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#102364 - 11/20/07 01:24 PM Bowfin - a beautiful fish
GW Offline
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Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 2286
Loc: Central florida
I didn't put this in the "Fish to choose" section because it's unlikely that anyone would go there and actually choose to stock BF.

I've never caught or even seen Bowfin before, but I'm interested to hear from anyone who has. Here are a few sites if you're interested:

http://www.bowfinanglers.com/index.html

http://www.landbigfish.com/fish/fish.cfm?ID=71


Btw, no offense to anyone in the legal profession, but Bowfin are also know as "Lawyers". \:o
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#102366 - 11/20/07 02:41 PM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: GW]
bobad Offline
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Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 2365
Loc: Eunice, Louisiana
I've caught a half dozen or more. They put up a good fight, and tend to jump, IIRC. They have wicked little teeth, so don't even try to lip one. The meat is bony, and I find it has an unappetizing color and taste. I hear they are tough to raise in a pond because of peculiar breeding needs. I find them repulsive, but that's just me. If you can warm up to a catfish, then a bowfin should be easy.
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#102367 - 11/20/07 03:33 PM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: bobad]
GW Offline
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Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 2286
Loc: Central florida
bobad, I've read several comments stating that Bowfin is good to eat. Like any fish the diet and water quality have an influence. If they don't reproduce well in ponds that could mean I can use them to help control WM numbers without fear that they'll overpopulate.

I think they're really beautiful:


And here's an interesting article about BF from ESPN

http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/tv/columns/story?columnist=sutton_keith&page=g_col_sutton_bowfin
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#102369 - 11/20/07 03:54 PM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: GW]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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If you think dinosaurs are beautiful, which is what they are. \:\)
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#102370 - 11/20/07 04:26 PM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: Cecil Baird1]
Shorty Online   content
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Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 4056
Loc: Raymond, NE
 Quote:
If you think dinosaurs are beautiful, which is what they are.


Add in a few Gar, and it's Jurassic Pond management.
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#102372 - 11/20/07 05:03 PM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: Shorty]
GW Offline
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Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 2286
Loc: Central florida
Cindy did say that she wouldn't mind Alligators if we didn't have pets...
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#102378 - 11/20/07 09:15 PM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: GW]
catmandoo Online   content
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5652
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
 Quote:
On the longest coldest nights in January when the temperatures are -20F or colder at 10pm you bundle up, bring your firewood and buckets, your 4 prong spears and your Kerosene Lamps and aluminum foil and beer and snacks and head out to the frozen muddy rivers feeding off the great Lake Superior. You bring a ice saw and open a large rectangular opening which you stand around with at least 4 other people holding your spear ready to strike. You watch for the telltale snake like S movements in the muddy water and stab vigorously at nothing when you're sure something is there. Your Lights are focused on the water with aluminum foil circling the back of the lamp. A raging blaze is going close by on the hill and all people maintain a constant shifting movement from foot to foot. This goes on at least until all the beer and snacks are gone, or the stories run out.

from: Wisconsin Lawyer Fishing



Bowfin are called "lawyers" where I grew up in Northern Wisconsin. In the 1960s I spent many winter nights on the thick ice of the muddy Nemadji River spearing lawyers.
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#102379 - 11/20/07 09:23 PM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: catmandoo]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Registered: 08/08/02
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Cat are you sure you're not talking about Lingcod AKA lawyer fish, burbot or cusk which are not the same as a bowfin?


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#102383 - 11/20/07 09:35 PM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: Cecil Baird1]
catmandoo Online   content
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 Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1
Cat are you sure you're not talking about Lingcod AKA lawyer fish, burbot or cusk which are not the same as a bowfin?



Cecil,

You're absolutely right. After I posted that, I did a little Googling. I was thinking that the bowfin photos were a lot more handsome than the lawyers. They are.

Sorry about the mixup.

Ken
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#102386 - 11/20/07 09:47 PM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: catmandoo]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Loc: Northeastern Indiana
Yeah the burbot are creepy looking. Are they really as good to eat as they say they are?


Edited by Cecil Baird1 (11/20/07 09:48 PM)
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#102389 - 11/20/07 10:06 PM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: Cecil Baird1]
Theo Gallus Offline
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Registered: 05/14/04
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Loc: Central Ohio
 Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1
Yeah the burbot are creepy looking. Are they really as good to eat as they say they are?


Good to drink, too, when fermented and distilled into Burbon.
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#102390 - 11/20/07 10:12 PM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: Theo Gallus]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 18957
Loc: Miss.
Here is a bowfin from one of the ponds. We did not stock it someone else did. \:o Greg helped electrofish it out. \:\)


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#102395 - 11/20/07 10:50 PM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: ewest]
GW Offline
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Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 2286
Loc: Central florida
Cecil, Bowfin are called Lawyer fish also.

