North Carolina

Is North Carolina the home of the best finnin' in the world? It sure looks good from here!
Send those pics!

Don’t wait for me! Now you can post your own pictures on the GASSBAG Message Board. You can post links to your photo sharing site or upload them from your computer. Add your hotspot information too!

The Yellow dots indicate the State Record (lb-oz or 00.00 lb), the Red dots are other fin hotspots (a blue dot is a point of interest). They link to Topozone maps that get you in the neighborhood, if not to the exact spot. Thanks to Dave D (Osama Bin Bowfin) for this idea.

NEW! The Green dots link to a page with expanded information about a Bowfin Hotspot. Thanks to HenryV for this page idea.

You NC finners just had too much for one page. Click here for 2007 or 2006 and earlier.

May 2013, Lake Hickory

BAGman,
Henry V suggested that I share this catch with you. My 9 year old nephew caught a bowfin in the southern Caldwell County portion of Lake Hickory. Until Friday night I had never seen nor heard of a Bowfin and now I have become very interested in it. By the map it looks like the furthest west of any NC fin spot.
Todd P, 05/13/13





October 2011, Lumberton

BAGman,
I like this site! Like you said, most people here in NC call bowfin 'trash'. I think they are an amazing fish and are very fun to catch. They fight more than b@$$ do. I take pictures of them and release them back to the water. Glad to see I'm not the only one that likes bowfin fishing. Where I fish thats all you catch until the winter, then the b@$$ start biting. This is a bowfin I caught eairlier this year on a Trickworm, my favorate bait.
DavidL, 10/14/11





August 2011, Durham Impoundments

BAGman,
My first 30-incher! I am hoping you truly appreciate this monster as the monster that it is, and as the single moment that has made all my Bowfin diligence worthwhile! And, caught during the doldrums, which is a time period in which the Trout thrives.
Lenny Trout, 08/24/11





August 2011, Durham Impoundments

BAGman,
I have been obsessed with these fish for over a year now, but have had little luck. In fact, I spent almost a year landing only one. That said, I have had plenty of action...they just have all gotten off or broken off. Then, last month I finally landed a nice 26.5 inch one. So, the last week has been monumental for me: I have landed four! That made this girl form Beaver Creek oh-so-special. Just as I was going to call it a morning, and feel good about the three that I had caught during the week, this "girthy" girl slammed my spinnerbait. Honestly, I thought she was much bigger because the fight was incredible except for the fact that she never jumped. I am convinced that--pound for pound--nothing in freshwater matches the Bowfin in raw power. There was something extra special about this one. As I told Henry V, I feel like my training wheels have finally been removed.
Rock on, dinosaur fish!
Lenny T , 08/02/11





July 2011, Brices Creek

BAGman,
My dad caught his first fin in Brices Creek in New Bern NC. Sorry no weight or measurements, forgot to pack the gear, but it was a good one.
Jeremy H, 07/25/11





April 2011, Cape Fear River

BAGman,
I caught this bowfin today on the Cape Fear River out of Fayetteville, NC. It was pretty banged up, with numerous cuts along its body. I am not sure what it weighed, but it put up one heck of a fight. It was the first one I've caught and I am now hooked on the bowfin.
Chad, 04/24/11





April 2011, Loc'n Unknown

BAGman,
I caught this bowfin in NC last weekend and it appears to be larger than a bunch in the top ten. It was 38 inches long but I didn't get the girth or weight. I was so excited about catching it I forgot to get the measurements. Oh well, I'll get him next time when he is bigger! I caught him on a bluegill filet under a bobber on 15lb braid. Bowfin is the ultimate freshwater sportfish!
TomC, 04/24/11





She looks to have already spawned, so without a girth or weight I'll call it 17 pounds. Easily enough for the Top Ten!




March 2011, New River

Chuck,
Thought ya might like to see a few fins from NC. My son and I hit up the New River in Jacksonville NC around 8am armed with finger mullets and hooks. We fished for a few hours and headed home but we did manage a few nice fins. Well, my son did lol. I caught one out of 4 hits and he caught 2 out of 6 hits.

We were drifting cut baits without sinkers in the currents and doing well until, as always, someone turned off the light switch right about 1 pm. Just as we were getting ready to leave they started back up. Most of the fins were hitting right now are from 21 to 26 inches and as you can see in the pic the breeding season here is on hard. This isn't the first fin with most of the tail gone seen one lying in the shallows with 99% of its tail gone. Some are very vibrant green on the fins now as well.

This year is going to be a fin race to the finish because I'm not only in but my son who has already proved a formidable opponent is ready to start. Come and get us guys and gals the NCPierman clan is here to fight to the finish ;)
NCPIERMAN, TimT, 03/01/11





January 2011, Durham Impoundments

BAGman,
Here's my first Fin of the year. I landed it this morning at an impoundment that seems to be on the comeback after a slow year. This Fin hammered a crankbait in about 4 feet of water along a rock line, and the fight was on. Despite the colder water, the mighty Fin still fights hard in winter. Consider this fish the official announcement that the 2011 Finner of the Year contest is only 30 days away. As always, anyone interested in getting away from the arctic cold is welcome to join us. I have a feeling this year is going to be special.
HenryV, 01/30/11


September 2010, Durham Impoundments

BAGman,
I just caught my first bowfin, and thought I'd share a pic, along with the story of how I caught her. She came in at 31" long, with a 14" girth, so she probably weighed around 8.5 lbs. I caught her on a live bluegill, using a small treble hook (#4), a short 6" wire leader, and a bobber about 18" up the line from the hook.

I had no idea there were bowfin in this particular body of water. I was actually just here catching bait to bring with me to the Jordan impoundments the next day, and thought I'd throw a line out to see if I could catch one of the longnose gar I had seen swimming by. The bobber disappeared, I set the hook, and hung on for dear life. I ended up catching 2 more good fins the next day on my originally planned trip - one was 24", and the other was about 26". Absolutely amazing fish - I'm definitely "hooked."

I also had a question about gripping bowfin for HenryV, if you could pass it along I'd appreciate it. He mentioned back in October 2007 ( http://www.bowfinanglers.com/nc07.html) that he had given up using gripper devices, and instead was grabbing them by a bone under their gill plate. I'm not quite clear on what he's referring to, from the picture that's included. I used a gripper tool on 2 of my fins, and it definitely did some minor damage to them, so if there's a way to avoid it, I'd like to use it. I lipped the 3rd one (with a thick leather glove), and that seemed to work well, though she did try her best to clamp down on my thumb, and I imagine could have inflicted some damage. I was wondering if perhaps HenryV could share some more pics of his technique, or a description of where he's grabbing?
Jason, 09/08/10


June 2010, Loc'n Unknown

BAGman,
I caught this one in Eastern NC in my secret spot. I didn't get a weight or measurement, just a big one.
AlanJ (Cat With A Gat), 06/07/10




