Bowfishing arrows can be tipped with many different styles of bowfishing points, but all bowfishing points share two common features – barbs and a sharp tip. The barbs on most bowfishing points are held in place by the tip, which can be loosened or removed to allow the barbs to reverse for removing fish. Once a fish has been removed, the barbscan be flipped back to their normal direction and secured in place by re-tightening the tip. Since the tips are removable, you can purchase extra tips to keep on hand in case the tip on your arrow gets dull. This can also help extend the life of your bowfishing point, as the tip generally takes the most abuse when fishing.
Perhaps the most popular style of bowfishing point is the two-barb point. A two-barb point provides a small enough profile for good penetration, yet gives enough strength to ensure solid holding power on big carp, gar, and other rough fish. Most two-barb points have a removable tip that can be loosened to reverse the barbs for removing fish, which means your arrow must be all the way through the fish to remove them. This is generally not an issue, as an arrow will often pass all the way through a fish that has been shot. On the occasion that the arrow doesn’t pass all the way through and expose the point, you may have to manually push the tip the rest of the way through to loosen the tip and reverse the barbs. Some two-barb points, such as the Cajun Sting-A-Ree, allow for removal of fish with a quick twist of the arrow – no touching of the fish is required. This feature can be a handy time-saver, especially if your arrow doesn’t penetrate all the way through a fish. Simply twist the arrow until the barbs release (make sure the fish is over your fish bucket, not the water) and the fish should slide off with ease.
There are also three barb bowfishing points, such as the AMS 3-barb grapple point, which offers an additional barb for additional holding power. One potential downside to this particular point is that the tip must be completely removed to reverse the barbs and remove the fish. There are other three barb points on the market that don’t require removal of the tip to release the fish, such as the Muzzy Alcatraz point. This point releases the barbs at a half-turn, so removing the fish can be done quickly and easily.