Great Dismal Swamp

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Nick Li
Nick Li's picture
Great Dismal Swamp
<p>I&#39;m heading down to the Great Dismal Swamp with some members of the college fishing team I&#39;m on to show some bass fisherman how fun rough fish can be! The problem is, the fish I&#39;m trying to get them to catch would also be lifers for me. Any tips of catching bowfin and gar in this spot? I&#39;ve had some gar bite a rope lure before, but they came off every other time, and I&#39;ve never tried for bowfin, I&#39;ve also heard there are fliers and chain pickeral in here which would also be new lifers for me. Any suggestions, tips, and help would be well appreciated for this newcomer. Thanks y&#39;all</p>
Conecuh
Conecuh's picture
Bowfin are usually caught on

Bowfin are usually caught on cutbait or live bait, although some folks on here catch them on lures.

 

Gar can be caught on cut bait, but IMO live bait is better. I use a sunfish with a clipped pectoral fin (to make it move more) under a big float. Let the gar swim around for a few minutes before you set the hook (So he gets the bait further back in his mouth). Use braid when doing this, simply because it floats and you don't want the gar dragging a sunken line on all the underwater sticks and debris.

 

Chain pickerel go after fast moving lures like spinners pretty well. Live bait, too.

 

Fliers, gosh I wish someone would tell me how to catch them. I think it's more about finding their location, though.

 

Lots more people on here know lots more about these fish than I do, I'm sure they'll chime in.

Good Luck!

Nick Li
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Hopefully they will! and I

Hopefully they will! and I wanna catch a bowfin so bad, they seem like the coolest fish out there, next  to walleye... haha

Nick Li
Nick Li's picture
Nightcrawler? Alright! I'm

Nightcrawler? Alright! I'm thinking of setting up a slip float rig, 17 fluorocarbon leader with either a circle hook or J hook with a piece of cutbait or small sunfish.

the pyromaniac
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Fliers, when you can find
Fliers, when you can find them, can be caught the same way you'd catch bluegill or any other sunfish species (at least in the Roanoke drainage). Bowfin and gar, well, I haven't caught them either, so I can't help you much.

 

 

 

Let there be fire!

Nick Li
Nick Li's picture
I don't have too much issue

I don't have too much issue with gar, I should be able to get one pretty easily, fliers I'll use my crappie rig for it, bowfin, well from what I've gathered I've figured that a gar tactic would work

the pyromaniac
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Catch yourself some fliers,
Catch yourself some fliers, and then you'll have bowfin/gar bait......

 

 

 

Let there be fire!

Nick Li
Nick Li's picture
Good point ya got there...

Good point ya got there...

DavidG
DavidG's picture
Conecuh gave pretty spot on

Conecuh gave pretty spot on basic info regarding all species.   I use a slip float rig myself and they work very well with bowfin.   I wouldnt use nightcrawlers if you are focusing on bowfin... they will work, but unfortunately they will work for everything else too.  You may struggle with getting stripped by small sunfish.   A basic carolina rig with a circle hook under  a slip float is a standarn bowfin set up.   Hug close to mats of grass and cover near the shoreline in little coves and such.   They are one of those fish that seem to be REALLY hard to catch when you're targeting them, but pop up out of nowhere when you're not.  Good luck! 

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DavidG Blog:  http://www.fishing-headquarters.com/boundlesspursuit/

Nick Li
Nick Li's picture
how big of a circle hook

how big of a circle hook would you use? I have monster circle hooks for catfish only right now ahah