May 2010, Duplin Co Swamp

BAGman,
I just want to say I been bowfinnin' since I could walk I have a large land locked swamp in Duplin county, NC. I have always been heckled by my fellow anglers because I blow off B@$$ trips to go Finnin'. So glad to see there are other finners out there. The bow in this pic is 26 inches long and 12.5 inches in diameter. The 25 acre swamp literally looks like popcorn during the summer time as these guys jump out of the water and grab dragonflies. Bait of choice is Shade shads from B@$$Pro in green and pearl and the longest curly tail worm I can find at Walmart in a transparent orange tint. I use an Ultralight Uglystick and spinning combo, also available at Wally world for 20 bucks, spooled with 4 lb Stren tied to a 12 inch steel braided leader rated at 20 lbs. I also prefer 5/0 EWG Gamakatsu hooks, de barbed of course, instead of the circle hooks.
I Am D, 05/25/10




May 2010, Knotts Island

BAGman,
Thanks to your website, I was able to identify what these were. I've seen many "grinnels" around here but never a fry cloud. These photos were taken in the canal behind my house on Saturday.
James D, 05/10/10





May 2010, Durham Impoundments

BAGman,
My phone rang in mid cast. I answered because it was an important call. In the meantime, my lure sank to the bottom. When I hung up, this fish had my lure in its mouth. I've fought many big fish, but this one was special. In the first place, she fought like the angry cow that she is. In the second, she wrapped my line around a large tree branch. So there I was, about 1 minute into the fight, looking at my taut line and thinking of the fish that got away. It wouldn't end that easy. I got my gloves and lifted the large branch out of the water. It was about 20 feet long and a waterlogged 100+ lbs. I didn't care because I could see the fish was still on. Once I lifted the tree on the bank I passed my rod under the trunk and reeled in as much line as possible. The fish came up, looked surprised, then went crazy again. She stripped line, tried getting under a second, smaller tree branch, then finally rolled over. I wasn't going to be fooled - I made sure to get her with my grips instead of my hands. Magnified by the water she looked to be a 15+ lb fish, maybe a state record.

She was close: 32" long with an 18" girth around the main trunk of her waist. A 14 lb Bowfin. I later ran into Josh and his crew at a different spot and enjoyed watching him catch a fish. I cleaned out a bag of trash, went home and rested.
HenryV, 05/05/10


BAGman,
Lately I've been trying every method I could think of to catch some so I switched from lures to plastics and live bait and cut bait. I hooked quite a few fins the past few days but didn't land one on cut bait until tonight just before dark. This fish was a crazy beast of a fish and I just knew the whole time I was going to lose her. I got my grabbers in her mouth and she thrashed and got off and then I got it in again and finally got her out of the water. When I pulled her out I was in awe. Such a mass of meat. Lol. My biggest fin to date. Such a good surprise after nothing for the past weeks or so. JoshM, 05/05/10


BAGman,
I went out to Stage Coach and ran into Josh, He shared his little bait secret with me and within 15-20 min I had this massive fin slam the bait. I haven't had a good fight like this one in a long time. She weighed in at 10.11 lb and was right at 30.5", Josh there to verify with his digital scale but I thought she felt heavier than 10lb.

FOTY
JoeA, 05/06/10


April 2010, Lassiter Falls

BAGman,
We caught this big bowfin on an white deep diver in Lassiter Falls, on Crabtree Creek, in Raleigh. I did not weigh it before I released it, but fish was roughly 2 feet long. It hit a white spinner bait first, then jumped and threw the lure. 5 minutes later my friend hooked him on the crankbait with ultralight tackle
Patrick P, 04/12/10


March 2010, Durham Impoundments

BAGman,
I will have to say today was the best day of fishing I have ever had. It was such a perfect nice day outside, I started early around 9AM. I decided to head to Upper Little Ceek impoundment since I got skunked at Stagecoach yesterday and since Joe caught a fin at Upper the day before. When I got to the spot I tied on a small chrome Rapala Rattletrap, a smaller size than I normally use. I was there for about 20-30 minutes and I got an amazing bite right near the bank and when I pulled back and saw this massive head peek out of the water. I was in shock and yelling with joy. It wasn't actually a great fight story because she hit so close to the bank I literally just pulled her out of the water. She weighed in at 9.5 lbs and was 30.5 inches. It was my largest fin length wise so far. More...

Josh M, 03/07/10

February 2010, Durham Impoundments

BAGman,
Well, Got my first fin of 2010. The weather broke and wasn't half bad today. Made my way around to all the usual impoundments but from all the rain each one was blowed out. Upper Little Creek Impoundment was high and muddy but fish-able. I got this fin on a shad color rattle trap about 10 feet from the bank with the most lazy hit I ever seen a bowfin produce. I had no idea I had a fish on till my line went sideways and it was too late to try for a better hook set with the fear of losing it. I just set the drag to super loose as I let her tire out the best I could without pulling too hard. I hope this is the first sign of a good season. Man it felt good to catch a bowfin once again since I been on a 3-4 month dry spell.

Joe A, TriangleBag, 02/08/10

November 2009, Durham Impoundments

BAGman,
I was out today for a few minutes and landed this massive Bowfin. My biggest yet. My hands were shaking, I couldn't breathe. I tried to get my fish grabber on her while she was in the water but her mouth was too big. I've lost so many bowfin in that hole. I think I lost this same fish a few weeks ago. What a beauty. It was an incredible fight. I was listening to some music...zoned out and when she hit I thought I had hooked a beaver or something. I got all caught up in my headphone cord. I know I looked like an idiot. Once I saw how big she was I couldn't take a breathe until I got as far away from the water with her as I could. What a blast.
I caught her at Lower Little Creek Waterfowl Impoundment in Durham.
Lure: Rapala Rattletrap
31.25" 11 lbs


MikeS, 11/17/09




August 2009, Durham Impoundments

BAGman,
The Triangle BAG group is doing well in the FOTY. It was a great week! Mike S with a 31", HenryV with a 30", JoeA with a 30", and TraceyA with a 31"

BAGman, 08/26/09




July 2009, Core Creek

BAGman,
Heres some pictures of Fins we caught on Core Creek off the Neuse river in North Carolina. My wife and my first trip. Hooked for sure.

Eddie M, 07/27/09




July 2009, Durham Impoundments

BAGman,
I got a call from Hank today to fish at Upper little creek but I was running a bit late. He then called me back and said the fish wern't biting and he had to leave so I ventured over to Lower Little Creek impoundment. The main entrance gate was closed so I was hesitant of venturing in but I was already there so I went in anyways. I whipped out the good old mepps Aglia and on the first cast this massive fin just tore into it. He put up one hell of a fight but I tired him out in the end. I measured him in at 29.5" and weighed 9.5 lbs. Right after that I seen some bait fish swimming around and cast right past them when a nice little 2 lb b@$$ hit my lure. About 5 min later I landed a very small white crappie. I kept casting towards the school of bait fish when I got another hit, this time it was a small 10" fin. I felt bad his mouth was so small and the treble hook was down his gullet. I was able to save the fish but he was bleeding pretty bad. The next cast another fish hit this time it was a 16" fin. Was a great hour but then everything went dead as soon as this huge beaver come swimming up stream and spooked all the fish.
Lower Little Creek
Mepps Aglia using a Med Quantum Express, 15lb Power Pro braid

Joe A, TriangleBag, 07/03/09

Don't miss the NC action this year in the FOTY.



