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To kill or not to kill—bowfin

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2 hours ago, soflabasser said:

Why would anyone kill a bowfin? Bowfin are a native species to many of the places they live in and fight harder than a bass of equal size. I actually enjoy fishing for bowfin( my PB bowfin is over 13 pounds) and I have spots where you can catch +50 of them in a day, with several in the +6 pound class. Send them bowfin down here to South Florida if you don't like them, I will gladly fish for them.

Well said @UPSmallie. Bowfin are a important part of the environment they live in and I also recommend releasing them. They are a prehistoric species that existed before bass did and will most likely exist longer than many species.

I've only ever caught 2, both while fishing with a member from Florida in the Everglades. They were really cool looking fish that fought like crazy. I'll admit, I was disappointed initially that they weren't the big bass I thought they were, but I still very much appreciated the bite and fight they put up. I'm sure I'd fish for them if there was anywhere around that had any. 

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18 hours ago, Rick Howard said:

Up here lots of folks call them Ling.  They hit hard and fight like a bear.  Kinda neat looking fish too.  Don't lip em'.

Ling and Bowfin are actually a different species. Ling or lingcod is another name for a burbot which is actually like a freshwater codfish. They do look somewhat similar.

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14 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

I've only ever caught 2, both while fishing with a member from Florida in the Everglades. They were really cool looking fish that fought like crazy. I'll admit, I was disappointed initially that they weren't the big bass I thought they were, but I still very much appreciated the bite and fight they put up. I'm sure I'd fish for them if there was anywhere around that had any. 

 

The Everglades and surrounding areas is where I catch most of my bowfin so you where in a very good location to fish for them. They love to hit a spinnerbait that is slow rolled on the bottom, jerk baits, flukes, and topwaters worked over or near lily pads. They provide lots of action when at times the bass might not be as active, and in the end of the day I rather have a day filled with catching lots of fish than not catching anything at all.

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bowfins have existed in north america since the jurassic period meaning they have been in those lakes long before bass or most other game fish.. there are some less educated fisherman that have this ridiculous delusion that they reduce game fish populations, but given how long bowfins have existed if that were even remotely true thered be no game fish left...

 

this myth comes from the fact that bowfin are capable of breathing air, so when some environmental event raises the toxicity of a lake or river system, that environmental condition kills off most the game fish leaving bowfin the sole survivor to get the blame for something that was in all likeliness man-made

 

on top of all of that they are fun to catch, quite frankly they are more fun to catch than bass which give very little fight in comparison to a 3' long bowfin or pike or even a big fat carp.. if you catch one, put it back, its been there longer than anything else in north america

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The mass hysteria over evil fish that breath air is absurd.  Bowfin are a valuable part of healthy ecosystems where they're present and have been for forever. They are the opposite of invasive.  Further, the idea that having multiple predatory species is bad for a fishery tends to be short sighted. 

 

Even snakehead, where found have shown to have little to no impact on bass populations and the majority of folks who pound their chests about them also tend to be the guys who camp next to stocking trucks and and pride themselves as master anglers... For the first two weeks of trout season. 

 

The biggest exceptions I can see being justified are invasive species like carp, and lampreys that actually have documented negative impacts.  

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If they aren't invasive and they aren't ruining other fish populations leave them be. They are pretty cool looking, too.

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3 hours ago, Pro Logcatcher said:

If they aren't invasive and they aren't ruining other fish populations leave them be. They are pretty cool looking, too.

Yeah, and they turn fluorescent green during a spawn.

 

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Seems we have a few that need to brush up on identifying local fish species.

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On 12/11/2017 at 1:07 AM, Turkey sandwich said:

The mass hysteria over evil fish that breath air is absurd.  Bowfin are a valuable part of healthy ecosystems where they're present and have been for forever. They are the opposite of invasive.  Further, the idea that having multiple predatory species is bad for a fishery tends to be short sighted. 

 

Even snakehead, where found have shown to have little to no impact on bass populations and the majority of folks who pound their chests about them also tend to be the guys who camp next to stocking trucks and and pride themselves as master anglers... For the first two weeks of trout season. 

 

The biggest exceptions I can see being justified are invasive species like carp, and lampreys that actually have documented negative impacts.  

why carp? what have carp done? they are primarily vegetation first, eat crustaceans second, and theyre not invasive, theyre naturalized, their numbers have reached an equilibrium with the ecosystem that they are now part of and arent bad to eat either

 

 

i may get some hate for this one, but ive never really enjoyed catching bass that much, after catching bowfin, pike, carp, and other species that put up a heck of a fight, bass just dont do it for me.. i mean, its cool you can stick your finger in their mouth and pick them up to remove a hook, convenient for catch and release while a pike or bowfin may swim off with your fingers.. but i like the fight they put up

 

on another note, anybody eat a bowfin before?

