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First ever Bowfin

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Caught my first ever bowfin and like a lot of people I thought it might be a snakehead. Now I know.

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Those guys can fight.  We have a lot that survived the draining of the original sloughs that make up our ponds and catch one every once in a while bass fishing.  Try to remove them back out to the swamp if we can.  There are loads of them in the bayou where we are.  

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I thought I had a six pound bass when we hooked up.

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I've never caught one but I had one on twice. They are vicious!  Luckily they both got off before I had to actually TAKE them off at the boat.  I actually looked up some science on them after I tied into one last year.  They are one of only TWO fish on the planet that can breathe through their gills OR breathe atmospheric air.  The other species is the African Lungfish.  So basically when the oxygen is gone in the swamp water, they can just come up to the surface and grap a gulp of air instead!  Wouldn't be suprised if they could walk on land too...

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I caught 2 while fishing in Florida. They fight like crazy. I had fun catching them but I could see where they'd get annoying, especially as destructive as they are to baits. I caught both mine flipping grass and thought I had a monster bass both times. 

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If black fish(regional name) are your desire come on down to NC and I'll take you to a place that's loaded with those toothy critters. :)

I personally don't care to catch them but that's maybe because I have caught too durn many.

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I hated catching them d**n things in south FL.  The canals were full of them.  They could tear up a lure in no time. Very slimy, too.

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Congratulations on catching your first bowfin,they are very fun to catch and are much stronger than a bass of equal size.The ones down here bite well on spinnerbaits and jigs.

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My partner and I guide for bowfin in southern VA in September.  Customers used to come for largemouth but,  after catching bowfin,  that's what they want.  We are taking a fun trip just a few us us for a couple of days of big bowfin in September.  When the bite is on,  they are on big time.  One of our favorite species.

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39 minutes ago, dave said:

My partner and I guide for bowfin in southern VA in September.  Customers used to come for largemouth but,  after catching bowfin,  that's what they want.  We are taking a fun trip just a few us us for a couple of days of big bowfin in September.  When the bite is on,  they are on big time.  One of our favorite species.

I would have never guessed...customers. I've since caught a second even bigger one. It's just disappointing when I think I've caught a trophy bass. Maybe If I target them, I'll get a trophy bass.

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Congrats!!  They are a very underrated and under appreciated sport fish.  They fight hard for sure.  I cannot stand when i hear people say they kill them when they catch them because they are trash fish.  I mean, anything that has bee around since the time of the dinosaurs is no trash fish to me.  besides that, if you catch one during spawning season they are very brightly colored as well.

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I caught one about 9 years ago when I was 14 . In Michigan , I was in a state park with wooden walkways through a Marsh. I didn't have much tackle at 14 (or much experience fishing ) and I was fishing with some worms and a bobber. Just trying to get a fish ya know.  Well it came up and struck my bobber! I was excited as I didn't know what it was but I knew it was big. I reeled it in slowly and it took the worm. I got it up on the walkway and into a bucket , it was making weird noises which I'm assuming is the "gulp of air" that was mentioned above. 

I took it over to the parking area to show my step dad what I caught. (who was in an ambulance, on the clock ) I wanted to know what it was ! And the EMT driving chimed in and told me it was a dogfish. Sounded right to me because of the sounds it was making. I know today that it was a bowfin. It was about 2 feet long. I'll never forget it. 

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I hope its not your last . People call them trash fish , but I an tickled every time I see one of these dinosaurs . 

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When you are shiner fishing and the shiners cost a dollar apiece you learn to dislike Bowfin and Chain Pickerel. But they are fun to catch..

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8 hours ago, Al Wolbach said:

When you are shiner fishing and the shiners cost a dollar apiece you learn to dislike Bowfin and Chain Pickerel. But they are fun to catch..

Outch.  I would hate anything that ate my shiner that weighed less than five pounds.

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A friend caught one last week in Wisconsin that was somewhere between 15 and 20 lb.  He had never fished before and was using a medium action rod with 6 lb line and a DT crankbait.  Well, I say he caught it because he hooked it and he used the net to bring it aboard but it was pulling so hard and going so fast under the boat and I instinctively/reflexively took the rod from him so it wouldn't break off. I apologized profusely afterwards for "stealing his thunder" but he was okay with it as it was as big as and fought like a "hoss!"

Since I mostly practice catch and release anyway and since they don't seem to be taking over most of the lakes I know of, I'd be happy to catch them frequently.  This one was only the third I've seen or caught.

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