June 2009, Durham Impoundments

BAGman,
This massive Bowfin represents a milestone: it's only June, and I have landed 20 fins this season. That's a first for me. I owe it all to the friendly competition of the FOTY contest and NC Triangle BAG.
This fish smashed a Rapala Fat Rap as I skipped it along a deep hole at the Lower Little Creek Impoundment in Durham. There are lots of crayfish around so I was imitating their swimming pattern with the lure. The Bowfin jumped on it and put up a heck of a fight. I pulled it out, but measuring and weighing a big fish is a handful when you are alone. It weighed 7 lbs 14 oz. It then jumped off the scale and hid under a boulder. After I pulled the fish out it would only sit still if I left the scale in its gills, but I couldn't get a good shot. I finally got a few and you can see it is just shy of 30" on the faded yellow band I painted on the rod. I also notched the rod where it's head was (I have a photo of the notch spot, too) then measured the notch when I got home (you can see the mark at 29" in one photo below).
It was 29 inches, so that means this is the biggest fish by length this season. I wish one of the other guys had been around to give me a hand, because it was hard to hold the fish and do all that work. I also wish they had been around so I could talk some trash. Speaking of which, I saw Joe later, and we hauled some trash out of another impoundment but I didn't take a photo.

HenryV, TriangleBag, 06/30/09

Don't miss the NC action this year in the FOTY.



April 2009, Durham Impoundments

BAGman,
I was out at the Stage Coach Durham Impoundment with my husband when I hooked this monster fin. This is only my second bowfin ever and the largest fish ever. I was running a Walmart Renegade slash bait near a sand bed when all of a sudden my line took off like a Mack truck just got caught on the end of my line. I yelled for my husband and he ran over to assist with landing it. After about a 5 min fight my arms felt like jello. He got his grab tool into its mouth and pulled it up onto land. I could barely hold it up after the fight it gave me. She weighed out at 10.5 lb and measured 30". Who says girls can't fish?
TraceyA, TriangleBag, 04/28/09




Girls CAN fish! I'd never say otherwise!

April 2009, White Oak River

Bagman,
I have posted on the site before, "A Marine's Story" and apologize in advance for not posting again sooner. Other commitments have kept me from my preferred activity. I am happy to report a successful finning expedition to the White Oak River in NC. I was able to convince my dad, an avid B@$$ fisherman, to come down from Tennessee and tackle some toothy meanness. I have been talking about finning with him for years but always got the same luke warm expression from him. He had tangled with a Bowfin before but it was a smaller fish caught long ago. I believe he thought I was stretching the truth about the bone jarring strikes and savage fights. After our first full on trip I can assure you he no longer has any doubts about the tenacity of our wonderful fighter. We put in at Haywood Landing and headed up river on an outgoing tide. At the first good spot a three and a half pounder crushed his spinner bait. He couldn't believe how hard it hit. A little while later he got his second. It was about the same size but much meaner. You know how it goes, some of these fins just have a chip on their shoulders. He "Hit like a freight train" and fought like the devil! Somewhere along the line this particular fin forgot he didn't weigh twenty pounds. The old man was quite happy and is now enthusiastic about our prehistoric pal. Looks like this will become an annual tradition at last. Tomorrow we go to the Trent river where we have had encounters with these monsters in the past. The pictures are of both of the fins he caught, not a bad days "work".
Tim S, 04/10/09




March 2009, Little River

Bagman,
Krista S, fishing with Terry L, caught this 9lb, 4oz, 26 1/2 inch Bowfish out of a canal that feeds in to the Little River in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Biggest fish Krista has ever caught!
TerryL, 03/23/09




March 2009, Durham Impoundments

Hi Bagman,
Tuesday was the best day I've ever seen for catching Bowfin. I met up with Joe and Henry, that morning at the Stagecoach Rd Impoundment. I also saw Joel, who has been catching some sweet fins lately. Right off the bat the fins were hitting. You could see multiple fins rising and jumping at the same time. I saw fins swim up on the rocks several times throughout the day. It was a real treat. By the end of the day I had caught 10 Bowfin from 20 to 28 inches. I also caught a few carp and b@$$.
My pics for FOTY
MikeS(Ned Bergen), 03/13/09




March 2009, New Hope Creek

Bagman,
I caught this 30" bowfin (didn't weigh it) on New Hope Creek near Lake Jordan, NC, on a small crankbait and ultralight spinning rig. Fish put up a tremendous fight, and was released to fight another day. I enjoyed the bowfin website!
Joel E, 03/10/09




March 2009, Durham Impoundments

Hi Bagman,
Stopped by Little Creek today after work and landed this 3.5 lbs 23" fin. He took it on my second cast. I was running a Rattletrap really slow. Great fight.
Take Care,
MikeS(Ned Bergen), 03/06/09




February 2009, Durham Impoundments

BAGman,
My wife and I went out today around lunch time to my usual spot at the Durham impoundments. I ended up landing a nice 25" fin on the first cast but had no luck after that. We then ventured around to a few other spots but she made me go back to original hole later on in the evening. Finally she yelled "fish on" and landed her first Bowfin, a nice 19" male. Was a good day overall, 3 b@$$ and 2 fins.
JoeA and TraceyA, TriangleBag, 02/23/09




February 2009, Northeast Creek

Hi Bagman,
The weather was perfect today. So I went out fishing this afternoon at Northeast Creek and caught this 7 pounder, 28.5". Caught on a spinnerbait. Thanks go to Joe A for helping me land this thing.
Take Care,
MikeS(Ned Bergen), 02/11/09




February 2009, Durham Impoundments

BAGman,
The weather's finally starting to break and the water temp is getting warmer. I was out all day today but with no luck. I left my spot for a few hours but decided to come back and give it one more try before I gave up for the day. I saw a school of carp that started popping up all over the impoundment so I started to try and catch one of those. I casted right into the middle of them when all of a sudden my rod almost got yanked right out of my hand. At first I thought I foul hooked a carp until this beast jumped out of the water then the fight was on. This fin was the toughest fish that I have ever had the pleasure of catching. It stopped dead near some rocks and it felt like I was reeling in a spare tire before it took off for one last attempt of escape. Finally I was able to land her before she spit my lure out. Weighed in at 9lb, and was right at the 29" mark. Caught at Lower Little creek Durham impoundment on a Crawfish color Rapela DT-4. This is also my last citation fin needed for my NCARP award.
JoeA, TriangleBag, 02/10/09




January 2009, Northeast Creek

Hi Bagman,
It's been awhile. Stopped by NE Creek last week with JoeA and caught this 3 pounder. My first fish of the year. I can't wait to get started. In total last year I caught 9 fin. I met some great folks to fish with and they're just as insane as I am. Not often you meet folks that'll hike a mile or so through the swamp in freezing rain to check out a potential fishing hole. 3lbs, 20", Rattletrap Shad.
Take Care,
MikeS(Ned Bergen), 01/15/09




