Look at all those spots! Look at all those pics? Send those pics Indiana!

The Yellow dots indicate the State Record (lb-oz or 00.00 lb), the Red dots are other fin locations that have been revealed to us. They link to Topozone maps that get you in the neighborhood, if not to the exact spot. The Photos name the location the fins were caught (if known). Thanks to Dave D (Osama Bin Bowfin) for this idea.

August 2011, Kankakee River

These bowfin were caught in tributaries of the Kankakee river in northern Indiana. They range in size from about 5 lbs to one which I believe was around 7 lbs...that fish went airborne many times while reeling her in. The pics were taken next to my size 13 shoe for reference. All were caught on spinner baits while b@$$ fishing. Each picture is a different fish. My friends and I pull bowfin out of the local waterways pretty much at will and can catch dozens per day in July and August. Typical sizes are what you see in the pics.
JonM, 08/18/11

May 2011, Loc'n Unknown

This is Luke H. from southern Indiana. I took this picture today of a bowfin and fry at a slough I was bowfishing at. Don't worry, did not shoot him. I don't shoot grinnle in any event with or without a fry ball around.
LukeH, 05/25/11

March 2011, Loc'n Unknown

I caught this Bowfin in Northern Indian on a silver fluke - March 20! Fyi - Had one more on 15 minutes later that was much bigger but didn't land him.
AlanJ, 03/20/11

August 2010, Kankakee River, Shelby

Here's a couple of dogfish I caught in a stream that runs off the Kankakee River in Shelby, Indiana. They were probably about 5 or 6 lbs and maybe about 20 to 22 inches (took a pic of one next to my size 13 for sizing purposes). Caught one on a spinner and the other on a cut blue gill. Whenever I use cut bait, it's like feeding sharks. These things attack it instantly. Loads of fun! There are much bigger bowfins in the area and I will try to get a pic to you if I ever catch one of them.
JonM, 08/10/10

August 2010, Heaton Lake

I caught this fin on Heaton Lake, Elkhart. The other is my son in law Tim, caught on the same lake last weekend.
Scott, 08/10/10

July 2010, Location Unknown

I caught and released this fin on an Indiana lake.
Joe M, 07/27/10

July 2010, Messick Lake

I hooked this bowfin we named "grandpa" twice, but only caught him once, off our pier at our seasonal campsite on Messick Lake in Wolcottville,Indiana. On Friday, I hooked him on a no. 8 bluegill hook with a live minnow on 8 lb. test rod and reel. I fought him - big mistake. He straightened the hook and got away. I returned on Saturday with a no. 4 hook and baby bluegill as bait on the same tackle. I hooked him again, but didn't fight him this time. I let him tire himself out and landed him with a net. He measured 23 inches and 5 lbs. on my less than certified spring scale. He sure was fun to catch.
Marty S, 07/20/10

June 2010, Starve Hollow Lake

I had my first experience with a Bowfin this past weekend. I caught the fish June 6th at Starve Hollow Lake in southern Indiana. North of Salem, south of Brownstown close to the Mascatatuk river. DNR think last year's flood allowed the Bowfin to populate the lake. Not big compared to some others on here, but DNR says the fishing Derby that weekend brought some big Bowfin out of the lake.
Julia N, 06/09/10

June 2010, First Creek

5/28/10 --- I caught this here in First Creek in Martin County Indiana. The water was crystal clear, and was a joy to watch him take the bait. This was one of the three I enticed and the largest, 27" long and probably 6-7 lbs. I caught it on a Reaction Innovations smally beaver, 3/0 gamagatsu hook, Texas rigged on 17 lb vicious flouro. I will be going back to see if I can catch a few others.
Kyle T, 06/02/10

April 2010, Lake George

This big bowfin hit at top water plastic frog at Lake George, Hobart,Indiana. He gave me a great fight, so I released it to be caught again some other day. Hope you can add it to your Indiana map.
Jonathan R, 04/06/10

