Henry V

21.0 in. Bowfin caught by Henry V fishing in North Carolina on 12/05/14

Posted by Henry V Elite Member over 2 years ago

21.0 in. Bowfin caught by Henry V fishing in North Carolina on 12/05/14
21.0" Bowfin caught by Henry V fishing on Friday December 05, 2014 at 11:35 near Durham in Spokane County, North Carolina (NC), United States North America

"Y'all know me, know how I make my living." I love catching Bowfin, in winter above all. That's when they develop their winter pattern, and look like, well, I don;t know - there isn't any fish like them.

Joe and I got into a few the other day. We landed one each, and he lost a whopper that did a backflip/somersault before spitting his hook on the second jump. Water temps were low but not too bad, and the fish were active. This one I caught gave me a good strong fight for a relatively smaller Bowfin.

6 members like this

John Wright
Brian Shea
Joe Pych
Dennis Huskins
Tyler C
Henry V
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Comments

Henry V

Tyler,

Yes, Michigan has Bowfin. In fact, one of the great Bowfin biologists conducted seminal studies in the waters around Ann Arbor about 100 years ago. His name was Jacob Reighard, and some of his students went on to study fish embryology. Anyhow, reighard was one of the top Bowfin scientists of his era, and any for that matter. He seems to have studied them in swamps.

The argument that Bowfin should be killed is a crazy and stupid one. They are essential to eco-systems because they are apex predators. As such, they keep other fish in check, and prevent stunting. Basically, if you have fewer Bowfin, you have more, smaller fish of other species. They cull the herd, so to speak. With that said, their primary diet is crayfish, freshwater shrimp, and amphibians - they don't eat a lot of other fish. In short, people who kill Bowfin are actually creating conditions to catch smaller fish of other species. It's an old myth that Bowfin are bad.

With that said, they are bad in that they destroy tackle, bite anglers
and generally are hard to find in big water. You asked about environment. Yes, Bowfin inhabit slow waters, but I catch many of mine in fast current. The ideal place for me to find them is usually below a dam, where there is a current line near boulders or rock piles. They sit there waiting for food, and when something swims by, they explode on it. The first strike is the most jarring I have ever felt - it sends a shock up your arm. Once you have felt it, you'll never forget it. Their bite is the strongest in terms of pounds per square inch, and they will literally demolish a cheap lure, pulling split rings straight, bending hooks, tearing up wood, denting metal blades, etc. It's awesome. And when they are in a jumping mood, well, it's a sight. I hooked a 7 pounder about 6 years ago that I will never forget. It shot straight out of the water about 3 feet. It looked like a submarine missile launch. To this day, it's the best jump of any fish I ever hooked.

Anyhow, they are in Michigan, and all through the Great Lakes, but they are hard to find in big water. I prefer creeks and rivers for catching them, because their haunts are easier to identify. Like I said - rocks are the key, because that's where crayfish live.

H

Posted by Henry V Elite Member over 2 years ago

Tyler C

Well you definitely seem to have it down to a science! What sort of lures do you use and what sorts of environment are you catching them in? We supposedly have them here, but I've never been able to catch one. Most people here say you should kill any that you catch... I think that is stupid and would rather catch a bowfin over a bass any day.

Posted by Tyler C Expert Member over 2 years ago

Henry V

Hi Tyler,

Thanks. There's no secret, other than preparation. Strong hooks, a rod with backbone for a good hook-set, and knowledge of how to play a hard-fighting fish. Catching Bowfin on lures takes a bit of experience, and a bit of luck - that's all.
H

Posted by Henry V Elite Member over 2 years ago

Tyler C

Awesome catch! What is your secret?

Posted by Tyler C Expert Member over 2 years ago

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Fishing report - 13.0 in. Largemouth Bass caught by Henry V fishing in North Carolina on 12/05/14 Fishing report - 1.1 lb. Bluegill caught by Michael Atondo fishing in California on 12/08/14
13.0 in. Largemouth Bass caught by Henry V fishing in North Carolina on 12/05/14 1.1 lb. Bluegill caught by Michael Atondo fishing in California on 12/08/14

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