January 2009, Durham Impoundments

BAGman,
I was able to get out after work today and headed to my usual spot at Lower Little Creek Impoundment. It was very windy out and the water was high and muddy. I stuck on a red spinner bait and within 5 or 10 min this little guy struck. He got to be the first to test out my new Quantum express rod and real using 10lb fireline. He got a few good splashes in, soaked my pants as I was trying to grab him but managed to pull him out with my bare hands. Weighed in at 4.5lb and measured at 24".
JoeA, TriangleBag, 01/08/09




December 2008, Northeast Creek

Hi Bagman,
Hey Bagman, Today was a great day. I landed 3 Bowfin and 4 B@$$. I missed a few but I can't complain. December has been a great month for catching Fin. Caught these guys at Northeast Creek.
3.5 lbs 23"
2.0 lbs 18"
3.0 lbs. 22.5"
Take Care,
Ned Bergen(MikeS), 12/20/08




December 2008, Northeast Creek

BAGman,
Well I been on a bad luck streak but finaly landed a fin in December. I was fishing North East Creek impoundment today and after a few hours of trying I was able to land this nice 24" 4lb fin. I tried every lure I own but nothing seemed to be working. Thanks to Mike S for letting me try one of his stinky Gulp nightcrawlers, it finaly did the trick. I also missed a bigger fish right before it got too dark but I'm still happy with getting one.
JoeA, 12/19/08




December 2008, Northeast Creek

Hi Bagman,
Stopped by my favorite spot on the way home today and I'm glad I did. First cast I caught a 2.0 lbs b@$$. On the second cast I caught this sweet little Bowfin. 24" 4lbs.
Take Care,
Ned Bergen(MikeS), 12/16/08




December 2008, Durham Impoundments

Hi Bagman,
Went fishing with Joe A. today. Caught this 24.5" 5lbs Bowfin at the Lower Little Creek Impoundment. A few mins later, I caught a second much larger fish. He got off my hook on the shore and as I tried to get him I wound up hooking myself in the leg! He flopped back in the water then swam back on the shore again. I tried to lunge for him but he got away. At least Joe got a good laugh.
Ned Bergen(MikeS), 12/15/08




November 2008, Northeast Creek

Hi Bagman,
Fished most of the weekend with no luck. Thought I'd try once more this afternoon. Caught this 4 lbs Fin about 4:15 PM. Had to get wet to get her out of the weeds but it was a lot of fun. Caught at Northeast Creek Impoundment.
Weight: 4 lbs
Length: 23.5"
Lure: Rapala Super Shad Rap SD
Take Care,
Ned Bergen(MikeS), 11/17/08




November 2008, Durham Impoundments

Chuck,
My spare time lately has been going to watching the other Triangle BAG anglers land Bowfin. Those guys are good. In the last week, for example, I watched Joe land two nice fins. My patience finally had its reward today: this beautiful 24" male in full autumn dress. The fish seem to be smaller this time of year, but the color patterns more than make up for it. I should add that this fish put up a great fight, and an angler nearby took some photos. If he grabbed an elusive "jump" shot I will send it later. I later ran into Mike (aka Ned) and he also landed a good fin. At this pace, we'll be fishing all winter. HenryV
FOTY = 1 = 24"-30"
HenryV, 11/17/08




November 2008, New River

Chuck,
Here is another trip to the New River for fins. After the rain quit, a friend and I went armed with finger mullets and Alaskan hooks. We weren't there 10 minutes when the first fish was hooked up and I landed him. He was just short of 24 inches which all would prove to be by the end of the day. The finning was a little slow with 6 fins lost at the bank total. It's hard to get a new finner to learn to keep reeling unless the fin is taking drag. I'm hoping NCPierman gets back soon so we can get out and clean house on the fins. 6 lost, 4 caught in 4 hours - not too bad for limited bank fishing!!!!
FOTY = 4 under 24"
DrumHunter, WayneH, 11/17/08


November 2008, Durham Impoundments

BAGman,
I was able to get out again this afternoon and headed to one of my usual spots at the Durham Impoundments. It was raining a little bit and I knew the fish would be biting. I caught this 22" fin on a Dark Rapela Crankbait. November has been a good month for me so far.
JoeA, 11/14/08




November 2008, Northeast Creek

Hi Bagman,
I finally feel like a true 'finner now since I picked up this 4.5lbs 23.5" beauty at the NorthEast Creek Impoundment tonight - my 1st bowfin! Was well after dark, but we had a full moon and the fish were crazy active - was feeling like it was the right night for a good fish. Had a pretty big one get away earlier and I was pretty bummed, but I stuck with it and pulled one out. Was running a perch x-rap 10 reeeaaalllll slow and got this one about 5 feet off the bank. Big props on this one for my usual partner in crime and best fishing buddy Mike S - he about killed himself running around the impoundment and jumping the wall in the dark to help me pull it in - I think he wanted me to land this one even more than I did.
Tha Fool(IanM), 11/13/08




November 2008, Durham Impoundments

BAGman,
I was able to leave work a bit eary today and headed out to my usual spot at the Durham Impoundments. Within the first 20 minutes I was able to land this 27" fin caught on a Blue Shad Rapala. Once again I left my net in the car but luckly HenryV was there to help me pull him out onto land. I think leaving my net is the car is starting to become a good luck charm.
JoeA, 11/12/08




November 2008, Tar-Pamlico River

BAGman,
I took a good hard look at the Bowfin fishing hotspots that were listed under North Carolina's links on the maps page of your site. You see, a few friends and I are a part of the new East Carolina University B@$$ Fishing team. For us, however, we love to occasionally fish for catfish. Yesterday, we did just that around noon in Greenville, North Carolina. We caught four or five good size (18in. or longer) very strange fish. The people in my group were mainly from Raleigh and Asheboro before coming to Greenville, so this whole Bowfin species was an entirely new thing to us.
We didn't know what they were and described it as a "catfish head with b@$$ body". Another mutual friend of our's called it a black-fish and after a good while of research on "black-fish" I did come across NC Wildlife's site of species and correctly identified it as a bowfin. We have decided that we'll go fishing again later today for them in the Tar-Pamlico river where we originally found them.
I would just like to add to your hotspots list. The area we had fished was from the bank, on 1st Street in Greenville. The coordinates are: 35.615337,-77.368641. I hope this is of some help to you. I have also caught very large catfish here as well. A few months ago, a 40 lb 3 oz blue catfish was caught out of this river (Tar-Pamlico River) off of liver.
Best of luck!