August 2009, Kankakee River

Lip and I finally got out this weekend and it wasn't shaping up too well with a major coldfront settling in and a stiff wind out of the Northwest, but we moved forward and gave it our best shot.
We started off at one of our regular ditches and it didn't look like anything was shakin' loose, when I decided to pull out my affectionately termed "toy rod" loaded with 2lb. test line and a 1/32 oz. maribou jig. I had a couple light hits right off, probably just gills nipping away, but while dragging it across a hump into deeper water I felt a solid hit. Much to my surpise the battle was on, and on, and on... I hooked into a big bowfin, and with my reel loaded with 2lb. test line and being on a high bank over the water, we spent a short while trying to figure out how to land the fish. The bank was too trecherous for either of us to try to shimmy our way down to the waters edge, and then it came to me. Lip was using 30lb. braid and fishing a Senko - the concept was to work the fish towards the sloping bank near the waters edge and to try to get it to open its mouth so Lip could drop his worm hook inside and assist in lifting the fish up the steep bank...weird, but successful!
All in all, it was another great day down by the Kankakee!
Fishaholic (Mark T), 08/25/09

August 2009, Snakey Point

I was looking at the Indiana map and noticed there is a hotspot missing. In southern Indiana, in Gibson County, outside Oakland City, there is a huge slough called Snakey Point. There are more than enough fins to go around.
LukeH, 08/10/09

July 2009, Manitou Lake

Thanks so much for the site. I caught this 25 inch fin today on cut bait at our favorite b@$$ site. We tried the night before to catch this beauty but we weren't prepared for such a great fight and he got away twice. We went back again tonight and got him in about 10 mins from casting out.
25" long, 11" girth, released back into water to catch again!
Chad P., 07/21/09

July 2009, Millersburg Canal

I went out finnin' last night and caught this one as I was reeling in my line to leave. This is from Millersburg Canal in Warrick County, Indiana. It has been awhile since I have seen anyone from southern Indiana on here.
LukeH, 07/20/09

July 2009, Loc'n Unknown

Here are some pics taken of some Bowfin I caught in LaPorte County Indiana (Which holds the Indiana State Record for bowfin). All four were caught at night using live bait (mainly bluegill) and they sure put up one heckuva fight, especially the 4+ pounder! Great Website! Maybe you'll be hearing from me again soon with pics of a new Indiana state record!!!!
Anthony F, 07/06/09

September 2008, Webster Lake

I caught another dogfish on Sunday Morning. Caught him in the channel leading to Kyser off my dock, in the pouring rain. He is 25” and about 5 LB. I tried on Saturday night at about midnight to catch some dogfish off my dock, but not one bite. Got up Sunday morning and it was raining, I thought well I’ll put on my rain suit and give it a try. Well it was so good and they were so big that I missed 8 dogfish from them breaking my line. But I was able to catch one.
Remember Catch and Release.
TRBERK (TerryB), 09/16/08

August 2008, Webster Lake

I caught another dogfish today. This one was 21” and about 2Lb. Caught him at the Ponderosa boat launch just off of the backwater section of Webster lake, North Webster Indiana. I was using was cutup pieces of Bluegill. I was using a bobber at first, but the dogfish would just play with the bait, and never really take it. I decided to go straight line and see what happen. Well it took about an hour of waiting and I hooked this beauty.
TRBERK (TerryB), 08/27/08

August 2008, Webster Lake

I just caught my first dogfish last Monday night in Webster Lake, North Webster, Indiana. What a thrill! I love catching any big fish. Sport fish? HECK YA!!! We need a Chapter for Northern Indiana Bowfin!! Attached is a picture of my bowfin, 28" and 7 pounds.
TRBERK (TerryB), 08/01/08

July 2007, Burdette Park

I took my li'l girl out this morning after a night of catfishing so she could hook into a few fins. She caught these out of a slough in Burdett Park here in Southern IN. I caught 4 myself, but sorry no pics of them, just the 2 my daughter caught.
Kris, 07/02/07

May 2007, Millersburg Canal

I took the family out finnin' this morning. My wife had never caught a fin before, so I hoped the fishing would be good. It was better than good, it was awesome! We landed 14 total and lost more than that. Once the bait hit the water, they would nail it. Most were small, but we caught a couple good ones including my personal best. All were caught on Carolina rigs baited up with whole live shad on 6/0 Gamakatsu octopus circle hooks. Here are just a few of the pics.
Kris, 05/11/07

May 2007, Deep River

I was fishing in Deep River in the town of Lake Station, Indiana today and I caught and released my first bowfin. I've been fishing that same spot for 15 years and had never caught, seen, or even heard of one of these before. I had no idea what it was until I found your site. Thanks for helping identify it! Here's a picure of it.
TomJ, 05/07/07

March 2007, Patoka R (Jasper)

