Pond The Magic Bowfin Pond
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Thread: The Magic Bowfin Pond

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Pittsboro
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    Default The Magic Bowfin Pond

    A buddy of mine recently found a large shallow pond off a road that I have driven by dozens of times and never noticed. We decided to launch his canoe early Sunday morning and had to bushwhack our way to get through an opening in the hedges surrounding it. He and his son had previously fished it once and saw several bowfin during their trip, but didn’t hook any. However, this trip would be different.

    The pond was pretty shallow, ranging from about 1’ to perhaps 3’ with a lot of weeds. For a while, we attempted to cast weedless frogs and other topwater baits into the weeds to entice a bite, but couldn’t draw any reactions. We actually drifted onto resting bowfin twice. The first one dashed off before we could drop a bait in front of it, but the second was a bit more stationary. I actually managed to get it to bite a chunk of cut bream I bounced into its snout, but wasn’t able to connect when I went to set the hook.

    I decided to soak the cut bait along the weeds while making some casts with a spinner. After a little while, I thought I noticed the rod twitching a bit, so I picked it up and watched it as the line began to move. I set the hook hard, and while there was a weight on the end, it didn’t move. I couldn’t tell if I had a fish or a stick. As I started to reel it in, the stick came to life and started to peel off drag. Then it jumped on the opposite side of the canoe. Yup, definitely a bowfin.

    After going through a bit of a Chinese fire drill with my fishing buddy, we eventually netted it. It was a nice 28”, 7 lb specimen. We snapped a few photos and released it.

    A short while later, after getting my bait rod hung on a stump in the middle, I went to make a few more casts with the spinner (my favorite, a #6 size Panther Martin Deluxe Fly in orange and gold). A few seconds into the retrieve and *wham*, fish number two. This one was a little smaller and more gnarly. It looks like a turtle had taken a chunk out of his tail fin at some point.

    A little while later, I hear my fishing buddy exclaim “Oh jeez!” as he watched a fish wake behind and smash his spinner. After a good fight, he managed to boat the biggest bowfin of the day, a beautiful 8 lb, 29” citation.

    We paddled around for another hour or so, but didn’t have any other takers. I’m not sure if there are any other gamefish in this pond, but frankly, I don’t care. I enjoy having my baits blasted by these toothy critters the leap like bass and pull like carp. We’re already planning our next trip back to the magic bowfin pond.

    Here’s a link to the action:

    https://youtu.be/RsYNbsRZQXY


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    NCFM likes this.


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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    raleigh
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    2,376

    Default

    brave man chasing them on purpose :-)
    2020 LMB Total :130; largest 6# 5oz! Total over 4:14; lifetime largest 9.25
    2020 Crappie Total:75 biggest:1.5#

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Durham
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    Default

    You know,

    https://youtu.be/QT9BeGNnCqw


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Argh. I need to catch my first 'fin this season! congratulations on the find!

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Garner
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Nice! I envy you, my bowfin spot is way too flooded with this rain.

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Pittsboro
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    103

    Default

    So I apparently spoke too soon...
    Went back today. The pond was murky, but still fishable. The wind was not cooperating much with us today, and neither were the snags, which we caught plenty of.

    Highlights of our day included

    1. Me hooking a large snapping turtle, with a head nearly the size of my fist;

    2. Hooking a really nice bowfin way behind the boat, then losing it after about 3 seconds.

    3. Hooking another bowfin next to the boat by smacking into in the face with my spinner. That didn’t go so well...

    Here’s video of #3!

    https://youtu.be/sTGeWcTQqdU


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    mindcrime likes this.


  9. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Chapel Hill
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pond Pounder View Post

    1. Me hooking a large snapping turtle, with a head nearly the size of my fist;
    I managed to do the same thing again a couple of days ago. And at the same place as the previous time, where I couldn't really "land" the thing even if I wanted to. But this time, I just kept bringing him in and them letting him swim away, hoping he would eventually manage to spit the hook out. Amazingly, that strategy actually worked after about the 3rd time I brought him in to me and then let him go again. Got my hook and bobber back, and the turtle wasn't left swimming around with a hook in his mouth and towing a couple of feet of mono around. I'll call that a win-win.

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Pittsboro
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    A few years back, I was at the beach with the wife’s family and took my nephews crabbing with some string a chicken necks. After soaking one of the necks for 5-10 minutes, I started to pull on the string gently and felt a steady tug. “Got something!” I told the boys. As I pulled the string higher and higher, eventually this giant snapping turtle head emerged. It was definitely bigger than my fist. The turtle had managed to swallow an entire chicken neck with no problem and I guess this was his regular hangout, where he could just gorge himself on chicken all summer long.

    All the way back to the house, my nephews kept stopping strangers to excitedly tell them about the Godzilla Turtle that Uncle Chris had caught....


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  11. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Central NC
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    Luv to catch bowfin......know that spot well.....it used to be so much better but the hurricaines 2 falls ago broke the dam so it is 1'1/2 feet lower than in used to be......
    Mowhawk pack , coleman scanoe, OT 158, 2 OT 119's,
    1232 Jon Boat, Wilderness Systems ATAK 140, Ascend 12T

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Raleigh - Brier Creek area
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    298

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    I’ve never caught a bowfin. I have to put that on my list, looks like fun!

  13. #11
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    Jul 2009
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    Pittsboro
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbhw View Post
    I’ve never caught a bowfin. I have to put that on my list, looks like fun!
    They are fun to catch. They pull like catfish and jump like bass. I have caught the majority of mine either while fishing cut bait on the bottom or casting spinners.


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  14. #12
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    Apr 2009
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    Central NC
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    Black Spinnerbait and Buble gum Senko wacky riged have been most effective for me (lure) Cut bait is killer but dont use more than a 4/0 hook. Bigger hooks sometimes hook them where they are hooked in the mouth but it comes out near their eye. not good for them plus the smaller hooks penetrate their hard mouths better.
    Mowhawk pack , coleman scanoe, OT 158, 2 OT 119's,
    1232 Jon Boat, Wilderness Systems ATAK 140, Ascend 12T

  15. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    9

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    Just curious. Why fish for bowfin? Just for sport? They do put up a good fight. I used to catch them all the time on Lake Waccamaw. Locals call them "grindle" and consider them trash fish.

    A word of warning: The first one I caught I put on my stringer and brought him ashore. By the time I had cleaned my bass and yellow perch, it was dead. I threw it in the edge of the woods. By that afternoon it was stinking to high heaven. My wife insisted I move it and I could hardly take a breath while getting it on a shovel and taking it about 100 yards into the woods. Unfortunately, we could smell it the following day, depening on the direction of the wind.

  16. #14
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    Aug 2017
    Location
    Garner
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbrattain View Post
    Just curious. Why fish for bowfin? Just for sport? They do put up a good fight. I used to catch them all the time on Lake Waccamaw. Locals call them "grindle" and consider them trash fish.
    They are great sport, like hooking into a dinosaur! I saw a huge one in the creek this morning but I was having less than the greatest of fishing trips and only caught a sunburn. It’s very cool watching bowfin swim, they’re super weird and definitely not trash fish.

  17. #15
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    Apr 2009
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    Central NC
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    ^^this...great sport and they bite when the largemouth sometimes dont. sometimes they fight lackluster bringing them in but when they see you they go ballistic!
    Mowhawk pack , coleman scanoe, OT 158, 2 OT 119's,
    1232 Jon Boat, Wilderness Systems ATAK 140, Ascend 12T

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