Zach D, 11/11/08




November 2008, Durham Impoundments

BAGman,
I caught this 24" fin around 7:45am Saturday mourning at the Lower Little creek Durham Impoundment. It started to rain a bit and the fins were jumping like crazy everywere. I was having no luck with my spinner bait and switched to a Rapela DT-4. This fish went after the bait on the first cast. I left my net in the car so I had to free hand it up onto land.
JoeA, 11/10/08




November 2008, Northeast Creek

Hi Bagman,
Took a few minutes to plug around today during my lunch break and caught a great little Bowfin. When I got him in I saw he was hooked in the dorsal fin! He gave me one heck of weird fight. 3.5 lbs 21". Northeast Creek, Chatham County, NC.
Ned Bergen(MikeS), 11/06/08




October 2008, Durham Impoundments

Hi Bagman,
I caught my first Bowfin about 6:30 this evening. 6lbs 27" by my hand scale. Caught on a spinnerbait, which was completely destroyed. That was a lot of fun. Thanks for all the great info on the site. I first heard about Bowfin 6 days ago and have been plugging away all week for them. Caught in Upper Little Creek Impoundment in Durham. Special thanks to HenryV for the great advice.
Ned Bergen(MikeS), 10/27/08




October 2008, Durham Impoundments

Chuck,
I had a free hour after work, so I enjoyed the season by fishing a bit. God knows I have tried to make the most of it recently, but with little success. But today was different for two good reasons. In the first place, my new Fenwick rod proved itself for the first time in battle against a very strong adversary: this 6 lb. 2 oz., 25 inch Bowfin. The wind was blowing from the west and piling up the baitfish in a cul de sac; this critter was there eating them, and then found my lure. It was a great fight and my rod turn her when she ran without any difficulty. In the second place, I ran into two anglers as I was leaving. Their names were Mike and Ian and they are fans of your site. It was nice to finally meet true finners for a change instead of the usual guys who just complain about the Bowfin, or worse.
FOTY = 1 = 24"-30"
HenryV, 10/22/08




October 2008, New River

Scott, another new finner, and I went to the New river behind Lauradale Acres and took finger mullets for bait we were fishing an approaching front of rain and the fins were biting good as soon as our lines hit the water. Scott landed 3 that are not pictured but I did manage to land 8 with one being over 24 inches it was 25,the finning is picking up a little as they are now splurging for winter food to store, a lot of smaller fish this time but still some nice ones at that. With the winter months moving in they will begin to eat more and the bigger fish will start to be more plentiful in our area, so look for us with some bigger fish.
FOTY = 7 under 24", 1 24-30"

Drumhunter Wayne H, 10/22/08




October 2008, Durham Impoundments

BAGman,
My name is Joe and I would like to become a member of your website. Thanks to HenryV's great information on the Durham Impoundments, I landed my first Bowfin today, 21" on a Red Spinnerbait with 8lb Berkley Trilene XT. Sorry the picture was taken from my phone because I left my camera at home. I used to be a huge into freshwater trout fishing in the mountains of PA but since I moved to NC the closest trout streams are hours away. I was getting tired of catching nothing but catfish and crappie, so I started researching other local fish and came across the Bowfin now I'm hooked. This site has been very inspirational on this fantastic game fish. Thanks,
JoeA, 10/06/08




October 2008

Chuck,
I send this news more to praise the Bowfin Anglers Group than to brag (though there may be a little of that involved too). Yesterday I received confirmation that the NC Wildlife Commission awarded me the status of "Master Angler." To achieve that award, you must catch a total of six fish of any recognized sporting species, and they must meet the minimum length or weight requirements. North Carolina stipulates that a trophy Bowfin worthy of NCARP recognition have a minimum length of 22 inches and a minimum weight of 10 lbs. Since I think the minimum length should be extended to 24 inches, I did not submit any fish under that length.

It took me two years of fishing and countless hours of study to catch the six necessary Bowfin. I caught them all with artificial baits (mostly crankbaits). Here's the breakdown:
Jan 2007 11+ lbs Crankbait
June 2007 7 lbs Crankbait
Oct 2007 6 + lbs Crankbait
March 2008 7 lbs Crankbait
May 2008 9.8 lbs Soft plastic
Sept 2008 6 + lbs Crankbait

Quite frankly, I couldn't have caught so many fish of such quality without reading your posts, exchanging ideas with you, and participating in the FOTY contest. BAG provided information and inspiration. Chuck, I should thank you in particular for doing such a great job hosting the site.
One last point: Tim recently noted on the message board that we have been generating some positive press for our favorite fish. He's right. The articles in Minnesota and Pittsburgh certainly brought positive attention. I would also encourage everyone who lives in a state that recognizes the Bowfin as a sporting species to submit applications for similar awards (several states offer them, i.e. Florida, and sometimes in both adult and youth categories). By doing so, you let the fishing authorities and biologists know that we exist and that we want them to continue their good work (or, in some cases, we want them to do better) so that, to paraphrase T.S. Eliot, when you sit upon the shore fishing, with the arid plain behind you, you can set your lands in order.

Here's a list of state websites that recognize the Bowfin in their angling award programs:
Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia

Here's a list of states that should recognize the Bowfin, but do not:
Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin

HenryV, 10/02/08




September 2008, Durham Impoundments

Chuck,
This will be a short and rambling letter. This is my 11th Bowfin of the season, a real beauty at 24" in length. I caught it in my usual haunts in Durham. But this one is special - it is my 6th Bowfin to meet the requirements for the NCARP award, and I will send the paper work tomorrow. Once you have six, you become eligible for the status of Master Angler. Others may have attained 6 Bowfin certficates before me, but I would bet that nobody has done so fishing only with artificial lures. Good finnin' to all, and to all a good night.
FOTY = 1 = 24"-30"
HenryV, 09/22/08




September 2008, Durham Impoundments

Chuck,
I am afraid there has been a misunderstanding about the weekend. Tropical Storm Hannah's approach was supposed to drive everyone indoors, but we went fishing in a light rain. My friend from the Carolina Fishing Club hooked a 10+ lb Bowfin on an X-Rap and, after a long fight, had it at the bank when it threw the hook. He also saw another, larger fish behind his lure on an earlier cast. The same happened to me, only I landed the one that I hooked. A strong 4 pound fish, just around 22 inches. The weather is cool, and the rain should help. I have a feeling the Fall feeding season is set to begin in my favorite Durham Impoundments.
FOTY = 1 under 24"
HenryV, 09/08/08




August 2008, New River

Got out with DrumHunter Wayne again yesterday. We caught some fish but either we were off or the weather was - we only managed a few. Here is my smallest fin to date and my only one of the day, but any day finning is a good day. Ya gotta love the details on the young fish, so vibrant and colorful. Wayne beat me again, three to my one
FOTY = 1 under 24", NCPIERMAN, TimT
FOTY = 3 under 24", Drumhunter Wayne H

NCPIERMAN, TimT, 08/23/08
P.S. FOTY = 2 under 24", Drumhunter Wayne H, 10/09/08




August 2008, Durham Impoundments

Chuck,
I avoided freshwater during the dog days of summer, left the Durham impoundments alone, and headed for the coast. But now I am back, and my first outing at the old impoundments was a good one. The water is finally cooler and the Bowfin are biting once again. This 5 lb bruiser inhaled a crankbait along a rocky shore and headed for an early Labor Day vacation, but I turned him around and put him back to work. I tried to get a few action shots with my reel hand, but it only made him mad. I landed him and measured him out at 24+ inches. Unfortunately, he still had enough fight to slip out of my hand before I could get a shot for the family photo album.
FOTY = 1 at 24"-30"
HenryV, 08/20/08