I was out fishing today and caught something I never even knew existed. I had a worm on the hook, and kept getting small bites. Then my bait went upstream and I yanked. I knew I had a fish that was a decent size by the way it was pulling. I caught a glance as it came to the surface and I actually thought for a second I had a catfish, but when I pulled it up on the bank I saw teeth and a long fin down the back and it was ugly as sin. I was stumped. Wasn't sure exactly what I had caught until a nice man stopped to tell me what it was. A Bowfin. Pretty cool, but still ugly.
Trish S, 03/28/07

January 2007, Garrett Creek

I just found your web site by accident, but wanted to tell the members a fish story. A true fish story! I farmed a lot of river bottom ground just north of Owensboro, Kentucky on Garrett Creek. I had a farm even lower than most and I was getting a lot of beaver who thought my poor soybean farm would make a great lake. The Department of Natural Resources told me I could not shoot them, so I bought a Hav-a-hart trap. Those I caught I tried to release a LONG way from my farm/lake.
Well, the back water came up. The Ohio river flooded and the trap went under water for almost a week. When the water went down, my beaver trap had something in it. As I got nearer, I realized I had a bowfin! That is the only time I have seen one of these unusual fish.
Joe M, 01/01/07

September 2006, Millersburg Canal

Hey Chuck,
Here are some pic's of my wife Shari and a couple of her Fins. These were both caught in the Millersburg Canal area in S.W. Indiana. She was using bluegill for cut bait. In the 1st pic you can see by the expression on her face she wasn't to sure about holding it for a picture. In the 2nd pic she is more comfortable of holding it. The 1st one was 21" and the 2nd was 26.5". Both were caught within the last week.
The video is a Fin with a large chunk of bluegill in it's mouth and wanting my bobber. Thanks to my wife Shari for videoing. Interesting and funny video. The other Fin hunters might enjoy this. It was videoed ( not quite caught ) in the Millersburg Canal area of S.W. IN.
Good Finnin',
Jason S, 09/01/06

August 2006, Millersburg Canal

Some pics for the site. The one with me is a male and female bowin I caught in mid-late Febuary at Millersburg canal. I was using a double hook Carolina rig and caught 'em both on the same line. Talk about a battle! One would try to go one direction while the other fin went the opposite.
The second pic is of my buddy's son, Logan, and his first bowfin ever. His brother lost several bowfins before I told him it was Logan's turn to try his hand at fighting one and he did great. This one was caught in a slough in Vanderburg county.
The third, with my daughter, was taken back in Oct. of 2005 and that was her first bowfin. she landed it all by herself using a Zebco 33 and baited with cut skipjack under a bobber. She caught it in Vanderburg County in southern IN. She was 3 years old in that pic and if I remember correctly it measured in at 17". She has caught several more since then.
Kris, 08/23/06

August 2006, Millersburg Canal

Hey Chuck,
Here are some more Bowfin pics from S.W. Indiana (Millersburg Canal). All of these were caught using either Crappie or Bluegill for cut bait and were caught in the last week FUN,FUN,FUN. Can't wait to get back out there.
Good Finnin',
Jason S, 08/22/06

I braved 100 degree heat and it payed off. This fin was 27" long and had a 14" girth. Caught on the Gulp worms. I'll try again tomorrow.
JasonS, 08/02/06

I hope there is a way to get this posted to your website. These fins were caught in the 200 year old Millersburg Canal in S.W. Indiana about 15 mi. N.E. of Evansville. They were all at least 23"+ long and fought like heck. The ones where it is dark were caught on a Gulp green turtle back worm using a #3 Truturn hook with 10lb. line. The one where there is still light was caught on a top water popper. I plan on getting out agian tomorrow.
Good Finnin',
Jason S, 08/01/06

April 2005, Driftwood SFA

I must say, until today I had never caught a bowfin but after today's fish, I am a believer. Attached is a picture of the 11lb 10 oz fish I caught. It was caught while b@$$ fishing using a jig/grub combo. It was an extremely hard fighting fish that reminded me of a carp, but even beefier. I caught it yesterday at The Driftwood State Fishing Area in Edinburgh Indiana. Water temps were in the high 50's and the water was crystal clear. There has never been a reported catch out of there, so I am the first that I know of. This lake is stocked with b@$$, bluegill, catfish, and muskies. I honestly thought I had a musky until I saw it. I like your site and I added it to my favorites. I will be back often. I was only 3 lbs off the state record! Maybe next time huh? Feel free to post the picture and story on your website. I will be back to visit. You have a very nice site by the way. Thanks again.
Scott W 04/06/05