Burbot (Lota lota):



Bowfin (Amia calva):



ewest, nice photo of a "lawyer". \:D
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#102396 - 11/20/07 11:17 PM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: GW]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 20043
Loc: Northeastern Indiana
 Originally Posted By: GW
Cecil, Bowfin are called Lawyer fish also.

Burbot (Lota lota):



Bowfin (Amia calva):



ewest, nice photo of a "lawyer". \:D


I have no doubt about that. Thank God for scientific names or we'd all be confused.
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#102400 - 11/21/07 08:08 AM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: Cecil Baird1]
Limb Bream Offline
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Registered: 10/04/05
Posts: 118
Loc: Raceland, LA
Bowfin are called choupic in this area. Growing up, I've always considered them a trash fish, but the "coonass's" that I work with swear that they are delicious. I caught one and they convinced me to try it. Actually, it didn't taste bad, but I just had a hard time getting by the "trash fish" mindset. One thing that I've always heard is that you have to keep them alive before you clean them or the meat will get extremely soft and mushy.
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#102401 - 11/21/07 08:22 AM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: Cecil Baird1]
catmandoo Online   content
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 Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1
Yeah the burbot are creepy looking. Are they really as good to eat as they say they are?


I must admit that I've never tasted one. Whenever we went out for them, my mother would admonish us with "don't bring any of those greasy things into my house!"

The older brother of a friend had a mink farm, and as I recall that is where most of them went.

We never caught any that looked as nice as the one in Cecil's picture. None looked anywhere near as pretty as the drawings that are posted. The ones we speared were typically 15 to 20 inches long, but skinny like eels or fat snakes. Their colors were generally a very mottled dark green to brown. They were ugly.


Edited by catmandoo (11/21/07 09:02 AM)
Edit Reason: grammar/spelling
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#102404 - 11/21/07 08:48 AM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: Cecil Baird1]
J. E. Craig Offline
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Registered: 05/19/06
Posts: 203
Loc: Jacksonvile, FL
Swamp Bass, Cypress Bass, Grindle are other names that I have found. I have removed about nine from my pond. They averaged 4-6 Lbs. They put up a better fight than the 6lb LMB that I have caught in the pond. One broke the eye of a #1 Gakamatsu LMB hook. I later found the broken hook in the fish's gut when I caught him again. Two 6lb Bowfin were my 16 yo son's first larger fish. Numerous jumps, powerful tail so it was fast in the water hence it quickly covers a lot of water. My son was wide eyed & excited when he landed the fish. They have a lot more mucus than other fish. Most we removed to other waters. I have never tried to clean & cook one. Some say they are OK to eat if prepared properly. I am sure I still have at least one in the pond. I want them out as they compete with the LMB for forage. They are active & feeding at the same time catfish are.

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#102407 - 11/21/07 09:11 AM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: Limb Bream]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Registered: 08/08/02
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Loc: Northeastern Indiana
Limb bream,

I've mounted a few bowfin (Lota lota) and their flesh was indeed mushy when I skinned them out. I heard though tht someone is raising them for their eggs and selling them as caviar.
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#102415 - 11/21/07 10:51 AM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: Cecil Baird1]
GW Offline
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Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 2286
Loc: Central florida
Just for clarity Bowfin is Amia calva not Lota lota which is Burbot. ;\)
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#102422 - 11/21/07 11:58 AM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: GW]
burgermeister Offline
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Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 4025
Loc: Houston, Tx.
I thought burdot was a French red wine. Theo says you make bourbon with it.??
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#102424 - 11/21/07 12:01 PM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: burgermeister]
GW Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 2286
Loc: Central florida
Starting the holiday celebration early burger?
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#102444 - 11/21/07 04:15 PM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: GW]
Cecil Baird1 Offline
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Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 20043
Loc: Northeastern Indiana
I knew that! My brain is getting mushy!
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#102452 - 11/21/07 06:43 PM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: Cecil Baird1]
bobad Offline
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Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 2365
Loc: Eunice, Louisiana
Cecil,

Since Cod is probably the most delicious fish in the sea, I supppose anything in the cod family would be good eating too.

As for bowfin, never again. I think I would rather eat carp. \:D
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#102457 - 11/21/07 07:55 PM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: bobad]
GW Offline
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Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 2286
Loc: Central florida
WHAT!


Ooooh, CARP.
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#102465 - 11/21/07 09:25 PM Re: Bowfin - a beautiful fish [Re: GW]
Limb Bream Offline
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Registered: 10/04/05
Posts: 118
Loc: Raceland, LA


Cecil,

They were being harvested so heavily for their eggs in Louisiana a few years back that the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries actually approved a size limit of 16 inches.

For anyone interested, I'm told that cut bluegill make excellent bait for bowfin. They definitely do put up an awesome fight!
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