August 2008, New River

Hello my friend, I finally have a report for you since I decided to cut short a drum trip and go chasing some bowfin down on the New River with drum hunter Wayne.
We got there midday and set up using finger mullets and menhaden as bait but as normal dead baits. We hit the first hole for about half an hour without any takers so we moved to another spot. We set up in this spot and as soon as the baits hit the bottom ......fish on!!! I managed 3 fins while Wayne pulled in 4 all fish were under 24 with 2 being very close.
The fish were very aggressive at first then within an hour they all but shut down and the gar took over, we landed one 15+ pound gar and lost 4 more bruisers so for those who think gar don't feed on the bottom guess again ;) That's it for now I'll be starting up finning more here very soon and look out leaders - I'm on the track.
FOTY = 3 under 24", NCPIERMAN, TimT
FOTY = 4 under 24", Drumhunter Wayne H

NCPIERMAN, TimT, 08/19/08



August 2008, Trent River

BAGman,
While out fishing on the Trent River in Trenton N.C., I saw what looked like a large stick on a sand bar. My friend and I moved a little way down the sand bar and I saw this 10 pound bowfin dart after a small brim. We had a few small brim in our bait bucket, so I grabbed one and put it on the hook and cast with in a few feet of the bowfin. It took about an hour before he took the bait. I let him run a few feet and set the hook. When I snatched he shot out of the water like a rocket and put up a good 15 minute fight on ultra light gear. I put him in a tank in the back of my truck, went to town to show my dad, and had this picture taken. Immediately after, I took the fish back to the river to fight another day.
WillieS, 08/08/08




July 2008

BAGman,
I'm from NC and would like to turn everyone on to 3 great locations for some great finnin'. One is the Lumber River near Boardman, North Carolina on Highway 74/76. The next is a little known and small spot called the Beaver Pond between the two Whiteville exits on Highway 74/76, and the last is Lake Waccamaw, just farther east on hwy 74/76. I was in the Lumber River last year fishing with a red shad plastic worm for some b@$$ when I thought I was hung on a root. When I tried to tug it loose it took off like a rocket and dragged my small flat bottom boat with anchor down and myself and wife aboard up a slough in the river just north or the westbound side of the bridge. After 45 minutes of fighting the fish on 12lb test line I was appalled when I finally got the fish to the boat. It was the biggest bowfin I have ever caught, and the only one I have caught on artificial bait. I usually use crawfish or shad. I had to break my paddle on the fish to get him in the boat. I took it to my friend's tackle shop where we weighed the fish at 31lbs and a few odd ounces. Thank God for Spiderwire or that one would have gotten away. That was the biggest rush I have had in a while, besides jumping out of durn good airplanes for the U.S. Army. Since then, I have done nothing but search for a bigger one. I don't fish for b@$$ any more just my bowfin and catfish.
Larry S, 07/27/08




July 2008, Rhodes Pond

BAGman,
Here are some pics of some of the Blackfish we have been catching in Wade County, NC. I live in Hope Mills we go to Rhodes Pond every weekend hoping to catch the Blackfish. We love the fight of this fish we fish all times of day. Lately the fish have been breaking the 20 pound line like nothing.

BraxtonS, 07/20/08




July 2008, Durham Impoundments

Chuck,
The Bowfin action has been picking up in the Triangle of late. A little kid caught a 12 lb. fin in University Lake, and an angler posted a photo of a 9+ lb fin he caught at Shearon Harris Lake on a local b@ss board. We've had lots of rain, and the water has been cool and high, so it seems to help.
I don't have much to report except for this little fella I caught one evening this week at one of my favorite impoundment haunts. The Bowfin were waiting to ambush baitfish from deep pockets right along the bank and I spooked a few before I figured out what they were up to. Because the Yellow Perch have been active, I tied on a little black and yellow Rapala floating minnow and cast it parallel to the shoreline hoping to scare up a Bowfin. This fish chased my lure down over about a two yard stretch, and I could see the wake he pushed up as he approached. It was quite a sight. He was in a jumping mood, too, and put up a great fight.
FOTY = 1 under 24"
HenryV, 07/17/08




July 2008, Chowan River

Chuck,
Caught this past Saturday in the Chowan River, while bream fishing with worms...... Great fight and jumped out of the water several times, did not measure or weigh but great fish, thanks for the site!

Cecil T, 07/16/08




July 2008, White Oak River

Chuck,
NCPierman has finally returned for a month to NC and we have managed twice to get out for bowfin. Today, we went to the White Oak River near Stella off route 58 to Haywood Landing. Tim aand I went way up river to points we never been before and proceeded to lay into the bowfin with 4 in the boat in less than 20 minutes. Between the two of us we landed 19 bowfin with only one being over 24 and that went to NCPierman at 25 inches. Just as it really started to heat up a storm moved in and we called it a day, but here are my fish pics and NCPierman has some action pics you may be interested in as well.
See y'all again soon
FOTY = 8 under 24", 2 at 24-30"

Drumhunter Wayne H, 07/03/08




Wayne (Drumhunter) and I waged war of the bowfins. Wayne landed 10, while I landed 7 with a total between us of 3 over 24: a 25 1\2, a 25, and a 27 incher. The heaviest was 6 1\2 pounds - what a brute! The water was loaded with small pods of minnows and as they showed up so did the big boys and girls. We landed 3 of them and lost at least 8 other brutes. One I lost cut 30 pound power pro 5 minutes into the fight. I was upset because this fish was most likely my biggest of the year so far, at least 30 inches. Tight lines and screamin' drags to you all most of all be safe out there.
FOTY = 6 under 24", 1 at 24-30"
NCPIERMAN, TimT, 07/03/08


June 2008, White Oak River

Chuck,
NCPierman has finally returned for a month to NC and we have managed twice to get out for bowfin. Today, we went to the White Oak River near Stella off route 58 to Haywood Landing. Tim aand I went way up river to points we never been before and proceeded to lay into the bowfin with 4 in the boat in less than 20 minutes. Between the two of us we landed 19 bowfin with only one being over 24 and that went to NCPierman at 25 inches. Just as it really started to heat up a storm moved in and we called it a day, but here are my fish pics and NCPierman has some action pics you may be interested in as well.
See y'all again soon
FOTY = 14 under 24"

Drumhunter Wayne H, 06/23/08




Long time, no fishing but I'm back in North Carolina till July 12th and its time I sent ya some pics of the fins we've been catching. We went on the 15th and today the 20th and we have a few fins to share, we went the first time to new river in Jacksonville were we caught a few fins, not many but today we headed to the white ok river off highway 58 near Stella at Haywood landing. We set out in my buddies boat a 15ft modified v Alumacraft with a nice new 15 horse Yammie on the back, what a sweet ride, now I want to get rid of my 12ftr and get one like this ride we had today, we went armed with same old baits mullet minnows fresh ones from the day before and frozen. I ended up with 6 for the day, one over 24 so not too shabby for the day plus one from the 15th, so not to delay here are the pics and I'm sure I'll be doing more finning till I go back to NC.
FOTY = 5 under 24", 1 at 24-30"
NCPIERMAN, TimT, 06/23/08


