James Beaupre & I had a challenging time landing Bowfin for a TV show on Lake Simcoe, ON.Posted on July 16th, 2010
Over the last 38-yrs., I have caught Bowfin (commonly knows as Dogfish), incidentally fishing for other fish species. I have caught them from the Rideau system, to the Bay of Quinte on everything from live frogs (fishing for largemouth on the surface), to Flippin’ Jigs, spinnerbaits and Texas-rigged plastic worms. It was not until last year that I started doing some research on them and tried to find a high enough concentration of fish to do a TV show. Well, finally this year with James Beaupres help (he scouted Lake Simcoe & Sparrow Lake), we were able to locate a concentration of fish in both lakes and decided to fish Lake Simcoe today. Seriously fishing for Bowfin required flat surface conditions, and nice sunny skies so that they can be spotted cruising in and out of weeds. The strategy is to find a single fish, sneak up on it with the electric without spooking it, and gently making a presentation in front of it. Well, we hooked around 8-9 Bowfin, but did not guess they would be so hard to land. They have very hard mouths, so when they hit, you have to set the hook with all your strength to get it past the barb. If you don’t, we quickly learn that they instantly start rolling in the line and making violent runs back and forth commonly coming out of the water and throwing the hook. James ended up landing the only two fish on camera and they were excellent segments. I was equipped with a couple of Rapala Shift spinning & baitcating outfits loaded with 30 lb. test Rapala Titanium braid. James on the other hand was using flipping rods loaded with 50 lb. braid. That made all the difference. We both fished plastics. I fished the TriggerX tubes and craw. The tubes had all the action, but I lost all the fish I hooked within :15 sec. of the hook-ups. We are planning to shoot again on Tues., and are hoping for light winds and bright skies. This time I’ll be ready with flippin-rods and 50 lb. braid!!