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Bowfin Questions
#395738 12/27/14 11:01 AM
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Are they any good as a pondfish? have any of you ever tried them? Will they spawn/lay eggs in most ponds or do they have complex spawning requirements and will they have to be restocked at some point? Can they coexist with other fish?

Re: Bowfin Questions
aaronmac #395742 12/27/14 11:13 AM
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They'd compete with LMB/SMB for the same type of forage food and they will spawn in a pond/lake. I know that their eggs are collected for a type of caviar, but I have never heard of them as being raised as a food fish for their flesh.


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Re: Bowfin Questions
esshup #395744 12/27/14 11:19 AM
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Down south here they are a scourge that will eat everything in the pond if given a chance, we call them grinnells. Not sure you can eat them- never heard of anybody eatin them- prolly depends what water condition they are in. Very aggressive fish that fights well. Mostly a swamp dweller.

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Re: Bowfin Questions
Pat Williamson #395745 12/27/14 11:40 AM
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Read posting in Wikipedia. Burbot, a similar looking fish but far different taxonomically, is certainly considered better eating.
West of the continental divide, Burbot are becoming a problem. Read Wyoming Game and Fish stuff on Burbot Flaming Gorge Reservoir if you'd like some more info.

Re: Bowfin Questions
esshup #395748 12/27/14 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted By: esshup
They'd compete with LMB/SMB for the same type of forage food and they will spawn in a pond/lake. I know that their eggs are collected for a type of caviar, but I have never heard of them as being raised as a food fish for their flesh.


As a fish taxidermist I've mounted a few. The flesh is different than most species. Kind of sticky and greasy.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






Re: Bowfin Questions
aaronmac #395749 12/27/14 12:29 PM
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aaronmac,

I have a few in my pond and did not realize till after I had stocked my Fathead mennows and Bluegill.

I was observing my Fatheds schooling by the bank one evening when I seen a green submarine come up from the bottom real slow and swallow a mouth full. I happen to have a shotgun with me so I assisted him in making the transition into the next life. 3 pounder.... Became worm food.

Since then, we have caught 10 more, one at a weight of 7 pounds 1 ounce.

Food wise, you have to know how to clean them by removing the blood line or the mud line near the spine. The locals will eat them but for me, i just prefer to make them fertilizer for the garden. If you freeze the meat and defrost, it will come out mushy.....yuck....

We have several names we call them, Swamp Bass, Cypres Trout, Shoupique, Mudfish, Griddle, Bowfin, Mud pike.

Wikipedia Quote "Bowfin were once considered to have little commercial value because of its poor tasting meat which has been referred to as "soft, bland-tasting and of poor texture".[2][10] However, it is considered quite palatable if cleaned properly and smoked, or prepared fried, blackened, used in courtbouillion, or in fishballs or fishcakes."

Coupe


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Re: Bowfin Questions
Couppedeville #395752 12/27/14 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted By: Couppedeville
aaronmac,

If you freeze the meat and defrost, it will come out mushy.....yuck....



That makes perfect sense as that is what they are like after I get them out of the freezer to skin.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






Re: Bowfin Questions
aaronmac #395753 12/27/14 12:43 PM
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Interesting thing about them I read on the NANFA (North American Native Fish Association). (Or was it a PM he sent me?) Someone was able to seine a bunch of small ones with a permit and ended up selling them for research at a very good price. Anyway, he said what was really weird was they would only face in one direction in the circular tank regardless of the direction of the flow. He thinks it has something to do with their primitive ancestry and the Coriolis Effect.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






Re: Bowfin Questions
aaronmac #395754 12/27/14 12:45 PM
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I am hoping and assuming that a body of water with well establish predators such as LMB, Catfish, that the new hatchlings will be consumed before reaching adulthood.

I will have to make a walk around the pond tonight and see if I can eyeball any of them.

Coupe


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Re: Bowfin Questions
aaronmac #395755 12/27/14 12:47 PM
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Cecil,

Did he specify which direction? That is very interesting information.


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Re: Bowfin Questions
aaronmac #395756 12/27/14 12:55 PM
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Aaronmac,

I am curious. With all the "good" fish available for stocking, why do you want to stock bowfin?


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Re: Bowfin Questions
aaronmac #395763 12/27/14 02:18 PM
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They are a fascinating fish, living fossil that has been around since the dinosaurs time,would serve a predator role, tolerant of low oxygen and I have heard they get fairly big and put up a nice fight if someone wanted to ever try fishing their pond..

Re: Bowfin Questions
aaronmac #395764 12/27/14 02:20 PM
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They about like putting a crocodile in a swimming pool... Not normally a real good idea... Well maybee sometimes!


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Re: Bowfin Questions
aaronmac #395765 12/27/14 03:18 PM
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If you want a predator that grows larger and tolerates low oxygen consider the northern pike (NP). The meat is better to eat than bowfin.


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Re: Bowfin Questions
aaronmac #395774 12/27/14 05:19 PM
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Pat,

"They about like putting a crocodile in a swimming pool".

Now that is funny, don't care who you are....lol

I would do anything to get rid of them.....

I had just a small puddle left when I made my pond and elected not to kill what was there......did't think anything was there.....lesson learned and passing along.....,go the distance and kill what is left in a puddle.....even if nothing moves in the water....

