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Bowfin:

Appearance:

The bowfin is the only living representative of an ancient family of fishes. It has an air-bladder that functions like a lung, and can be seen gulping air. They have a long, stout body; big mouth with small, sharp teeth; long dorsal and rounded tail fin. Males have a dark spot with a bright orange halo on the tail fin. The spot is absent or inconspicuous on females.

Habitat:

Prefers swamps, or backwaters of lowland streams. They live in warm, poorly oxygenated waters.

Behavior:

Males clear a nest among heavy vegetation. Eggs are laid at night and males guard them. Larvae use an adhesive organ to anchor themselves.

State Record:

19.0 lbs. Big Catch: 30 inches or 10 lbs.

Fishing Tips and Facts:

Bass anglers are often surprised to find a bowfin has taken their lure. Mudfish strike topwater and deep-running lures but are most often caught on live bait. It is a better fighter, than some highly rated game fish. The flesh is jelly-like, but can be prepared smoked, fried as patties or stewed.

Additional Information:


Image Credit: Duane Raver, Jr.



FWC Facts:
Along the Florida coast, sea turtles annually make between 40,000 and 84,000 nests. Females nest every 2-3 years, laying several nests on sandy beaches.

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