June 2008, Durham Impoundments

Chuck,
This is only a short note, but it is perhaps better than nothing. I caught this male Bowfin at my usual haunts in the Durham impoundments. This fish had a belly like a pre-spawn female (and a worn reddish tail), leading me to think it had only recently left the beds (a bit late for this time of year). The fish weighed 4 lbs and clocked in at an even 22 inches. As you can see, it also straightened the shaft on my spinner bait. Luckily, I was using a trailer hook, and this one did not get away.
FOTY = 1 under 24"
HenryV, 06/18/08




June 2008, New River

BAGman,
I was gar fishing with my boyfriend around 4:30-5:00pm on the New River in Jacksonville, NC. I got a bite, thought it was just another gar when it jerked back. I fought it all the way up to a bush by the bridge. My boyfriend reached down and threw it on the bridge for me. That was my first bowfin I ever caught.
Mary P, 06/02/08




June 2008, Merchant's Millpond SP

Bagman,
I was off today so went to Merchant's Millpond in Gatesville, NC for a little fishing. I am attaching a picture of a bowfin I caught. Not a good picture because I was by myself and there was no where to lay the fish down and it was taken with a cell phone. The picture doesn't do the fish justice. By my quick measurement, it was 24". It was caught on red worms.
Jerry L, 06/02/08




May 2008, University Lake

Chuck,
I was scheduled to fish at University Lake in Chapel Hill with my buddy Steve on Saturday but something came up so I called him and said "I am awfully sorry to be obliged to postpone the journey till tomorrow." We followed our fishing tradition for when fish the lake: he wore his Boston Red Sox cap and I wore my lucky NY Yankees visor. And as usuall, we did not say a word about either team, the logos on our hats locked in a quiet stand-off while we fished.
It was a slow day and a light wind pushed bait fish to the eastern shore. We fished along, catching a few b@ss. We entered a long, swampy flat and watched as a big fish slaughtered baitfish in the shallows near a creek. Try as we might, we could not hunt it down.
The day wore on and I became resigned to a slow day. We started back, working our way along the shore. We entered a cove on the shady side of the lake and I dropped a Gulp plastic worm along a shallow weed line. I twitched it a few times, waited, then began reeling it back, stopped, twitched, and waited again. I was using finesse b@ss fishing techniques (it was even a Carolina rig) hoping a Bowfin would take the bait.
Boy did it ever. This mighty 'fin smashed the worm and headed for deep water. I held on for dear life (I knew it was a big fish when it turned our boat around). After a good long fight I landed the fish and took these photographs. The final statistics: 9 lbs, 2 oz., 31 inches in length. I released the fish alive and immediately asked my buddy what opinion he had of my batting average.
FOTY = 1 over 30"
HenryV, NC, 05/27/08




May 2008, Catawba River

BAGman,
Here is a link to the cove that I and three of my neighbors have caught bowfin in. It is the northern most cove, lined by Carriage Rd and W Lewis Ferry Rd. I really appreciate your effort on educating the public on bowfin, especially with catches of snakeheads in Lake Norman. We have sort of a snakehead schizophrenia so to speak at the moment and bowfin should never be confused with those.
RedCamaro, 05/20/08




April 2008, Chapel Hill Bowfin Pond

Chuck,
I have had a particularly busy week in all ways, with the prospect of a few happy hours of fishing as my reward. Our Carolina Fishing Club has been thinking about adopting a small lake that is near the UNC campus in Chapel Hill. It's a small lake (only three or four acres in size), but its location and healthy eco-system make it a diamond in the rough...More...
FOTY = 1 new Hotspot with write up
HenryV, 04/28/08




April 2008, Merchant's Millpond SP

BAGman,
I took my 2 daughters to Merchant's Millpond State Park and caught 7 bowfin. I wasn't sure what they were so I asked a local guy and he said they were blackfish. This place is loaded with them. They ranged from 12" to 24" in length. I took them off barehanded and almost made the mistake of putting my thumb in their mouth until I saw their teeth. I immediately came home to research the fish. I am a fan...No pictures this time but will take the camera next time.
JerryL, 04/21/08




March 2008, Durham Impoundments

Chuck,
All winter long, a cold coming we had of it, just the worst time of the year, and then a strange thing happened: it rained in North Carolina. In my area, 4+ inches put a nice dent in the drought, filled up reservoirs, and started a run of white bass in the rivers and creeks. I stopped after work to watch the bass run one day, and then another strange thing: as I was watching, I saw an angler pull a nice Bowfin out of the whitewater rapids. And then another person downstream pulled one out. So I went home, grabbed my gear, and headed to a different, less popular impoundment. It was filled with hungry pre-spawn Bowfin. I landed three and lost two in less than one hour (a three Bowfin day is a great day when fishing with artificial lures). And when I was finished I hauled a bag of recyclable trash out of the spot. My Bowfin measured 25", 22", and 13" respectively. The smallest - a male - was red on the belly from nesting, and the 22" Bowfin was a thick female loaded with eggs (that's her in the photo next to my rods). I quickly returned them to the water with great care so that they could resume their spring mating festivities.
FOTY = 2 under 24",1 at 24"-30", 1 bag trash
HenryV, 03/13/08




March 2008, New River

Chuck,
We went fishing the last 2 Saturdays and Drumhunter has been putting a hurt on me. I've caught 8 to his 20 some fish the last 2 times out. Mine are larger for sure, but not as many as he has been getting. We caught these fish way down the creek from our normal haunts. We are taking my granddaughter for her birthday next Saturday and I hope to have plenty more pics then.
FOTY = 5 under 24", 3 at 24-30"
NCPIERMAN, TimT, 03/04/08


March 2008, New River

Chuck,
2 great weekend fishing trips on the New River with a lot of fish to show for it. The weekend before last we hammered the fins. Tim even captured some video of them jumping all around us. We were on the New River in Jacksonville again, only a lot further down from our normal spots, not sure of how far down but it was a ways, these fish fell to Spanish sardines and finger mullets. It was a great 2 weekends and were looking forward to more this weekend when we take my daughter for her birthday and try to get her her first fins. Thanks again, and come on guys - let's get finning!
FOTY = 16 under 24", 3 at 24-30"
DrumHunter, WayneH, 03/04/08


March 2008, Durham Impoundments

Chuck,
We had a good two hour stretch on the water at one of the Durham impoundments. Air temps were in the 60's, and anglers were out in force - as were the Wildlife Rangers. It was quiet for the first hour, and then we landed two Bowfin in a span of about four minutes. It must have been one of those 'feeding windows" on the lunar table. My single Bowfin measured an even 24". I noticed that having the rod measured and marked helps me return the the fish to the water much faster. This is important because my two early season Fins were males (with reddish tails) that were hanging around near vegetation or downed trees. Since Bowfin like to spawn in those areas, it makes handling them carefully that much more important - if the males die, the eggs and the fry are left vulnerable to predators. Tight lines to all,
FOTY = 1 at 24"-30"
HenryV, 03/03/08




February 2008, New River

Chuck,
Hello my good friend how's things going? Pretty good here despite getting a lashing from Drumhunter Wayne on the bowfins as of late, but that's OK. To me, someone's got to catch 'em when I can't. I've been hurting with a bad ankle (minor fractures and tendon tears), not bad enough to keep me from doing my thing with the fins on the weekend, though. Now bait of choice was mullet for me, and Spanish sardines for Wayne. Maybe I should've switched with him. We started off around 2 pm and quit around 7 or a little later. I'm getting old and can't take the cold like I used to. It was in the 60s during the day and 40 at dusk. Man, it got cold fast! My best of the day and night was a tad over 25 inches...................... Tight lines and screamin' drags to you all. I can't wait until Saturday! Rain or shine, cold or warmth, I'm going finning to redeem myself a bit.

