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Ham and Dave’s Bowfin Odyssey


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So, I’m just Full of Great ideas. For the second time, I put the wheels in motion for another Bowfin centric trip. You may remember how my Bowfin Expedition with John at Big Cypress Bayou turned out for me, but at least one of us got bowfin in the boat. If you didn’t catch the trip report, I’ll try to link it. Bowfin trip to Big Cypress Bayou.

So Last year I found a Great backwater area that is Full of Fun and unusual fish species. Even a scrub like me managed to catch some of them. I even managed to target and catch a Bowfin on fly.  So, this gets @FishNDave ’s attention. I fed the hype train enough that we planned for a Spring Trip.

wellllllllll, we committed to the trip being next week and heavy rains have created flood conditions. My special little place is under 10 foot of muddy water. I’ve been looking online, calling lots of AGFC folks, and studying maps /aerial photographs. I am scrambling to find us a place to catch some bowfin. I have pretty firm plans for Day 1. I have lots of ideas for Day 2 and Day 3, but there is no telling where we will fish. This was gonna be an Eastern Arkansas deal, but even money that we end up in Missouri for a day.

Will we fish from shore? For Sure! Will we fish from a canoe? Will Do!  Will we fish from Waldo? I don't know. 

You guys need to remember that If Dave can’t catch them on fly, then he will just do without. I want more Bowfin on fly, but I’m not legally nor morally bound to only fly fishing. I’ll fish fly/spin/ and baitcasting. I try to not go anywhere without a micro rod. 

Dave is traveling down on Monday and may get his Lifer Bowfin without me. I get to start fishing on Tuesday. Dave has also abdicated all responsibility for choosing where to fish.  #nopressure 
One thing is certain:  It’s going to be long, hard days with as much driving as fishing with minimal food and sleep. (Iheartfossilfuels). 

As always, I hope for the Best, but I can handle and survive lots of frustration. Regardless, there will be daily updates starting Monday from Dave or I or both. It should be photo heavy. I only hope we will be able to develop a Scratch and Sniff card to go with the trip report. Hmmmm Swamp Mud My Favorite!

Y’all Hide and Watch. It’s gonna be stupid.

Every Saint has a past, every Sinner has a future. On Instagram @hamneedstofish

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3 hours ago, Quillback said:

We like pictures!

With @snagged in outlet 3 offline Someone had to say it😉. I don't  have a dog alarm clock so actually slept in today and missed my chance. 

Rest assured @FishnDave   will get some photos.

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With Dave along, there will be Good pics of my fish if I catch anything I need a Good picture of. And.... Dave takes Good Selfies too.  

Every Saint has a past, every Sinner has a future. On Instagram @hamneedstofish

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Monday.  Fished Duck Creek CA first. I hoped for more of those Warmouth we caught last year.  Nope.  Saw some gar, but they didn’t like me getting too close and casting to them.  Caught a Green Sunfish.


Fished several spots, nothing happening.

Went to Mingo next. Very high water everywhere. Got a gar to bite at the first spot, but missed on the hookset. Spooked some others.  At a 2nd spot I saw gar, a huge common carp, some shad and what appeared to be Goldeye.  None of them wanted to play.  Almost stepped on a few snakes, and found a turtle shell.


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Waters still high and stained.  Today we fished a lake, a couple ponds, and some roadside ditches.

 @Ham can chime in with his catches.  I caught zero fish. I had several strikes from gar, but always had the wrong fly on at those times. 
I did finally see a bowfin.  Ham can confirm I got it to strike my topwater fly… but didn’t hook it.

I found another turtle shell ( no picture), but @Ham found a box turtle shell!


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So much driving.

I left the house before 0700. I think we were fishing by 1100. Pointed it towards home at 1700. Got home at 20:30

we fished a weird little place in St Francis County. BFE. It was as advertised. It had bass, Gar, bowfin, and snakehead. 
I was concerned that two guys waving fly rods in a canoe = broken rods. I fished the long pole from shore, but conventional gear in the boat.I put Dave in the front of the canoe and tried to ease him along letting him take shots in the slope. It was such heavy vegetation that the flyrod thing was difficult . 
I threw a Jackhammer, Baby Brush Hog, and a Teckle Sprinkle Frog. The frog is the only thing that got bit.

missed a couple tentative bites from under the mat. I had a huge blow up waited a second nudged it forward and got the eat. Set and Fish On! But it was a stinkin bass. 9815FDBA-28AF-4B64-BA6B-47896BE43AED.jpegI fished a little further and got a strange bite where the fish rushed the frog horizontally. Fish kinda pushed the bait away on the strike. I never felt it. A few minutes later I got another hard horizontal strike. This fish seemed larger and struck much harder and got the frog. I set and felt weight fir just a second before it came off. I am pretty sure it was a snakehead and that was a bummer.

I did get another massive strike from a bass that I was able to hook and land. 

We shifted gears and took the boat out of the water and tried a wide variety of areas from shore. Dave spotted a bowfin was able to get an eat. Sadly, Tge bowfin took the fly down, but didn’t fully engulf it. The hook didn’t grab. You are are not going to hook 100% of your bowfin bites, but I really wanted Dade to get that one.

tough to be scouting and fishing new water on a compressed day. The fishing was Good, but the catching was terrible. I did get my fish from St Francis county and I did not have to settle for a Western Mosquito fish to do it. 



Every Saint has a past, every Sinner has a future. On Instagram @hamneedstofish

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