bowfin from Toronto Islands,Lake Ontario

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weedfish
weedfish's picture
bowfin from Toronto Islands,Lake Ontario

april 15, 2012

Toronto Islands, downtown Toronto, Lake Ontario

foggy and rainy weather

targeting bowfin...

encountered 8 bowfin

3 disliked presentation

1 broke off stalking worm to attack a pike in a territorial battle

1 cut the line

2 owner cicle hooks staightened

1 bowfin successfully landed

used 7ft st croix rod med action / daiwa 1600 ss tournament whisker reel / owner circle hooks/ 6lb mono

i prefer to use power pro 5lb braid but the water clarity was too good....

i ussually do not get my first bowfin until the last week in april so this was a treat.

result of battle royale....

 

 

 

Reekfish
Reekfish's picture
Nice 'Fin!

Congrats! Bowfin sure are crafty about getting off the hook. Glad you got one. Was it "Easy to Cook?" wink

Tyler W
Nice Bow

Nice Bowfin. I need to get out and target them. 8 fish like that in a day is a good day. What sized hook are you using that can be straightened with 6lb mono? Or, is it the Owner brand?

Ken
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weedfish
weedfish's picture
yes your right they are easy

yes your right they are easy to cook and it was delicious...mmmmm

catch and release was practiced....the rice bag keeps the fish from wiping off too much slime...

as well it is slippery so the bowfin can't get too far too quick on me.....

thanks...ps the bowfin your holding in your avatar looks like it probably put up a sweet fight too...

gosh your comfortable around the biting creatures....i think it was alligators a week or two ago?? and bowfin....

you hold them like a trusted pet..not something that can turn and bite....its good strategy...they don't feel threatened thus no reason to bcome agressive.

 

remember your place among all living beings

"the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"......eleanor roosevelt

"rotten fish" why are they so much smarter than me

weedfish
weedfish's picture
hooks

i use size 10 mutu light circle hooks by owner....

they are ussually way better for not bending open...

so i just went to my rain jacket to fetch the hooks that were bent...

they weren't bent so much as the tips busted off both....

the bowfin have such hard mouths...the tips must be embedded in the bone of their mouths...

one of the bowfin that broke the hook fought more fiercely than i have ever seen a bowfin fight and i have caught and landed hundreds.

when you use your rod effectively...6lb test is all you really need until your fighting a fish over 30lbs....

thanks for bringing up the hooks...i would have fogot they were in my jacket and it gave me a better understanding of what went wrong....thanks

remember your place among all living beings

"the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"......eleanor roosevelt

"rotten fish" why are they so much smarter than me

Tyler W
Targeting Bows

One of my goals this summer is to target some local bowfin lakes. There are a couple that have classic bowfin habitat and they are even abundant in the lake surveys.

The reason I bring this up is: you have caught far more bowfin than I have and your approach is not at all what I expected. Obviously you know somehting  about catching bows that I do not. Why the super finese presentation? And what bait do you use on a #10 cirlce? I was under the impression that bowfin were pretty aggresive and not hook shy. Apparently that is not always true.

 I have landed them on 6lb mono too, but when it buried in the weeds I got really nervous. Probably won't try that again. I probably wouldn't use a hook smaller than #4 for bows (unless I was fishing with wax worms, but that seems unlikely).

 

TonyS
TonyS's picture
Nice 'fin!  And good reel

Nice 'fin!  And good reel choice...

 

As a counter point I fish 'fins with a steel leader 3/0-5/0 circle hook and a cut hunk of mooneye or sucker appropriately sized for the hook... I've had 'Fins come out of the water to attack a piece of cutbait that I just lifted out to re-cast... They aren't shy of anything.  6lb test is plenty to land any 'Fin but if you have a 30"er with a mind to dig it in to a milfoil bed or wrap you around every log jam between you and N'awlins then a heavier test is comforting.  I base my line on the conditions and likely size of the 'Fins but most commonly use 10lb test.  While I have a love/hate relationship with braid (well, all lines for that matter) pulling fish out of weed beds is one of places braid really shines (IMHO).

Ken
Hey Tyler,

Hey Tyler,

 

Weedfish and I fish in the same area. These bowfin are in very clear water, sitting only 3-4 feet from shore at max (yesterday there were a couple sitting about 6" from shore in about 8" of water!). Their metabolism is also very slow right now since the water is still cold. I've tried fishing for them the conventional way (soaking chunk bait on heavier gear), but these bowfin will have none of it. I learned from Weedfish how to target these unique situations and so far have seen some success. Weedfish is a better bowfin angler than I am...I'm still lacking much of his Ninja skills (ie, soft treading, soft approach, disappearing act...etc).

 

I think of bowfinning at the Island like stalking down a whitetail deer. It's almost just as hard.

 

See my recent report. I wrote about my experience and maybe you can see why it is so difficult.