Trying to get a bowfin
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Thread: Trying to get a bowfin

  1. #1
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    Question Trying to get a bowfin

    I am trying to catch a bowfin and have been for months now, I have been fishing the various waterfowl impoundments around and see these fish jumping all around me, some of them are huge.. I have tried every lure I own from spinners, chatter, swim baits, texas rigs, top water, live bait, jigs all of it and nothing will hit them. I am looking for advice on how to catch these fish, time of day or year that I can snag them. Any tips will help! Thank you
    drjon likes this.


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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by FalcoT View Post
    I am trying to catch a bowfin and have been for months now, I have been fishing the various waterfowl impoundments around and see these fish jumping all around me, some of them are huge.. I have tried every lure I own from spinners, chatter, swim baits, texas rigs, top water, live bait, jigs all of it and nothing will hit them. I am looking for advice on how to catch these fish, time of day or year that I can snag them. Any tips will help! Thank you
    If they are actually bowfin try a piece of cut bait on a light bottom rig.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    NCfishingKing likes this.


  4. #3
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    I agree with the cut bait recommendation. Catch a tiny bluegill in the same body of water (a small gold or silver spinner or 1 white swimming grub works great for bait fish) . Use a fishfinder type set-up so they can take the bait and Id recommend a circle hook, so you dont gut hook the fish. I have caught a few this way.

    I also like larger spinners and have caught 2 on a #6 Panther Martin gold/orange dresses spinner (one of my favorite lures).

    The big guy below was caught on a Z Man TRD with a Ned rig jighead (hopped along the bottom) also another good lure.

    Keep trying in those waters and youll eventually hook-up. Be sure to have use a leader, net, and pliers to remove the fish. They have big teeth!





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  6. #4
    sporkd2 is offline
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    +1 for live bait or cut bait
    Training for retirement since 1983

  7. #5
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    Ive never fished for them but have caught 4 over the past 5-6 years on Falls. All artificials; Jig(2), Chatterbait and a Frog.

    I swear the one I caught on the Chatterbait was hooked deep and bleeding. But then he spit it out, ate it again, looked me in the eye daring me to bring him into the boat just so he could personally kick my ***. Tough, mean critters they are.
    https://youtu.be/PO-GTnvO_MY

    The jig bites were in inches of water and clearly reaction bites. Something scares them (on their beds?), they attack.

    This one caused me to break a rod (caution, non-standard language)
    https://youtu.be/OjY0oFv0r9o



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    JM76 likes this.


  8. #6
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    I caught one by total accident on a whopper plopper. It missed the first time so I just let the plopper sit and it smashed it. Proceeded to bang it's head into my canoe for a solid 5 minutes. They are crazy, awesome fish. Wound up being a 7 pounder.

  9. #7
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    I've caught 2 accidentally bass fishing. Both hit a spinnerbait. One of them followed my bait right to the side of the boat like a Musky. Paused my retrieve for a second and it ate it. It ended up being 9.5 lbs. I'd prefer a bass but I didn't mind catching either of them.
    Tight lines,
    Andrew

  10. #8
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    I could be wrong, but typically the larger fish that you see jumping or making big swirls are Gar.
    As far as catching a Blackfish, We catch them down east all the time. We look for shallow,still water close to where small trickles of water enter a creek, or grassy edges close to the bank. We also find them in small indents in the bank inn shallow water. I have caught them on anything from small flies to big spinnerbaits. I've had them come up and grab a hooked bluegill that I was trying to land on a flyrod. They are a strong aggressive fish that are fun to catch on any gear.

  11. #9
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    Never thought I would see a long thread on bowfin. I got this guy Saturday morning at MMSP using cut bait.
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  12. #10
    sporkd2 is offline
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    Friday on Harris
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    Training for retirement since 1983

  13. #11
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    Caught a few and seen a lot more on Harris, when the weeds grow in a bit. Sometimes they’re spooky, sometimes they seem to sit right off the boat and you can drop a bait on their nose. I always get the tails bit off my skinny dippers by them and pickerel this time of year there. Anywhere you go look for slow, grassy/weedy water.

    Or buy a $10 spinner bait, they seem to love those more than bass do

  14. #12
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    I too am surprised with the long Bowfin thread.
    They are a very interesting fish. I assume not well known because of their lack of numbers. I caught one a few years ago on Lake Moultrie while bass fishing. It destroyed a spinnerbait. Once hooked I thought I caught some sort of Berserker Bass. It just about jumped in the boat after me. It was very, very ******. After that I took a trip to the Okefenokee Swamp to fish for them specifically. I took a half dozen muskie spinnerbaits and they ate them all, literally. A great trip! I am not an expert on them but it looks like they are more active in hot weather in the type of water/structure described. Good luck, definitely should be on the bucket list.

  15. #13
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    When the oxygen gets low in the summer they gulp air that can make them easy to spot. I have had them destroy lures as well. Interesting thing is that when targeting them with cut bait they bite really light. often just see a small twitch on the very tip of the rod. Sometimes I even set my rod so the line has a slight bow in the line so its a little.slack and watch that But once hooked its game on like hooking a truck bumper

  16. #14
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    I caught 3 on Saturday; 2 on cut shad and the other on my shad rig (pink jig head/ chartreuse grub) Keep hitting the Durham impounds, you'll hook up. I'd go this weekend (if you can) since the weather will be warming up

  17. #15
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    We caught 3 in the Black River, in Bladen County last weekend.
    While catfishing on a trout line.
    We ate one and used the other for bait.
    Back in the old days we had a uncle and his family that lived in the swamp they were glad to get them for food.

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    hellomcfly2 likes this.

    Cape Fear Anglers,

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