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3 minutes ago, jason41987 said:

why carp? what have carp done? they are primarily vegetation first, eat crustaceans second, and theyre not invasive, theyre naturalized, their numbers have reached an equilibrium with the ecosystem that they are now part of and arent bad to eat either

 

I have nothing bad to say about native carp species.  Asian carp, however, are a different story.  I can speak on them, but only poorly.  Anyone here who regularly fishes the Mississippi and it's major tributaries can probably provide a lot more insight.  The best I can tell, there are major issues with them out-reproducing native species and consuming a lot of vital vegetation and native invertebrates that make up the food chain.  

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i used to fish on the mississippi often when i was a kid, i dont recall an asian carp issue then, but i am familiar with them as an invasive species and would agree.. but when i hear someone say just carp i think theyre speaking about common carp which i have heard people erroneously hate on out of belief they slaughter baby bass

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I enjoy every time i catch a dog fish . I will never have Double digit bass but i have a DD Bowfin .

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I have been told by many FWC officers that it is indeed illegal to return a snakehead back into the water alive once captured here in FL. Whether or not it's an actual law I do not know for sure. As for the bowfin, I always release them unharmed. They are really fun to catch and put up a great fight. 

 

@scaleface pics or it never happened 😁

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4 minutes ago, DINK WHISPERER said:

pics or it never happened

Its going to have to go in the it never happened category then . :(

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2 minutes ago, scaleface said:

 

Its going to have to go in the it never happened category then . :(

Just teasing ya man. It would be cool to see one that size though. The biggest I've caught was about 4 pounds I think. 

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I have a pic of one that was a little shy of ten .I have caught a bigger one in an ox bow lake off the Mississippi .

 

This was 38 years ago . Caught on Mississippi river backwater at my favorite beer drinking joint. Cheap De-liar scales had it a nine something .

 

grinnel_1.jpg

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On 12/12/2017 at 1:32 AM, jason41987 said:

i used to fish on the mississippi often when i was a kid, i dont recall an asian carp issue then, but i am familiar with them as an invasive species and would agree.. but when i hear someone say just carp i think theyre speaking about common carp which i have heard people erroneously hate on out of belief they slaughter baby bass

Common carp are overpopulated in a lot of the old reservoirs that mainly exist in Kansas. They cause problems with water clarity from their feeding and spawning that stirs silt and uproots what little vegetation there may be that helps with water clarity and quality. The state spends thousands of dollars each year on a rough fish removal program to net and remove carp from these lakes. They can cause problems with spawning fish if the silt covers eggs in a spawning bed and cause them not to hatch. It's easy to shoot 50-100 carp a day in some of the lakes and none of them will be over 5 pounds because they're so overpopulated. Normally I don't think they're an issue, but the potential is there and I get to witness it firsthand in some cases. 

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On 12/12/2017 at 2:32 AM, jason41987 said:

i used to fish on the mississippi often when i was a kid, i dont recall an asian carp issue then, but i am familiar with them as an invasive species and would agree.. but when i hear someone say just carp i think theyre speaking about common carp which i have heard people erroneously hate on out of belief they slaughter baby bass

Common carp aren't native fish, they are from Europe and Asia. The native suckers to America are quillbacks, highfin carpsucker, river carpsucker, northern hog sucker, American redhorse, silver redhorse, buffalo, the list goes on and on. Common carp are an exotic invasive species in North America. The certainly don't slaughter baby bass but they do sequester a lot of resources at the producer level of the food chain that I'm sure has effects all the way up 

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On 12/13/2017 at 10:16 AM, TnRiver46 said:

Common carp aren't native fish, they are from Europe and Asia. The native suckers to America are quillbacks, highfin carpsucker, river carpsucker, northern hog sucker, American redhorse, silver redhorse, buffalo, the list goes on and on. Common carp are an exotic invasive species in North America. The certainly don't slaughter baby bass but they do sequester a lot of resources at the producer level of the food chain that I'm sure has effects all the way up 

 

as i pointed out before, theyre not invasive, as invasive means they are an unstable growing population and a risk to the ecosystem.. carp however are stabilized and reached a point of equilibrium, they are classified as naturalized species

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2 hours ago, jason41987 said:

 

as i pointed out before, theyre not invasive, as invasive means they are an unstable growing population and a risk to the ecosystem.. carp however are stabilized and reached a point of equilibrium, they are classified as naturalized species

I suppose I could roll with that classification. I personally classify them as way less fun and tasty than game fish. I would like to see a study conducted with two similar watersheds, one with common carp and one without. 

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2 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

I suppose I could roll with that classification. I personally classify them as way less fun and tasty than game fish. I would like to see a study conducted with two similar watersheds, one with common carp and one without. 

have you eaten them?

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21 hours ago, jason41987 said:

have you eaten them?

Only one bite but I tried to cook it myself. I'm sure someone knows how to make them palatable but I don't. Just the color of the meat was gross

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