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Bowfin: Amia calva

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.

Additional Information

State Record:  19.0 lbs.

Big Catch minimum: 28 inches or 8 lbs.

Fishing Tips and Facts: Bass anglers are often surprised to find a bowfin has taken their lure. Mudfish, another frequenlty used nickname for these fish, 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.


Image Credit: Duane Raver, Jr.



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