bowfishing charter

So, you want to be a bowfishing guide... now what?

February 07, 2021 1 Comment

After an action packed night or day out on the water and plentiful fish ending with overflowing barrels, you might start to think to yourself, "I bet I could make some money taking other people out!"

Here’s what you need to start your own bowfishing guide service!

What you need to become a bowfishing guide

1. Boat

When evaluating your bowfishing boat to decide if it’s guide-worthy, here are a few questions to ask yourself.

  • Can you take clients out without breaking USCG weight ratings for your vessel?
  • Can your means of propulsion (outboard, fan, trolling motor, etc.) reliably put clients on fish all night and get back to the launch?
  • Do you have a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, and enough life jackets/throwables on board?

Bowfishing kid

These things are not only very important to keep yourself and the clients safe, but imagine how it would look to get cited by the wardens/police while out on the boat in front of them!

2. Bows

To start taking clients out, you’re going to need bows - lots of them! Make sure you have adjustable bows (I suggest compound bows) to accommodate most draw weight and lengths. The majority of people are right-handed, but you should also have some left-handed bows to accommodate all your clients.

Bowfishing Shot


3. Retrievers 

AMS retrievers are what I run with my charter service. Not only are they safe and easy to use, but the company my charter insurance is through requires them. 


4. Rests

First time or new shooters tend to get very excited while drawing back, so equipping each bow with a fully enclosed rest will keep that arrow contained no matter how excited they are! 

5. Insurance

Before taking a client on your boat, you have to recognize how detrimental it could be if someone got hurt on your boat and filed a claim against you. I dealt directly with Gallagher Charter Lakes to get guide insurance on both of our bowfishing boats. It’s cheaper than you’d probably think, and knowing they have your back if something happens is priceless.


6. Certification(s)

Make sure to abide by all your state and local laws regarding certification. Here in Wisconsin, all you need to purchase is a state guide license ($30) to guide in most small bodies of water. If you’d like to guide on large bodies of water or rivers considered navigable water by the Coast Guard, you must obtain your OUPV/6-pack Captains Credential. This license is by no means cheap or easy to get, but would put you a step above other guides in your area! 

Bowfishing fish

7. Last but not least… Your PERSONALITY!

Some of the best guides I know have these traits:

  • Great listeners
  • Passionate
  • Confident
  • Humble
  • Relatable
  • Great storytellers

Bowfishing Charter

Giving your clients an unforgettable night goes much further than simply the number of fish in the barrel at the end of the night. You could board 200 fish, but if your personality diminishes the overall experience, they’ll most likely find somebody else to go with next time. 

Still think you have what it takes? Awesome! We wish you the best of luck and encourage your success with your bowfishing guide service! 

Captain Hunter Engelman

Owner/Lead Captain

Modified Outdoors Bowfishing Charters LLC

1 Response

Wooden ship kit - Ages Of Sail
Wooden ship kit - Ages Of Sail

February 26, 2021

That’s really nice post. I appreciate your skills. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a comment

Also in Bowfishing Blog

What Do You Need to Bowfish?
What Do You Need to Bowfish?

February 21, 2021

Bowfishing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, and it also gives you a chance to practice archery skills and help conserve the environment. If you have not tried it before, you owe it to yourself to give a go. There are a few different things that you will need, however, before getting started into bowfishing.

Read More

Questions All Bowfishing Beginners Ask
Questions All Bowfishing Beginners Ask

February 14, 2021

You might have a few tournament wins under your belt now now but everyone starts out as a newbie, and bowfishing beginners have lots of questions about the sport.

This blog post covers questions all bowfishing beginners ask. Some are questions that we've received ourselves from people who are curious why we'd spend all night stalking carp while trying to avoid hordes of mosquitoes. Others are questions about bowfishing that get Googled often. Either way, we're here to help teach anyone who wants to learn about becoming an archer-angler! 

Read More

bowfishing fun
Bowfishing for Beginners: The Gear You Need and How to Start

January 31, 2021

Bowfishing is a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors. It can also be an extremely fun and addicting pastime. Best of all, if you are interested in bowfishing, it's easy to try. In this article, we'll talk about the basic gear you need and few simple steps that you can take in order to help you get your feet wet on your first bowfishing trip! 

Read More

Exclusive Invite

Sign-up to get exclusive deals, newsletters, and information all about Bowfishing. (We promise no spamming)