How to Improve Bow Shooting Accuracy!

If you are clicking on this article you obviously want to improve your bow fishing accuracy and that is good! One of the first steps in becoming a more precise fish striker is acknowledging the fact that you may need a little help with this! So before we get going with the article I just want to congratulate you on your mindset! I firmly believe there is room for improvement in everyone, including me. If you read through this article and put to practice these drills on a weekly basis I have no doubt that your accuracy will begin to increase!

By the way, the fish that you keep missing are mad that you are reading this ; )

Sticking fish is the point of bow fishing.

Have you ever seen anyone post a picture on Facebook of them just holding up their arrow? Yeah, neither have I. One of the most frustrating feats in bow fishing is missing a big fish under the lights.

But good news! There are ways to improve your shooting.

Example of water refraction


Before we go any further we need to deal with the water refraction. I hope you learned a little about refraction in science class, but in case you didn’t here you go. Refraction simply put is the bending of light as it travels from air to water.The water creates an optical illusion making the fish appear above where it actually is swimming. To compensate, you have to figure out how low to aim by taking into account the depth of and distance to the fish.


This may be repetitive but you have got to shoot under the fish in the water.

The deeper the fish the lower you shoot. The arrow will bend due to the refraction in the water causing you to hit higher than you were aiming. This might sound complicated, but it just takes experience to figure out.

That does not mean you should not work on your accuracy on dry land though! When shooting on dry land, it is extremely important that you hit exactly where you are aiming because there is no refraction. You want to have great accuracy on dry land because this will allow you to make adjustments on the water. If your accuracy is great on land then when you are missing in the water it will be because you are just misjudging the depth and distance of the fish.

So here is what you can do today to improve your bow shooting accuracy. . .

A general practice tip is to find an older arrow and see if the barbs will come out of the point. This will allow for easy removal from the ground. Find a shooting spot that is really similar to how far up off the water you will be when you are out in the boat sticking fish. I normally stood on my truck bed for this, but a raised deck or a raised bench would be fine. This will help simulate a real game-like situation like you standing up on a boat looking down at a fish.

Next take a Powerade lid, old water hose, pen, or a water bottle and get to shooting! When you are hitting your target pretty consistently start working your way back and shooting at longer distances. This is simple but highly effective, and something I still do occasionally if I feel like my aim is slipping.

You want to be the best shot on the boat right? Then get outside and practice!

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and better is best.”

Do you have some aiming tips, techniques, or drills of your own? If so we want to hear them! Post a comment below explaining what you do and we may feature it in a later article : )

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