Coupe


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Re: Bowfin Questions
aaronmac #395777 12/27/14 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted By: aaronmac
They are a fascinating fish, living fossil that has been around since the dinosaurs time,would serve a predator role, tolerant of low oxygen and I have heard they get fairly big and put up a nice fight if someone wanted to ever try fishing their pond..


Aaronmac,
Bowfin (choupique) are considered nothing short of an armored eating machine (trash fish) in the south. I cannot see any value in placing this species in a pond. They will wreck your forage world. Yes, it's truly fascinating that the species has survived from its prehistoric origin. Maybe a large aquarium would be more apropos if you are fascinated with and would like to study this species.


...when in doubt...set the hook...
Re: Bowfin Questions
stickem' #395778 12/27/14 08:26 PM
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They're abundant here in any BOW the river gets into when it floods. Fierce fighters and a 3 footer will destroy most common tackle. The local Western Auto used to give away a Zebco rod and reel to whoever brought in the biggest fish caught every Saturday. I won at least a dozen of them over the years by bringing in grinnils. Some black guys from up north used to come down a few times in the summer to fish for them. They called them cypress trout and bragged about how good they were. I never tried them but I had a great uncle who like them better than any other fish and he said you has to hang them up alive and bleed them out before you cleaned them or he didn't like them.

Re: Bowfin Questions
poppy65 #395779 12/27/14 08:35 PM
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If you ever get mad at a pond owner dump a handful of grinnells in his pond.... Wow that is mean ain't it... They do fight well.


Pat

Re: Bowfin Questions
aaronmac #395781 12/27/14 08:59 PM
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A big Choupique will tear up anything not bolted down in a boat too, if they ever come unhooked and get to flopping around...personal experience....


...when in doubt...set the hook...
Re: Bowfin Questions
stickem' #395783 12/27/14 09:07 PM
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They were sure a scourge back when some buddies and I liked to run jugs or trot lines in the river washouts. They would eat anything we used for bait trying to catch catfish and would often get hooked on a trot line before we got across the washout baiting hooks. If we had the patience to fish out the grinnils a bit, we could catch some nice catfish.

Re: Bowfin Questions
aaronmac #395786 12/27/14 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted By: aaronmac
They are a fascinating fish, living fossil that has been around since the dinosaurs time,would serve a predator role, tolerant of low oxygen and I have heard they get fairly big and put up a nice fight if someone wanted to ever try fishing their pond..


For me they are without a doubt the hardest fighting fish I have ever caught. They can really make a drag sing.

IIRR they can breath out of water.

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 12/27/14 09:33 PM.

If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






Re: Bowfin Questions
aaronmac #395787 12/27/14 09:38 PM
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In South Louisiana where I grew up, I've seen some interesting and innovative commercial uses for the choupique.

In Pierre Part, LA there used to be a guy who raised them in above ground pools in his yard and would remove their rowe by making an incision in their underbelly, then stich it back up using some type of thread. I used to pass the guys house often on my way to the Atchafallaya Basin to go fishing and stopped one day when I saw him outside and he shared the process with me.

Then there was a place on La. Hwy 1 south of Paincourtvile right on Bayou Lafourche that sold choupique poboys that were excellent. The owner said the trick was to cook them fresh....so after you ordered, he'd go out back and net a fish in his tubs, clean it, and fry it up.

Some of you may be familar with John Folse's seafood cook book, Hook, Fin's and Alibi's, among his other 2 popular ones, and he states that "With less than 5 percent salt content, Cajun Caviar ranks among the finest malossol (little salt) caviar in the world." Folse cites the common La name "choupique" being derived from the Choctaw Indian word, "shupik" which means mudfish.

All that considered, they are about the last fish I'd want in my pond....right in the same category as alligator gar:-)

Re: Bowfin Questions
playsomehonk #395796 12/27/14 10:47 PM
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Aaronmac

Well now what do you think of bowfins ? It would be a fine experiment, and we think you aught to give em a whirl! Let us know how it works ...... Just kidding

They are an interesting critter but not for everyone


Pat W

Re: Bowfin Questions
Pat Williamson #395813 12/28/14 07:05 AM
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Pat, I would like to have a "trash fish" pond - just for fly fishing ...grinnels and carp come to mind ...don't know what I would feed them - each other maybe.. laugh
They would be tackle busters for sure!
G/



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Original george #173 (22 June 2002)




Re: Bowfin Questions
aaronmac #395815 12/28/14 08:32 AM
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I have caught many a Bowfin, we call them Grennel up here in N.La. The Bowfin is one of the hardest fighting fresh water fish I know of. Caddo Lake is close and where this fish lives. I thought of transplanting one to my pond. The largest I have caught would be in the 12 to 15 lb range. A 4 lb fish will tear up a spinnerbait and a 10# fish will tear up a Jig nd Pig. As long as no breading goes on, it would be a blast to catch one as a surprise once in a while. But, sometimes u would have to replace your artificial bait after catching one of the larger size fish. I have seen Duck guides go nuts for these fish when duck hunting in S. La. In hard rains, in high water , they would catch them by hand for cooking, and for the row.


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