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Part One

     Looking for a new challenge in fishing. Got so good you're just catching now, instead of fishing. You're in luck. There's a whole new way to fish for you. Well, it's one of the first ways people caught fish, and it's on a comeback. Get ready to Bow fish.

The beginning

     Bow fishing goes back 15.000 years. Some archeologists believe it's more like 40,000 years. Either way it's been around before written language. Which is a long time. Seriously long time.

    Early humans used spears to bring down game faster and bigger than they were. These spears were mostly handheld and were used in close quarters combat. 

     Then the spear became more refined and into something like a javelin. This meant it could be thrown at game. Which made hunting a lot safer for the early humans.

    The next advance was the atlatl. It's like a grip for spear throwing. The spear sits in a groove and then the spear is launched instead of being thrown. Which again increased range and accuracy. Hunting again became safer. More meat, less danger. Life was good. And about to get better.

    At some point they developed the bow and arrow. This was a major advance in hunting. The bow could be shot quickly and accurately. There was much rejoicing. 

     It wasn't long before specialized arrows started making their way into the world. Arrows for birds. Arrows for big game. Arrows for small game. And yes, arrows for fish.

 

 

What you need to understand about all this, is that it took place all over the world. It wasn't just isolated. Some advancements have taken place in isolated areas. The Mongol's recurve bow, The English long bow. But as a whole from spears to bows and arrows, it happened the world over. Like cave art.

    I'm not debating how this happened. I'm a Christian and my beliefs come from the bible. God plants the knowledge in people when they are ready. Whatever you believe about how this happens is up to you. I hope you put more stock in faith than science. Science changes all the time. Faith is constant. I'll write an article on the difference in truth and fact soon.

Equipment

     When bows were first invented, they were little more than a green stick and some sinew for the string. A straight stick for an arrow, that was sharpened to a point.

   Then they added flint arrow heads. If you don't know flint is sharp. Like razor blade sharp. And they don't dull like metal. They break but are easily repaired as long as you had enough stone left.

   Some places were fortunate enough to have onyx available. These arrow heads and blades are sharp to a microscopic scale. They are SHARPER than razor blades. Sharper than scalpels. But also, brittle. They didn't hold up long. 

    Then some lucky person, and I don't know how they came up with this, added feathers. So, then the arrow would hold its flight pattern and go straighter and longer. That person had to be the most popular person in the village for a while.

     At some point people learned how to laminate the arms of the bow. Thin layers of wood, antler, sinew, all pressed together and glued. This gave the bow a lot more power. People could shoot farther and more accurate. Once again, someone in the village was very popular.

     Now we have compound bows. They have gears or pulleys that the string goes around. So, when it's drawn the tension eases at the furthest point. When released it snaps back to full power. You can hold it longer and aim better than pull and release, or instinct shooting methods.

     They also have line attached to arrows now. So, you can pull in the fish you just shot. Instead of going to get it. It also keeps you from losing an arrow if you miss. Well, hopefully, it keeps you from losing an arrow. I know from firsthand experience; this is not guaranteed.

     So now all you have to do is get your bow, find a fish, and shoot. Sounds easy enough. There are people who make it look that easy. Sometimes I make it look that easy. Like any good sportsman, those are the only ones I remember. 

  Keep on the lookout for part 2.  The non-definitive bow fishing technique. Till then. Live Outdoors.

written by Benjamin Evans                         catchmore.net