Anyone know much about a bowfin?

Discussion in 'Northeast Ohio Fishing Reports' started by Boone, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. Was fishing in my pond and hooked on a fish that at first thought it was a large cat, after getting fish in the boat found out it was a fish called a "bowfin", it was about 24'' long and about 3.5 to four was a fun catch but have not seen too many of this kind of fish, any one know much about these fish?
  2. There are some parts of the state that have them in pretty large numbers. Not many people target them and most probably consider them a "junk" fish. I have not caught many but we do catch a few of them in the lake we go to in Canada. Here is a picture of a pretty good size one from up there.

    We tried eating one of them and I will say that we will probably not do it again.;) They are a very strong fish and will at times be very aggressive feeders. We have caught them on topwaters and spinnerbaits. I am sure there will be several who can offer some more insight on them from Ohio waters.

  3. It is also called a dogfish and is a meat eating machine. Bass, gills, crappie will suffer a bit with this fish in your pond. In the spring I watched a guy land 4 of them catching them on a big rooster tail type of bait. They were swimming in the shallows, must have been the spawning time. Ugly fish but aggresive. I have seen them on the ice up north where someone had caught them on a pike rig (sucker minnow).
  4. Hetfieldinn

    Hetfieldinn Staff Member

  5. used to catch quite a few of them when i was a kid in mentor. they fight hard! very careful, they will actually try and bite you if given the chance. no joke.
  6. If your pond is around Canal Fulton, eggs were probably moved by birds/ducks from the tusc. river or killbuck creek area. Both have decent populations of them. You can also find some in mogadore as well. Some are caught in Lake Erie, mostly in the western end.

    Hard fighers that can do some damage with their teeth. Treat 'em like a pike when removing the hook.
  7. I caught a 26 incher as a kid on Presque Isle (Erie, PA) - freaked me out!

    Body like a Channel Cat - mouth full of teeth like a pike!

    I got an award Certificate for it when I took it into the tackle shop to get it identified - they said it was the biggest they ever saw...

    It was thee ONLY one I ever saw!
    The pic below in this thread is the second!

    The other fellas are right - Watch out for those teeth!

    Bear Johnson
  8. I have caught a couple in Erie tribs, mostly towards the west end, when catfishing. Bowfin are the most aggresive when spawning or parenting. When protecting young, the bowfin gets so aggressive that they have been known to attack terrestrial animals. The ones I have caught look much darker than the picutre bkr43050 posted, probably due to the clarity of water they spend their lives in. Or maybe my memory is not as good as it used to be.

    I would also say that if it were my pond, and I caught a bowfin I would probably remove it. They are just too aggresive to not potentially cause some problems.
  9. I know this is going to sound like a fake story, but I swear it's true so here I go....Last winter my dad and I went up to Presque Isle to do a little ice fishing. The bite was slow so we packed up the gear to move to another spot. Once we had the holes dug and climbed in the shanty I looked down and sticking it's head out of the hole that was a foot in front of me was the ugliest looking thing I have ever seen. It freaked the hell out of me and I started pointing and saying "Dad..look...look! He thought I was looking at the Aqua View and pointing at some monster down below...but in reality I was pointing at the scary head that was sticking out form the hole at my feet. I didn't know whether to stick my lure in it's mouth or wet my pants. Luckily Dad made the decision for me and quickly poked it down the hole with the ice skimmer. After the return trip we looked up the possible species and decided that it was indeed a bowfin. It was one of the craziest things I have ever had happen to me.
  10. Well I have had the mis fortune of catching more then my share of them while trying to catch cats. Seems that if you are in the right spot they will eat anything that a catfish might eat. They do put up a pretty good fight for their size thats for sure. Don't think I would want them in my pond though. The killbuck creek is loaded with them. Here is just one of the many I have caught in the last two years.

    Attached Files:

  11. PumpUpTheBass

    PumpUpTheBass JonBoatWannabe

    I caught one in Florida which is a state record but was never taken to an officer. Later found out it would have bee na state record. Oh well stuff happens. Here it is. It weighed just shy of 22 pounds. Best fight i have ever had!![​IMG]
  12. acklac7

    acklac7 S.S.


    Here ya go :)

  13. PumpUpTheBass

    PumpUpTheBass JonBoatWannabe

    Thanks acklac7. I didnt really try to resize it even. Much appreciated.
  14. bgpark1

    bgpark1 Catching and Releasing

    I caught a 32 1/2" just above the spillway in Mogadore. great fight and bout lost the ends of my fingers grabbing it to throw in the kayak.... lol. I will have to find that picture.
  15. awesome catch, i have only had the chance to handle one, very cool fish. i wouldnt take them out of your pond they are a real treat. dont worry they do nothing to harm bass, crappie, or gill populations, that is an unfortunate myth, they mostly eat crayfish
  16. snake69

    snake69 Equal opportunity fishing

    My nephew caught one in the Tusc river at Dover by the water treatment plant. I had no clue what the heck it was. To me, the head resembles a snake's head and then that long body.....? Brought it back to Canton and someone identified it. Turned it loose in the creek. I believe the creek dumps back into the Tucs, so it headed back home. Strange lookin' critter though...!
  17. Thanks to everyone for all the great info!