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I know this is a bass forum and I'm an experienced bass fisherman, but I was wondering if anyone had tips for bowfin. I'm going to a lake today that is full of them and I can usually pull one or two out with artificials. I mostly get them on crankbaits or zoom trick worms weighted. When the bass aren't hitting they put up a fun fight. Any tips?

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those things have jaws like pit bulls. don't know how many spinnerbaits I had to throw away because of the damage done by bowfin. I would rather go fishless.

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Ive caught them on white/cart spinnerbiats...

Jeff

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Cut a dead shiner in half and use the tail. Put it on a 2/0 octopus hook with a 1 ounce weight. Let it sit on the bottom. Thats how I get em'!

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plastic worms and those $1 spinner baits for wal-mart; watch your fingers I had one clamp down on my thumb it wasn't much fun

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I caught a bowfin (mudfish) down in Florida on Tuesday using a 5" grub. Seems like you can pretty much catch mudfish on anything that will catch a bass...

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Go catch a bunch of dink Perch. Cut the Tail off (DO NOT cut the Meat, just the fin). Then Hook then through the base of the tail area. Hang on...

My buddy calls them "Fish Pigeons", you never see baby ones and they are really annoying.

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Bowfin are scornfully called 'mudfish', but they’re definitely in the game fish caliber.

I can certainly understand why an angler would deliberately target bowfin, but those we've caught

have been a bycatch of bass fishing. Bowfin will seize most any lure meant for bass, but typically hit harder

and fight harder than a bass of equal size. On a low note, bowfin are not conducive to 'thumb-landing' :rolleyes:

In our experience at least, timing is a more important factor than lure choice. In central Florida, the month of 'April'

is the heart of the bowfin season when they invade the shallow sloughs, but after that they seem to melt away.

Roger

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I caught the biggest ones on a Rapala Tail Dancer (perch)and a keel weighted fluke style plastic. I can also recommend minnows fished off the bottom using a slip rig or catfish setup.... I know quite a few guys that slay them with that combo.

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Spinner baits. They do hit hard and fight well for a short time then give up. Better than nothing but not much!

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They have invaded one of my favorite bass spots. Every time I think I have a good bass on it turns out to be a mudfish.

They hit almost anything I throw out, but they really seem to like my Zoom U-Vibe worms.

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No doubt goose. I caught a huge one last weekend on a d**n frog. I thought it was gonna be a pb. Shoulda known by the insanely violent headshakes. Supposed to be really good meat though

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I would rather go fishless.

WHAT !?!? That sound blasphemous to me !

Bowfins are cooool ! :) I've caught them on spinnerbaits, and live baby pond perch in North Louisiana. My biggest was 32" (if I remember correctly). Wish we had them around here. Those and Gar's ! Totally cool sport fish :)

I don't care what the species.... If it will bite my hook, and give me a fight, I'm always down ;)

Peace,

Fish

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WHAT !?!? That sound blasphemous to me !

Bowfins are cooool ! :) I've caught them on spinnerbaits, and live baby pond perch in North Louisiana. My biggest was 32" (if I remember correctly). Wish we had them around here. Those and Gar's ! Totally cool sport fish :)

I don't care what the species.... If it will bite my hook, and give me a fight, I'm always down ;)

Peace,

Fish

I agree, I used to catch both when I was a teenager in Florida and loved catching them. And I too wish they were available to catch here in Arizona.

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WHAT !?!? That sound blasphemous to me !

Bowfins are cooool ! :) I've caught them on spinnerbaits, and live baby pond perch in North Louisiana. My biggest was 32" (if I remember correctly). Wish we had them around here. Those and Gar's ! Totally cool sport fish :)

I don't care what the species.... If it will bite my hook, and give me a fight, I'm always down ;)

Peace,

Fish

Sounds exactly like me. If I'm not doing so well with bass, or catching little one pounders, I love catching a nice big bowfin.

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WHAT !?!? That sound blasphemous to me !

Bowfins are cooool ! :) I've caught them on spinnerbaits, and live baby pond perch in North Louisiana. My biggest was 32" (if I remember correctly). Wish we had them around here. Those and Gar's ! Totally cool sport fish :)

I don't care what the species.... If it will bite my hook, and give me a fight, I'm always down ;)

Peace,

Fish

They are a blast to catch for sure....when I lived in NC the guys in my bass club called me "the blackfish king"...it was funny but true. I had a hard time with tidal bass but seemed to have a knack for catching numbers of bowfin....fun but no help in the club tourneys I'm afraid!

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Chatterbait!!!!!!!

Kelley

Kelley- You being in SO ILL are they in the Kinkaid area?

I used to fish that quite a bit 7 years ago and figured I either caught a snakehead...but then thoguht it must have been a bowfin after a couple minutes .

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Apparently they like Swim Jigs also. A huge one made off with my brand new one today. Broke off my 40# PP and swam away as I was unhooking him. They are a pain when wade fishing. :angry:

I was using a U-Vibe Craw as the trailer. They destroy the vibe worms and craws.

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Bowfin are scornfully called 'mudfish', but they’re definitely in the game fish caliber.

I can certainly understand why an angler would deliberately target bowfin, but those we've caught

have been a bycatch of bass fishing. Bowfin will seize most any lure meant for bass, but typically hit harder

and fight harder than a bass of equal size. On a low note, bowfin are not conducive to 'thumb-landing' :rolleyes:

In our experience at least, timing is a more important factor than lure choice. In central Florida, the month of 'April'

is the heart of the bowfin season when they invade the shallow sloughs, but after that they seem to melt away.

