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mainbutter

chasing bowfin?

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My girlfriend and her parents are headed out of town to do a self-guided trip of the colorado river through the grand canyon.

They'll be gone for somewhere around 4 weeks.

What does this mean? LOTS of time to myself for fishing! lol.

I've decided to make it my goal to add another species to the list, and with all the bowfin pictures floating around today I figured that's as good a place as any to start.

Anyone want to throw some suggestions my way about how to chase bowfin from shore? I know next to nothing about them, never even seen one before. The only thing I know about bowfin is how to tell them apart from snakeheads.

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Fish for them like you would fish for largemouth. Same lures can work, similar locations, etc. They were in really shallow where I was today, way up in the weeds, only a few feet from shore. The one I caught (out of the many I saw) ate a sucker head that I tossed into an open pocket in the weeds.

Use a steel leader. It's important.

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Use a steel leader. It's important.

i have NEVER used a steel leader for bowfin. i dont find it necesarry. i stick to flouro, and i have never once had a bowfin bite off. ive had some break off, but NEVER bite off.

there is definately a pattern in bowfin behavior and where to find them. right now, bullrushes and pencil reeds are your best bet. the bullrushes and pencil reeds are full of YOY panfish. and bowfin are stacked in there THICK. i have caught 2 record breakers the past week.

sight fishing is the way to go when fishing bullrushes and pencil reeds. you should wade the area, because you will need to react quickly to make sure the fins dont wrap you in the reeds and snap you off. if you use line above 20lbs, you will be fine. but any less, and you better do anything in ur power to keep the fish in your control.

to fish reeds effectively, you should use long rod. i use a cheap downrigger rod i got from fleet. and use a jig heavy enough so it will go straight down into the reeds. jiggle the bait right in front of the bowfin, a strike will result about 70 percent of the time.

now, if teh bowfin arent in bullrushes. target shallow lagoons. lagoons where crappies spawn in the spring are the best. and if you see carp, there will be bowfin. bowfin are stealth predators, and they sometimes use carp as a decoy. if a carp shows no fear, panfish will realize it is "safe" only to find a bowfin hidden somewhere nearby.

it is important to fish every inch of the lagoon. but start along and in weeds and structure. then docks (if there are any) then open water.

if nothing, it is now time to hit pads and other shallow vegetation. first use a search technique, i usually use a float rig, with preserved or cut bait just off the bottom. scent is VERY important if you cannot see the fins. i cast to an open area in vegation, and wait 10 minutes.

if you see fins or catch one, there will likely be more in the area, now is the time to start casting. or continue float fishing.

if no bowfin show up, or hit. i move to the next patch, put on a fresh bait. and repeat. if nothing there, hit spawning creeks. there have been numerous times when i have fished every area for fins, but never got 1. only to go into a creek and get a beauty.

here is a perfect example, a 9lb black beauty!

Photo0168.jpg

tight lines!

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Huskerben I'm with you. I always use a leader when Fins are around sure it my not always bite off but it happens. in the Pads i like mice and frogs on the top and double bladed spinners on the edge of the reeds and pads. Live Bait is always an option we used to get them after dark all the time on Osakis near a creek mouth with crawlers, leeches and fatheads.

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Ben were you there the time I broke off 4 of them using 12 pound flouro? Bit off every time but I had no leader and they were biting hard. I feel a leader is a good idea. Jake didn't those "record breakers" come off your hook? or break the line?

Good luck chasing new life listers it is always cool! I added 2 to mine yesterday and I am in the 40's I think.

