The bowfin is considered a living fossil as the sole surviving representative of the Amiiformes.

Midwest, South


Midwest, South

Catch ease



Lake, River, Pond

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. The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish:

How to catch Bowfin

It is considered poor as a food fish, but an excellent fighter, better than some highly rated game fish. The following are fishing methods used to catch this fish:

Bowfin lures, tackle & bait

The following are lures, tackle or bait that can be used to catch this fish:

Find Bowfin

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