I will let out a secret to bowfin; well it’s not really a secret. But it took me quite sometime to nail it down.
Catch some good sized warmouth perch, Keep them alive until you’re ready to use them. Don’t know why, but they seem to prefer warmouth over any other species perch. I have access to 5 types and have tried all.
When ready to use it as Cut bait. Take a ice pick and poke a hole into his gut section, NOT the swim bladder and be careful NOT to hit any organs. Inject him with "Slab sauce" from Crappie.com. (you can fish him live like this for ALONG time, and he will leak concentrated SHAD, think scent trail), Or do what I do and beat the [censored] out of him with your seat pole or screwdriver handle, till he is all busted up inside and bloodied up the meat. Then cut him into 7 parts, tail, 4 mid sections (2 upper and 2 lower Beshure to cut OFF the fins!), then cut the head at angle from above the eye to the bottom of the gills.
The lower head (with the exposed brain) and the gut section is the Bowfin CANDY! The rest of the fish is decent at catching them, BUT you will get Big blues or channels LONG before a bowfin on any other part of the warmouth. You want chunks about the size of a half of a domino but dbl domino thick.
Fish this 1- 2 foot below a poppin cork, MAKE SHURE TO USE heavy duty stainless cable and a #6-8 Big game circle hook. BE ready for a fight like no other, Have your med heavy pole and thick braid (I use 65lb spiderwire green braid, Try and break this stuff! You won’t!).
You guys might think this rig is excessive, But I promise you its not. A 18lb bowfin will put up one heck of a fight! And his teeth are FAR larger than a Gar’s.
Gar teeth are more hook shaped for holding onto fish, Bowfin are Just like sharks, Large triangular razors they just obliterate what ever they bite and eat what’s left.
I get the big poppin corks from academy that has the solid wire through it and the loops on each end, then use a 150lb split ring attaching the stainless leader (get decent size wire, NO sissy dbl drop hook catfish sized stuff), then another 150lb split ring and finally a #7 circle hook. Make sure to slide that cut bait up onto the shank to expose as much of the hook as possible, I have been toying with the idea of trying out the shrink wrap like ol’ buddie does for his drop shot hooks to hold it halfway up the shank.
Toss this out 2-6 foot along the edge of Lillie pad fields or edges of Thick tree laydowns. The closest and Farthest from the bank I will fish is 6 foot deep. Bowfin is a mid and top water column fish (so make sure your leader below the cork is no longer than 2 foot), he will eat from the bottom if the bait is good enough. But your chances go up dramatically in 1-2 foot deep. They do prefer live bait, hence the shad leaking warmouth. Like any predator they will take the easy bait first.
Remember state record bowfin is 22.1 pounds. They are out there in places you would Never expect!
The above will increase your chances A LOT for large bowfin.
Edited by Ezdaar (05/24/10 06:07 PM)