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I target them alot in my local pond. They are real fun. They'll come right up to you and just stare at you. They are attracted to movement and noise. It took me a while to actually start landing them. Use the sharpest hooks you got. When you see one stop. Toss the fly in front of them let them see it. Sometimes they'll go right for it but alot of times they'll stare at
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it then bite. When they do bite you NEED to wait for at least 3 seconds then set the hook hard and hurry to get that thing in the boat.
I use baitfish patterns.
 

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Danny Scarborough runs guided trips for them on Lake Conroe here in Texas; I think he's on facebook and I'm sure he'd be happy to share some knowledge if you contact him. He's told me what flies he uses and how he fishes them but I've forgotten what he told me. Give him a shout.
 

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Where I catch them it's exclusively sight fishing. I pole around grass early in the season when they are staging to spawn, this time of year they are in 3-8 feet on water in weedy bays. Often I will turn around and one will be following the boat. They sometimes take a little bit of coaxing but all of the eats have come from jigging the fly right above their head. Their eyes are oriented to the top of their head, so a fly above them in front of their mouth will get their attention.

They seem to like flies with a lot of movement. My bowfin flies are tied on short, jig style hooks; heavy wire; size 4-1/0. Dumbell eyes, lots of marabou and thick collar hackles. Olive and rust are good but they will hit most anything. One of my favorite fish to target, hands down. They jump, run, and attack flies. Gotta set the hook pretty hard as they have a bony mouth. I hate seeing people confuse them with snakehead, as they think they are invasive and cull them. They're awesome native fish.
 

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Evening is best, they seem to especially like a nearby thunderstorm. They can be moody about eating; definitely sightfish them.
 

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I caught one on a woolly bugger on a 3 wt. glass rod. Whoa! What a surprise that was! I’d never seen one. Around here they are called choupique and one of the local boat clubs hosts a choupique rodeo. The one I caught was evidently ready to spawn, black spot on the tail with an orange circle around it and sort of neon green fins.
 

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I can't believe no one has talked about poppers. Bass/frog poppers, worked slowly. Pop it and let it sit till it hurts, then repeat!
 

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I can't believe no one has talked about poppers. Bass/frog poppers, worked slowly. Pop it and let it sit till it hurts, then repeat!
I have seen one eat a top water and it was awesome!


Probably going to target them friday. I'll post what I catch
 

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Are you positive they are bowfin and not snakeheads? Have to ask as they look a little similar and snakeheads can be very shy at times. If bowfin, throw a hook on a rubber ducky bath toy and pop it like a frog, those things love baby ducks!
 

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I target them alot in my local pond. They are real fun. They'll come right up to you and just stare at you. They are attracted to movement and noise. It took me a while to actually start landing them. Use the sharpest hooks you got. When you see one stop. Toss the fly in front of them let them see it. Sometimes they'll go right for it but alot of times they'll stare at View attachment 151068 View attachment 151069 it then bite. When they do bite you NEED to wait for at least 3 seconds then set the hook hard and hurry to get that thing in the boat.
I use baitfish patterns.
So I have found a few spots with them recently, and with some good size as well, and I have not been able to set the hook and keep them hooked for the life of me. Fishing b10s sz 1 and umpqua tarpon sz 1/0, but makes sense now to wait a little longer. They are crazy looking fish man. I had one run right up on me, stare me down, and go back under. Threw a gurgler 10ft passed where he surfaced, gave it two pops and it destroyed that damn thing, but about 10 seconds in he was off. I have had plenty of luck getting them to eat on topwater, but zero luck getting the fish to hand. I’ve heard thinner wire hooks, but also any sharp ass hook will do it. Will try the 3 second pause, and hammer down next time.
 

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I have some buddies in South Georgia who catch them on fly. It’s got a spinner blade on it like a Cowans Coyote and black or black and purple.
 

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So I have found a few spots with them recently, and with some good size as well, and I have not been able to set the hook and keep them hooked for the life of me. Fishing b10s sz 1 and umpqua tarpon sz 1/0, but makes sense now to wait a little longer. They are crazy looking fish man. I had one run right up on me, stare me down, and go back under. Threw a gurgler 10ft passed where he surfaced, gave it two pops and it destroyed that damn thing, but about 10 seconds in he was off. I have had plenty of luck getting them to eat on topwater, but zero luck getting the fish to hand. I’ve heard thinner wire hooks, but also any sharp ass hook will do it. Will try the 3 second pause, and hammer down next time.
100%, sharp is key. I've had the best luck with short shank, heavy wire hooks as the bigger specimens here can absolutely bend thinner hooks straight. Ultimately, I've just had to accept that I'm going to lose a certain percentage because there is only so much area in their mouth where a hook can properly embed.
 

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100%, sharp is key. I've had the best luck with short shank, heavy wire hooks as the bigger specimens here can absolutely bend thinner hooks straight. Ultimately, I've just had to accept that I'm going to lose a certain percentage because there is only so much area in their mouth where a hook can properly embed.
I actually picked up some short shank, heavier wire hooks to tie some flies on for this purpose. A few of the places I’ve been trying for them, hold them in pretty big numbers, they aren’t shy, and you’ve got shots at them. so sooner or later it’s gonna work out, and i have no plans of giving up 🤣
 

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Most of the advice is spot on. Mine were sight casted and coaxed into biting because they were aggravated seeing the fly in their face. All caught within 10-15 ft of the skiff. Fly used was an Olive EP Streamer Brush/Craft Fur w/ cone head. Fight as they are "Pissed Off" rather than running for their life. Since they can "Breathe" from an air bladder, they are subject to gain back their energy when taking a picture......

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Most of the advice is spot on. Mine were sight casted and coaxed into biting because they were aggravated seeing the fly in their face. All caught within 10-15 ft of the skiff. Fly used was an Olive EP Streamer Brush/Craft Fur w/ cone head. Fight as they are "Pissed Off" rather than running for their life. Since they can "Breathe" from an air bladder, they are subject to gain back their energy when taking a picture......

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Definitely the most aggressive warm water fish I have encountered. Around here they are living amongst the gators and thriving, so I think that’s gotta say something about their personalities 🤣
 

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I have always caught them on black gurglers, this is fishing dark water where sight fishing would not be an option.
 
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