NANFA-- bowfins ,

R. W. Wolff (
Sun, 25 Jun 2000 23:22:36 -0700

My friend Matt and I went fishing today in Dads flat bottom boat. It was
just right weather wise. We were out on the marsh slaying bass, and pike ,
bringing home one each a bass 21 inches, and a 29 inch pike ( all the other
fish were released). The pike had had a rough life. He was missing an
operculum on one side, had a divot in his back , the bottom lobe of its
caudal fin was missing ( all were very old wounds, healed to almost
unnoticeable perfection) .While out on a cabbage flat a 20 inch male bowfin
did a strange thing. He cruised up along side and flanking the boat, swam
by slowly with gills flared and mouth baring teeth. Then once almost past,
bolted with a big splash. I did not see any young with him, as this is a
aggressive display bowfins will do. Later on in a back area Matt had a
large female on probably 30+ inches, since it made my 29 inch pike look
small. She was on for some time, putting up a tremendous fight, then the
Moss Boss just flew out of her mouth, she waved good bye with a big round
tail. Getting back to shore we met up with Matt's brother Brian, and he
told us about a guy catching a 18" crappie on a bass spinner, and another
group of people who caught 5 bowfin, AND released every one unharmed! Maybe
times are a changing. We did not see any baby bowfin all day, coming in at
dark. Its getting late for finding young bowfin still in pods. After
returning the boat to my Dad, we went out to check traps we placed out in
hopes of baby bowfin, two were empty, save a bullfrog tadpole ( to here the
frogs at dusk out in the boat on the marsh, green, grays tree, bull frogs
and others more cryptic, calling is nearly as neat as all the birds during
daylight- geese, herons, cranes, loons, osprey, etc.) and the last of the
three traps was full of yearling yellow perch.


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