What Size Generator Do You Need for Bowfishing?

Bowfishing, an exciting fusion of fishing and archery, has soared in popularity recently. A crucial part of the sport involves using high-powered lights to illuminate the water. It makes it easier to spot and aim at fish. Generators are often used to power these lights. But what size generator is appropriate for bow fishing?

Basics of Bowfishing Lights

Bowfishing lights come in three main types:

  • Halogen
  • High-intensity discharge (HID)
  • Light-emitting diode (LED)

Halogen lights are traditional but less efficient and produce more heat. HID lights offer better performance but are more expensive. LEDs are energy-efficient and produce minimal heat. It has the most extended lifespan but may cost more upfront.

Why Do You Need a Generator When Bowfishing?

Bowfishing is a popular sport that requires a unique set of equipment, and one of the critical components is proper lighting. Good lighting allows you to see through the surface glare of the water, illuminating fish and underwater structures. This is particularly important when bow fishing at night, a popular time for this activity due to the increased activity of many target fish species.

Now, where does a generator fit into all this? Well, your lights need a power source, and when you’re out on a boat in the middle of a lake or river, you won’t find any handy electrical outlets. This is where a generator comes in.

A generator provides the necessary electricity to power your bow fishing lights. It’s important to note that bow fishing lights can require a substantial amount of power, especially if you’re using multiple high-wattage lights. Therefore, a reliable generator is crucial to ensure you have enough light to fish effectively throughout your trip.

In addition, a generator can also be used to power other electronic devices you might have onboard, such as a fish finder, a radio, or navigation equipment.

How to Calculate the Required Generator Size for Bowfishing

Each type of light has specific power requirements, typically measured in watts. To calculate the generator size, sum up the total wattage of all lights and any other equipment you need to power. Be sure to consider the starting wattage, often higher than the running wattage.

For example, if you have ten 50-watt lights, you’ll need at least 500 running watts. But you may need more to accommodate the starting watts of the lights and power other equipment like fans or navigation systems.

bowfishing with generator

Recommended Generator Sizes for Different Bowfishing Setups

For a small setup with a few lower-wattage lights, a generator of around 1000 watts may suffice. For a medium setup with more or higher wattage lights, a generator with a capacity of around 2000 to 3000 watts may be appropriate. You may require a generator with 4000 watts or more for a large setup with many high-wattage lights.

What to Look for in a Bowfishing Generator?

When looking for a generator for Bowfishing, several key factors need to be considered:

  1. Power Output: The generator you choose should have enough wattage to power all your lights and any additional equipment you may have. Remember to consider both running and starting watts.
  2.  Fuel Efficiency: Since you’ll likely be using the generator for extended periods, a fuel-efficient model can save you money and reduce the frequency of refills.
  3.  Size and Weight: The generator needs to fit on your boat and be light enough for you to carry and install comfortably. Ensure you consider the space available on your boat before making a decision.
  4.  Noise Level: A noisy generator could disturb the peaceful experience of Bow fishing. Moreover, it could scare away fish or disrupt other anglers. Look for a generator with a low decibel rating.
  5.  Durability: Given that a bow fishing generator will be exposed to harsh conditions, it must be robust and durable. Look for a model designed to withstand outdoor use, including resistance to rust and corrosion.
  6.  Reliability: A reliable generator is crucial. You don’t want your generator to fail in the middle of a bow fishing trip. Read reviews and consider brands known for their reliability and good customer service.
  7.  Ease of Use: Consider how easy the generator is to use. Features such as an electric start, a clear control panel, and easy maintenance procedures can improve your experience.
  8.  Type of Generator: While traditional generators can work well, inverter generators offer the advantages of being quieter, more fuel-efficient, and providing safer power for sensitive electronics.
  9.  Safety Features: Look for features like overload protection, low-oil shutdown, and a built-in grounding system. These can protect your equipment and make your bow fishing trips safer.
  10.  Cost: Finally, consider your budget. While it can be tempting to go for the cheapest option, remember that this is a device you’re likely to use frequently and in challenging conditions. It often pays to invest in quality.

Considering these factors, you can choose a generator that suits your bow fishing needs, offering you a reliable power source for your trips.

Safety Measures When Using a Generator for Bowfishing

Generators must be used safely to prevent accidents. They should be placed in a well-ventilated area to avoid carbon monoxide build-up. Regular maintenance, including oil and filter changes, keeps the generator running smoothly. Switch off and cool down the generator before refueling to avoid fires.


Choosing the right bow fishing generator involves more than matching power outputs. It would be best to balance power, efficiency, cost, and other factors to get the best results. With the right generator, you can reliably power your bow fishing lights and enjoy this exciting sport.

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Rayan is an engineer, lives in a farmhouse. He has a passion for electronics and alternative energy. He loves to share his thoughts with other people. That is why he started the blog.

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