Roger

X2

I have caught 10 or so in the last few months. The last one was a six pounder on a frog. My son got one twice that size to the side of the boat last year on a rattle trap. We always catch them by accident. It seems as though they will eat anything a bass will.

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X2

I have caught 10 or so in the last few months. The last one was a six pounder on a frog. My son got one twice that size to the side of the boat last year on a rattle trap. We always catch them by accident. It seems as though they will eat anything a bass will.

Yeah my friend and I were fishing a few days ago and he caught an 8 pounder on a chartreuse senko. I feel like when we are trying to catch them we don't and when we don't try to catch them we do.

Another question...do you guys kill all the bowfin you catch?

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I've been clearing them out of the pond behind my house by using a medium sized circle hook with a 1/2 inch cube of bloody steak on it. The last one I caught was 22 inches long and fought like you wouldn't believe. It helps if the steak has a little membrane or grissel on it to put the hook through. Otherwise it makes for easy picking for them. Good luck and hold on tight. They do fight. Keep your fingers clear of those teeth.

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Yeah my friend and I were fishing a few days ago and he caught an 8 pounder on a chartreuse senko. I feel like when we are trying to catch them we don't and when we don't try to catch them we do.

Another question...do you guys kill all the bowfin you catch?

In one of my favorite pond's I kill every one.

This kid that lived on it goes Catfishing (Carp/Channels/Bowfin/Gar) at night and for reasons that confounded me, for a few years now, brings home Bowfin and throws them in the pond. His logic was that HE felt the pond had too many Perch and that they needed to be reduced.

I pointed out that this pond is roughly 70 acres and has had 2 northerns over 13lbs taken, 3 dozen 5+lb Largemouths, a few 16" crappie, before he started throwing them in there and has more Pickerel than water in it, there are plenty of preditors without Bowfin. The Pumpkinseeds are small and the Perch are actually fairly nice (7-14") but there aren't a lot of them, a school of 7 is big from what I've seen.

So this idiot threw in a dozens of Bowfin including one that is about 40"... I informed him that it was illegal to do and he said he didn't care. I told him that I work as an investigator for the State, he looked funny but tried to play it off. I told him my brother in-law is a very high ranking State Trooper and that one of my good friends is a very well respected Warden and that I know his address and should probably not continue to stock the Bowfin in there since they'll just out compete the fish already in there. I told him of several people that are complaining about the Bowfin and how the fishing in the pond has declined over the last couple years (residents that live on the pond).

I told the local bait shop about him and found out that he did it to another pond (Monkton Pond, 150 acres) and that the fishing was suffering because the Bowfin were eating all the Perch and young Pike in that pond and the big Northerns are all gone due to catching and the young are being eaten, and out competed by the Bowfin. Last I heard was the kid's landlord caught wind and refused to re-up his lease and that his name was well known to the Wardens around the area now.

They can really really screw up small bodies of water since nothing eats them and they eat everything/anything.

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In one of my favorite pond's I kill every one.

This kid that lived on it goes Catfishing (Carp/Channels/Bowfin/Gar) at night and for reasons that confounded me, for a few years now, brings home Bowfin and throws them in the pond. His logic was that HE felt the pond had too many Perch and that they needed to be reduced.

I pointed out that this pond is roughly 70 acres and has had 2 northerns over 13lbs taken, 3 dozen 5+lb Largemouths, a few 16" crappie, before he started throwing them in there and has more Pickerel than water in it, there are plenty of preditors without Bowfin. The Pumpkinseeds are small and the Perch are actually fairly nice (7-14") but there aren't a lot of them, a school of 7 is big from what I've seen.

So this idiot threw in a dozens of Bowfin including one that is about 40"... I informed him that it was illegal to do and he said he didn't care. I told him that I work as an investigator for the State, he looked funny but tried to play it off. I told him my brother in-law is a very high ranking State Trooper and that one of my good friends is a very well respected Warden and that I know his address and should probably not continue to stock the Bowfin in there since they'll just out compete the fish already in there. I told him of several people that are complaining about the Bowfin and how the fishing in the pond has declined over the last couple years (residents that live on the pond).

I told the local bait shop about him and found out that he did it to another pond (Monkton Pond, 150 acres) and that the fishing was suffering because the Bowfin were eating all the Perch and young Pike in that pond and the big Northerns are all gone due to catching and the young are being eaten, and out competed by the Bowfin. Last I heard was the kid's landlord caught wind and refused to re-up his lease and that his name was well known to the Wardens around the area now.

They can really really screw up small bodies of water since nothing eats them and they eat everything/anything.

Exactly, we kill every one of them that we catch and I hope everyone does the same

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WHAT !?!? That sound blasphemous to me !

Bowfins are cooool ! :) I've caught them on spinnerbaits, and live baby pond perch in North Louisiana. My biggest was 32" (if I remember correctly). Wish we had them around here. Those and Gar's ! Totally cool sport fish :)

I don't care what the species.... If it will bite my hook, and give me a fight, I'm always down ;)

Peace,

Fish

I agree as well and went out and bought gippers just for them. Only mistake was not getting 1 with scale. Mine never seem to calm down. I'm trying to break my 4lb pb as well on a bowfin. Is it coincidence that my pb for bass is 4lb? Just caugt another 4lber bowfin on wacky. 2lbers are fun on 5 microlites as well.

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