BOWFIN

How to identify a Bowfin

The bowfin is easily recognized by its flattened head; long, stout body; large mouth full of small sharp teeth; long dorsal fin that extends along most of the back; and rounded tail. In the males there is a spot surrounded by an orange-yellow halo on the upper area of the caudal peduncle. In the females the spot either is not ocellated or is lacking entirely.It is able to gulp air from the surface directly into the air bladder, which is connected to the throat and can be used as a lung. It can also withstand high temperatures, for which reasons it survives in waters unsuited to most other fishes.

Where to catch Bowfin

Inhabits the eastern U.S.A. from the Mississippi River basin eastward to the St. Lawrence River in the north, and southward from Minnesota to the Gulf Coast; from eastern Texas to and including all of Florida.

IDENTIFICATION

How to Identify a Bowfin
 1 Males have a spot surrounded by an orange-yellow halo on the upper area of the caudal peduncle

 2 Long dorsal fin that extends along most of the back

 3 Flattened head; long, stout body; large mouth full of small sharp teeth

TARGET AREAS

  • Cliffs and Steep Shore Banks
  • Freshwater Lakes and Ponds
  • Holes
  • Inside Turns and Coves
  • Open Water
  • Piers, Docks and Pilings
  • Rocks
  • Spring Holes
  • Walkways and Bridges
  • Dams and Falls
  • Gradual Shores
  • Inlets and Outlets
  • Islands or Sand Bars
  • Overhanging Trees and Bushes
  • Points and Break Lines
  • Shoreline Shallows
  • Sunken Objects
  • Freshwater Weed Beds

Acknowledgements:  We thank TAKEMEFISHING.org (www.takemefishing.org), Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Indiana Department of Natural Resources for their contributions to these FISH FACTS.

Acknowledgements:  We thank TAKEMEFISHING.org (www.takemefishing.org), Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for their contributions to these FISH FACTS.

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