The Bowfin, also known by many as Mudfish, Dogfish, and Swamp Trout, is actually one of my favorite fish to catch. I said it before in Trash Fish Fishing. To me, there is no such thing as a trash fish. If I am not in a tournament, where I need to catch a specific species, I welcome any bite that may come my way, especially when it comes from the fierce fighting bowfin.
Bowfin is never a fish that I go out and specifically target. Not because it isn’t fun to catch, but because I would probably not catch a single one if I was trying to. However catching them isn’t hard. In fact I do my best Bowfin catching, when I am not even trying to. I have caught them on live minnows while I target longnose gar. I have caught them on whole live bluegill while catfishing. Perhaps the best way to catch them though, is to just go bass fishing.
I have caught many bowfin casting spinnerbaits into brushpiles. I have caught many bowfin skipping senkos under docks. I have caught a few on a dropshot over rockpiles, and some with a frog over lilypads. Every single time I hook into one, I feel like I am fighting a state record bass. Pound for pound, to me anyways, they are twice the fight of any largemouth bass. This is one reason I love catching bowfin and believe it should never be considered a trash fish, but even more,I think it should be considered a trophy.