Went out today to Oyster Creek looking for some active common carp that were willing to play. The water was high and muddier than I wanted but I could still see some mud plumes from working fish. I casted to one and my line went tight. I strip set and the fish took off like a shot. I immediately knew it wasn't a carp and thought I had hooked into a big largemouth after she made a few jumps clear out of the water. When she finally slowed down a bit, I saw that her body shape and tail were all wrong. Finally the fish tired and much to my surprise it was a bowfin.
I've seen people in the Houston area (especially Danny Scarborough of Houston Fly Fishing) catch these but didn't think there were many outside of Lake Houston. I was really impressed with this fish as fly rod quarry and I'm surprised that more people aren't actively targeting them. It fought like a cross between a carp and a bass between the jumps and pulling strength.
As I was trying to land it, the fish made some heinous snapping noises and I got a good look at its teeth. I can honestly say I've never been so nervous or careful unhooking a freshwater fish. The business end of bowfin are definitely not to be messed with.
The carp fishing has also been on fire as the weather has warmed. Commons are gorging themselves and fighting like mad when hooked. This medium specimen took me over ten minutes to land until he finally tired out.
I know the DFW guys are well represented on this board but the fishing has been awesome down here in Houston as well, so if you're wondering whether it's a good time to grab your rod, don't hesitate.