Note the cool Breakin' Steel! sweatshirt!

FOTY = 3 under 24", 1 24-30"
NCPIERMAN, TimT, 02/22/08


February 2008, New River

Chuck,
Tim and I had a great day on the 16th of Feb. I personally landed 13 bowfin ranging from 18 to 26 inches. It was a great day finning on the New River and we made a day and night of it for sure. We started around 2 pm and quit around 7 pm when it got too cold to stand it any longer. Our bait of choice was finger mullets and Spanish sardines this time since Wally world was out of finger mullets. #3 Alaskan hooks with 30 pound test Power Pro. It was awesome fishing and I can't wait for our next trip. It's getting hot so to speak and I'm after NCPiermans title for sure.

What an awesome day it was today (02/18/08)! We got rained out at work and decided to go after some fins again, We broke out the bait and rods, loaded the boat, and were on the water by 10 am and first line in by 10:30 am. Didn't take long to find the bows since they were surfacing all over the place in the drizzle we were getting. I nailed 7 fins for the day, 1 just under 24 and 6 definitely under 24. These are some of the smallest fins Tim or I have caught. NCPierman didn't get any in the boat, but did manage to get a lot to the boat. He even had one snap the tip off his new rod his wife got him for is birthday on the 4th of Feb. He did have two huge fish on that we never even got to see. For them to snap 30 pound Power Pro with a 65 pound leader it had to be huge for sure. We were using mullet and Spanish sardines for bait once again and there food choice seemed to be the Spanish sardines once again. We got wet enough and left the fish biting still at 2 pm. I'm now convinced bows bite better in the light rain then at any other time. Every time the rain stopped so did they. Thanks again for such a great site.
FOTY = 18 under 24", 2 24-30"
DrumHunter, WayneH, 02/22/08


February 2008, Durham Impoundments

Chuck,
I was hoping to start the season with a bang; it started instead with a whimper. This little female measured just over 20". She grabbed a crankbait in warm, shallow water. Thankfully I using a light rod, and the fight was fun. The fish are starting to bite, but you have to be patient and wait for the water to warm up. It's best to check it with a thermometer before wasting your time. Nonetheless, the crappie are moving around structure, carp are on the flats, and spring is around the Durham corner.
FOTY = 1 under 24"
HenryV, 02/11/08




February 2008, New River

Chuck,
Me and Tim (NCPierman) got out fishing for bowfin yesterday and had a great day at that. We went and explored some new areas on the New River and were able to put a lot of bowfin in the boat as well as some other types of fish like huge catfish, gar, and pickerel. We used finger mullet we bought since Tim's freezer quit and we lost all our winter bait, but we still caught fish in new areas of the creek which is what it's all about.
I kind of hammered Tim this time out with a total of 10 fins and some good ones at that in the range of 26 inch and a tad better. It started out fast with a lot of smaller fish and as the weather got warmer we started getting some really nice bowfin. Tim lost one at the boat that was huge to say the least, and I lost 2 well into the 30 inch range. The best part is we got out together again and had a great time catching fins.
Now were already planning for next week's trip and where to go. We may head to the White Oak or hit some more of the New River which is a huge river as well as is the White Oak. Good finning to you all out there and we hope your weather breaks soon so we see some more fins from around the globe.
FOTY = 7 under 24", 3 24-30"
DrumHunter, WayneH, 02/11/08


February 2008, New River

Chuck,
I did get out on the New River yesterday with Drumhunter (Wayne) and I'm submitting my first entry for the FOTY contest which I will be actively participating in again this year. We headed down stream this time and traveled about 4 miles of the creek in search of new and better spots to fish it from the boat, we did find a lot of good holes to fish and we managed some really decent fins but lost 3 that were monsters.
Our bait of choice was frozen finger mullets from Wally world cut in half and a #3 Alaskan hook sinkerless. The tide was flowing in and the fish were definitely hungry as you can see. I'm sending my pics separate of Drumhunter's as to not get them mixed up. Hope you enjoy! I know we did and even though he smashed me on the fins next trip it's gonna be me. It was a great day finning with the water temps in the 60's and the weather in the high 60's. We couldn't have asked for a better day in my books except for a new record fin. I did manage to land a gar all of 15 pounds it was 46.5 inches in length with a huge fat body.
Enjoy folks finning season is here and were starting it with a bang!!!!!
FOTY = 4 under 24", 2 @ 24-30"
NCPIERMAN, TimT, 02/11/08


January 2008, New River

Chuck,
Tim and I went today for fins and managed these fine fish for the day. We are running out of baits to use from the summer and the fish are really getting going strong here on our end. NCPIERMAN is gonna take the bait and get into the contest this year against me. Here is my second set of fish that I'm up on him now. Hopefully he won't catch up but get close to make it interesting. All fish were caught on old Virginia croaker strips and we were on the New River in Jacksonville. The first one was 27 1\2 inches, the second one was 23 inches, and the last one I have a picture of is under 24 inches but heck still a point or 2. Check the colors out of this one, they're bright and colorful. All you other finners are gonna have to catch up quick!
Tim did lose one right at the boat but it was under 15 inches and I lost a really good one, which I would say was very close to the record. Not as good a day as it was last weekend in the rain but its starting to warm up now and the fish are getting very active. Even the gar were splashing all over the surface today where we were fishing. Take care.
FOTY = 2 under 24", 1 24-30"
DrumHunter, WayneH, 01/28/08


January 2008, New River

Chuck,
We went fishing for fins along with our friend and his kids to see if we could wrangle up some fins for the day. It was bitter cold for us - in the mid 40's - and our bait of choice was whole mullets cut into strip baits and casted with no sinkers to flow with the current. We got out around 11:30 am and hit the creek (New River), our favorite spot, and went down the creek to a power line area. We set up and put the lines out and it didn't take long to latch into the first heavy hitter of the day and man they fought hard for this time of the year. We lost 4 in less than 15 minutes that were at least 6 to 9 pounds right at the boat. Joe M, our friend from work, broke the losing streak by landing this sweet bowfin, the first for the day.
After that it was my turn, as NCPierman put me on the holes and kept the lines baited for me. I did manage to land 4 nice fins mostly 19 1\4 inches to 21 inches. I'm hoping to take Tim's title and become Finner of the Year 2008, so this is my start of the season. Here are the pics of the rest of my fish with the tape in the pic of the sizes and one of me holding them as well. I myself landed 4 lost 6, Tim landed 4 and lost at least 8, my buddy Joe lost 2 and landed 2. Not bad for a cold rainy January day!
Looking forward to a good fight this year for FOTY 2008. Hope ya'll will get this going!
FOTY = 4 under 24"
DrumHunter, WayneH, 01/21/08


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