March 2005, Webster Lake

Just saw your awesome bowfin site. I have been in pursuit of the mighty bowfin for years. In fact, attached is a photo of a fine brace of bowfin caught last year. It was a great day and the bowfin were really moving, but unfortunately we kept getting bothered by pesky muskies that wouldn't leave our bowfin lures alone. It was just one of those days when you couldn't keep the trash fish off your line. Here is a photo of my friend, Dave F with two bowfin caught last May. It just appears that he is hiding his head in shame behind the rods. Dave caught the 'fins while fishing a musky tournament on Lake Webster, IN. We were in 4th place out of 125 teams on the last day and were fishing in a shallow area known to hold lots of muskies. I kept getting follow after follow with muskies, then a nice fish slammed my friend's bucktail. We were rather perplexed when we netted the fish (which by the way fought better than any musky of it's size). If that fish would have been even a medium-sized musky, we might have won the tournament. Imagine our surprise when 5 minutes later it happened again! Thanks for the great site,
RickQ 03/01/05

January 2004, Sullivan Lake

I was out fishing with my friends at the Sullivan Lake dam in Indiana one hot summer day. The fishing had not been too great, although we did manage to catch three 11-inch bluegill. We decided to keep them to eat, so I put them on a stringer. About 5 minutes later the limb the stinger was tied to nearly doubled over. I suspected a Flathead or a snapper had eaten them, so I slowly started to pull the stringer out of the water. I was shocked when I saw the gills - they had been completely skinned! I figured I would throw it out in the shallows to see if I could see the culprit. Sure enough - here came a large Bowfin that grabbed a hold of one of them and ripped all but the head off. My friend, Nate, saw it and cast to it with a small Beetle Spin. That fin turned around and grabbed it! Nate set the hook and it made the trademark first run. He managed to wrestle it in, and we quickly released it. Since the bluegills were no longer any good for supper we threw them in and the bowfin had a good meal and a full belly.
Dustyn W

November 2003, Sullivan Lake

This is my first bowfin, which I caught while fishing for panfish on West Lake in Sullivan, Indiana. I was using an ultra-light rod spooled with 4 pound test line, and a Rooster tail spinner. I cast the spinner to a large stump standing in the water, when out of nowhere a Bowfin rushes up and grabs it. I quickly set the hook, and the battle was on. He stripped about 50 yards of line from my reel, and I managed to stop him, but not for long. He made another run, which stripped almost all the line from the reel. I fought him for 20 minutes before I was able to land him. After landing him I weighed him at 8.5 pounds. I took him home for a picture and then released him to fight again.
Mark W

Patoka River

I live in Southern IN. and fish oxbow sloughs from the Patoka river, mainly in Pike and Gibson Counties (see Map). Sugar Ridge Fish and Wildlife around Winslow has lots of pits and sloughs. DNR has some land around Oakland city too. More info can be found with maps at ( This site will give several areas and maps it sometimes takes a little hunting to find area you want. Lots of public access can be found in the area.

My grandson, who just turned 9 years old, loves to go with me to catch bowfin. We use medium-heavy tackle and find the Zebco 33 works fine with 12lb line; however the biggest bowfin will break it and just about anything else. For bigguns I use 60lb Spiderwire with 7 ft. flipping rod with an Amb@$$ador 5000 reel. Some fish will still find snags and break off.

My grandson likes to use bluegill chunks under corks at 18 inches deep. He also has to set some limb lines when we go. On average we will catch 20 to 30 bowfin in 3 hrs, along with some catfish. Most bowfin will average 3 to 5 lb but several will go 8 to 10 lb. When fish are biting good, after 3 hours of fishing my grandson is worn out from fighting fish and ready to go home.

Hot summer weather is best time for 'fin fishing. Bowfin are not hard to catch. We sit in shade with a cool breeze; I let my grandson do most of catching. Now that is my idea of enjoying his company and watching nature at its best. Happy fishing, also take a kid with you - when they fight a big fish it is worth its weight in gold.
Kent M

All rights reserved. No part of this website may be copied, posted, or reproduced in any manner without written consent from the Editor. Be sure our favorite fish is in the Subject line. ©2002-2016 Bowfin Anglers Group. Sitemap