent video I found, which is what prompted my "tin snips" comment:


Note the chain mail glove, which looks like a good investment.

[QUOTE=NEBigAl;18467]Get the AMS[/QUOTE]

OK...so we have 3 votes for AMS.
9.) Triton Rich - 04/01/2014
[B]I'm sure you have considered this but just in case. If you were going to use your octane rest, you should use a slider like the AMS safety slide. The old style string hanging off the back of the arrow would not be compatible I would imagine. [/B]
10.) DParker - 04/01/2014
[QUOTE=Triton Rich;18473][B]I'm sure you have considered this but just in case. If you were going to use your octane rest, you should use a slider like the AMS safety slide. The old style string hanging off the back of the arrow would not be compatible I would imagine. [/B][/QUOTE]

Yeah, bluecat was pretty adamant about that too. Given the orientation of everything on the bow, the slider seems to make a lot of sense no matter what kind of rest you're using.
11.) DParker - 04/01/2014
And speaking of that chain mail glove...there seem to be quite a few of those offered from a lot of different companies. Has anyone here ever used one (or more) of them? If so, do you have any recommendations?
12.) NEBigAl - 04/02/2014
Ive cleaned gar with tin snips before, worked pretty good
13.) bluecat - 04/02/2014
Delta Paul,

I'm thinking that is an ordinary meat processing glove that has kevlar or something similar in it. I recently got one when I process deer and it works well (only used it once last season :wink).


When we caught those things in Mississippi we used tree loppers to cut their heads off so we could get them out of the hoop nets. I think I recently heard (River Monsters?) that the Indians (sorry Native Americans) used the skin and scales as shields. They are a prehistoric anomaly.
14.) bluecat - 04/02/2014
Thanks for posting that video. I'm wanting to give them a try now.

Your AMS system has zero resistance on your line feed which is one reason they are so popular. A reel type of system requires you to remember to press the button. I don't want to know what happens when you forget.
15.) Ventilator - 04/02/2014
AMS kit is perfect for bowfishing. The arrows that come with it are fine for gar as they have muzzy points usually. DONT get any other type of tip for gar or you will play hell getting it out. Turn your 60lb bow down to 50 and you will be fine. I used a 70lb SQ2 turned to 57lbs for 3 years of bowfishin. I have dedicated bows now . All have the AMS retriever and wave rest. There are other rests available but I have found no reason to change. You will have a damn good time shooting gar. They are easier to hit as the stay near the surface. you wont have to deal as much with the aiming low bs. Take off your sights and shoot instinctive too. Don't worry about aiming at all or its a guaranteed miss.

Have Fun!
16.) Ventilator - 04/02/2014
Once you get hooked and decide to upgrade, go with Carbon/glass yellowjacket arrows and innerloc 3 blade grapple points for carp. Stick with muzzy points for gar, always. The carbon in the arrow stiffens it up and helps you penetrate deeper water mo accurately.

Also, buy you a set of batting gloves, you can grip the fish better and you wont cut your hand when wrapping line to pull arrows out. If you change out to 400lb test Fast flite line , it wont loop as bad nor cut your hands as much.
17.) NEBigAl - 04/02/2014
I prefer Cajun long barbs over Muzzy's
18.) Ventilator - 04/02/2014
I agree if we aren't talking gar. The shorter barbs on the muzzys hold gar really good and you don't have to cut them open to get the arrow back. The long barbs are hell to get out of a gar. Work pretty good on a carp, but the grapple points I think are best for softer fish.
19.) Deerminator - 04/02/2014
AH Bowfishing:grin:

Any bow will work. Only us northerners use powerful bows for bowfishing tourneys and things like that. Our Carp are more dense and have thick overlapping scales. Many times we generally shoot in deeper water up here as well. Find some cheap low poundage bows around the 30 - 40lb range. Gar are not very tough to shoot into. The retriever reels are great. Kinda expensive. The package deals are also expensive. The old spool reels will work just keep in mind where the string is before you shoot. Slides are the best way to go. Fish arrows can be rough on the arrow rest. The best bowfishing rest on the market is the Quick Draw but there are many cheaper good rests to choose from. The wave that Ventilator mentioned is one. Since it's all instinctive shooting many shoot off the shelf or a solid type rest. I don't know if I'd use my hunting drop away rest for bowfishing. It is very advantageous to have a bowfishing bow. You don't have to remove sights and stabilizers and then reset everything up come hunting season. Old recurves and old compounds work great and are cheap. Way less exspencive than a bowfishing package and less than a retrever reel. Lots of snap shooting. Lots of action. Wish I was allowed to shoot fish I could eat.

I've had gar and pickeral. We'd just take the loin off the back. Ummy!
20.) Ventilator - 04/02/2014





Here are a few from SC a few years ago. Last summer we hit the Ohio river and shot silvers and bigheads. Plenty of gar to shoot on the river as well.
21.) Deerminator - 04/02/2014
Them some biguns. Nice double:tu:
22.) DParker - 04/02/2014
Alright, lots of info to chew on now. Thanks. I'll be back soon with more questions, I'm sure.
23.) Ventilator - 04/02/2014
Hope you get to killin some soon! Time is near!
24.) Deerminator - 04/02/2014
Carp opens here on May15th. Right in the middle of our turkey season.
Hope I knock off 2 Tom's real fast:-)
25.) DParker - 04/02/2014
[QUOTE=Ventilator;18480]Turn your 60lb bow down to 50 and you will be fine.[/QUOTE]

OK. Bear in mind though, when I say "shallow creek" I'm talking about 1'-2' of water.
26.) Deerminator - 04/02/2014
Close shots and on top of them typ shots you'll be hitting the bottom pretty good.
Is it mud or rock? Mud not too bad, rock not so good.
If you're shooting at an extreme angle you should pass through and the arrow will keep going. If it's straight down or an acute angle you'll be in the bottom.

You'll know what to do once you get out there and start shooting at them.
27.) Ventilator - 04/02/2014
The good part about a real shallow creek is you can just wade out in it and get your arrow back if need be. Takes a lot to break that line. Usually 200lb test on the AMS kits. Not much expense to upgrade to 400 tho. Muzzy type points pull out pretty easy. The grapple type points bury up in grass and weeds and you could need a damn 4 wheeler to pull them out.
28.) bluecat - 04/02/2014
[QUOTE=DParker;18488]Alright, lots of info to chew on now. Thanks. I'll be back soon with more questions, I'm sure.[/QUOTE]

But, but...we're not done. :wink
29.) DParker - 04/02/2014
[QUOTE=bluecat;18503]But, but...we're not done. :wink[/QUOTE]

Well, when I said "soon" I was thinking...like...later today. :wink