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Huskerben I'm with you. I always use a leader when Fins are around sure it my not always bite off but it happens. in the Pads i like mice and frogs on the top and double bladed spinners on the edge of the reeds and pads. Live Bait is always an option we used to get them after dark all the time on Osakis near a creek mouth with crawlers, leeches and fatheads.

my dad is gonna be moving in with his girlfriend in osakis (just sold his house here in alex) and i will be there every other weekend. care to share that creek mouth so i can fish for fins there?

my email is carpmanjake@hotmail.com if you dont want to share it on here

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Jake didn't those "record breakers" come off your hook? or break the line?

got away while landing them. but i touched both of them. that IMO is catching them

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Ben were you there the time I broke off 4 of them using 12 pound flouro?

i use 20lb saltwater flourocarbon, or yo- zuri hybrid. never once had one bite through em.

speaking of all this leader stuff... i have a spool of 1x7 surf strand if anyone wants it. i got it the winter of '07 for fishing bowfin. and have not used any of it. except i did make a a couple northern leaders for fly fishing.

its a 30ft spool and there is like 25 feet left or something like that

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Aaron, was that the time with the ghetto bobber? If so, yeah, I was there.

I like the idea of using flouro leaders, and in a lot of situtions, I do, even with toothy critters. I also use my ultralight on double-digit carp. And I have caught incidental bowfins on 4# mono. It can be done. But when I have a choice, I use a leader for bowfin, and I use a beefier rod. Don't take a knife to a gunfight, you know...

It's personal preference, and that's mine.

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Aaron, was that the time with the ghetto bobber? If so, yeah, I was there.

Don't take a knife to a gunfight, you know...

It's personal preference, and that's mine.

That Ghetto bobber was kick butt! And yes that was the time.

I love the quote about the gunfight! That is why I use 80 pound test on sturgeon. I spent 3 hours one time and do not allow under gunned peeps fish my boat.

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my dad is gonna be moving in with his girlfriend in osakis (just sold his house here in alex) and i will be there every other weekend. care to share that creek mouth so i can fish for them

Head of the Lakes between Little Osakis and Osakis. We had a dock to the north of the creek mouth and always had luck after dark. We caught some nice Fins while chasing Sunnies in the reeds all over that lake. Good Luck

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Aaron, was that the time with the ghetto bobber? If so, yeah, I was there.

I like the idea of using flouro leaders, and in a lot of situtions, I do, even with toothy critters. I also use my ultralight on double-digit carp. And I have caught incidental bowfins on 4# mono. It can be done. But when I have a choice, I use a leader for bowfin, and I use a beefier rod. Don't take a knife to a gunfight, you know...

It's personal preference, and that's mine.

my personal prefferance is always going as light as possible. almost every one of my rods are UL, L, or ML. the heaviest i have is my DAM carp rod, which i only use catfishing now. in fact, every single bowfin i have caught this year was on the UL with 6lb trilene sensation, in total, thats well over 30.

the heaviest rod i have ever used for bowfin, was my Medium action ugly stick. and which i always had either 8 or 10lb line on.

never once used a wire leader for bowfin. and bowfin are by far the species i am most known for in the area (them and carp. lol)

i caught over 200 bowfin in total last year (entered every single bowfin in a bowfin contest on another site)

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Thanks for all the info guys!! It'll help tons.

[PoorWordUsage] I REALLY should be using steel", but nothing more than a couple nicks.

I'm not saying that it's bite-proof, but I've seen steel leaders fail as well.

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got away while landing them. but i touched both of them. that IMO is catching them

haha, yeah, successful full water release..

hey carpman, what kind of scale do you use, if you don't mind me asking?

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Originally Posted By: carpmanjake
got away while landing them. but i touched both of them. that IMO is catching them

haha, yeah, successful full water release..

hey carpman, what kind of scale do you use, if you don't mind me asking?

50lb digital rapala scale. the one with the handle that comes off the top, not the cheap one.

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Originally Posted By: kittycatcher16
And if you dont mind me asking...how old are you jake?? 14-15?

17. 18 on november 25th

haha i have the opposite happen to me. people think i'm 18, 19, or even 20. but i just turned 14 a few weeks ago

thats funny

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Originally Posted By: HuskerBen
Aaron, was that the time with the ghetto bobber? If so, yeah, I was there.

Don't take a knife to a gunfight, you know...

It's personal preference, and that's mine.

That Ghetto bobber was kick butt! And yes that was the time.

I love the quote about the gunfight! That is why I use 80 pound test on sturgeon. I spent 3 hours one time and do not allow under gunned peeps fish my boat.

What size wheels do you roll with on a ghetto bobber?

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