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#12006764 - 12/27/16 09:48 PM Bowfin
keener205 Offline

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 31
Loc: Wills Point ,TX
Anyone fish for these mean looking fish. I'm looking to try and boat some. Any help or how too tips will help. I'm located over by Taw I hear they are in fork so it's an easy drive to get there.

#12007028 - 12/28/16 08:19 AM Re: Bowfin [Re: keener205]
Freshwater Phil Offline

Registered: 01/10/13
Posts: 285
Loc: North of the Border
Not sure when their spawn occurs down South, but we generally find them in flooded grass about about 1 month after ice out when the water hits about 50 degrees. The are extremely aggressive and will attack anything you drop in front of them when they are staging to spawn, also have cool turquoise color pattern at that stage.

Caught this one last spring while crossing flooded vegetation in less than 6 inches of water, just came up on it and dropped the spinnerbait I was using for pike in front of it's nose.

PB common = 38.5 lbs
PB mirror = 22.5 lbs
PB musky = 52 inches (40 lb fatty)
PB blue cat = 59 lbs
PB lake sturgeon = 57 inches
PB alligator gar = 65 lbs

2015 big ones:

#12007094 - 12/28/16 08:54 AM Re: Bowfin [Re: keener205]
Fishbreeder Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 1385
Loc: Brazoria County, Texas
Well, not on purpose, but they are among the coolest of fish.

They are ubiquitous in the aquatic environments of Texas, but the ones I've caught have been mostly in oxbows, creeks or rivers. I caught a lot more of them electrofishing than with a pole.

Most folks catch one of these accidentally while bass or crappie fishing. Most of the ones I've caught were in calm or even stagnant backwaters and along shorelines in spring.

Not sure if its the male or female, but if you happen upon a nest in shallow water, it'll jump out of the water right at you to try and scare you off. Which pretty much works if you're not expecting it.

Awesome fish. I saw a lady catch one in her backyard during a flood, it was on the news, she thought it was a redfish.

#12013701 - 01/01/17 12:16 AM Re: Bowfin [Re: keener205]
Scoundrel Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/05/13
Posts: 946
Loc: Bedrock.
Found a big one many years ago guarding a cloud of babies about 1.5 inches, at first it looked like black baby catfish cloud. Was able to scoop up a couple and kept them in a small aquarium with some guppies which they killed pretty quickly. Cool looking fish. Have caught them in several East Tx lakes mostly on spinnerbaits.

#12014960 - 01/01/17 07:01 PM Re: Bowfin [Re: keener205]
keener205 Offline

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 31
Loc: Wills Point ,TX
Cool. Does anyone target them on any lakes in east Texas. If so what's the best way and when and how to get them.

#12077303 - 02/04/17 09:17 PM Re: Bowfin [Re: keener205]
texdanm Offline

Registered: 04/22/14
Posts: 66
I used to fish for them all the time when I lived in Beaumont. They like the swamp holes and will get wildly aggressive when the water goes down and you can find them trapped in a hole. I used H&H spinners when I knew where they were but for finding them I liked bigger dead minnows under floats with just a little weight. MAN you talk about fun. They fight furiously and I've never caught a little one. I wonder if the big ones eat the little ones so they just don't live in the same places. I've seen a couple of people try to thumb one before they knew what the hell they had. THAT is a mistake you only make once!

Unfortunately I've never found anybody that knew of any use you could put them to. They are just about totally uneatable. We usually killed them in the good fishing holes because they will ruin the bass or crappie fishing if they get too plentiful. The ones in the swamps were catch and release.

#12086163 - 02/09/17 06:08 PM Re: Bowfin [Re: keener205]
FishinTime Online   content

Registered: 11/22/08
Posts: 281
Loc: OUT of Dallas Co. SOON !!
I used to catch them in a branch fed pond in far east Texas and throw them on the shore. As stated earlier it was when I was bass fishing. Mostly using plastic worms in the trees. An old neighbor there told me to quit throwing them away because they were delicious, he said to cut up the filets and fry them like catfish but you had to eat them when they were still hot/warm. Once they cooled off they would get "cottony".

The next one I caught I kept and cleaned, cutting the fillets into strips. The meat is pink and so slimy you can hardly hold onto it. I battered it and fried it. The fish was delicious, white and flakey with very little fishy taste. After I was full there were a few pieces left. About 20 minutes later I grabbed one and sure enough when I bit into it I could barely pull a bite off of it. It was cottony and inedible. So try it because it's great but eat it hot//warm.
HuntingTexas on THF

#12100224 - 02/18/17 06:54 AM Re: Bowfin [Re: keener205]
Laker One Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 11969
Loc: San Antonio TX
Great fighters. boxing

#12111988 - 02/25/17 06:38 PM Re: Bowfin [Re: keener205]
Lost Oki Offline

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 55
We used to catch them in strip pits using cut bait. Edible ?? I have smoked the fillet until is is dry, almost crisp and it is passable but still tastes a little like cotton.

#12112408 - 02/26/17 05:41 AM Re: Bowfin [Re: keener205]
Brad R Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1847
Loc: Texas
We have them up in the NW corner of Lake Athens behind my house. I paddled in toward the bank to get out of the water in my kayak a week or so ago and one was just casually swimming by in 3 feet of water, unfazed by my presence. And, I suppose it was 3 or 4 days ago now that I thought I spotted a large bass swimming by at the end of a boat dock . . . but it was a bowfin, again just sort of casually swimming by at about 1 or 2 feet below the surface.

To me, they look like sausages with fins ambling along at an idling sort of speed. Lots of vegetation where I am, lots of shad and various bait fish to munch on which I assume is their target food source.

New on the lake, and no I haven't hooked into one yet nor have I targeted them. I did flip my lure in the face of the one at the end of the dock but it showed no interest. I can't recall what I had tied on. My neighbor has caught them while targeting LMBs and he said one of the ones he caught was huge and all that he has caught fought aggressively.


#12166759 - 03/31/17 12:22 AM Re: Bowfin [Re: keener205]
taterpop Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/30/13
Posts: 874
I drained a pond and started to clean the bottom out all but one spot and it was slow about drying up. That's the only spot that I didn't scoop out.Now the rain filled the pond back up,I have a clean pond ready to restock with catfish. Not so, I went out to look at my handy work only to find a cloud of baby BowFin with a mother guarding them and i thought where did you come from so the search was on. That's how I found out that a BowFin will go down in the mud and live until the rain comes. My pond had been stocked with BowFin by nature. I went back to the house and got my shot gun and gave that cloud of babies a blast.

#12195286 - 04/12/17 08:03 AM Re: Bowfin [Re: keener205]
Draftstud Offline

Registered: 02/07/13
Posts: 39
We have caught them in Bayous and Lakes, sorta they are where they are. I have been where you literally had to leave because they took everything but your rod and reel from you! Old timer told me also as other have said that they must be hot when you eat them. Awesome fighter!


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