Bowfin are like potato chips, Massachusetts, you can't have just one. Send those pics!

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.

October 2010, Taunton River

Here's 8/29 to 10/11 biggest so far was 6lbs 9oz. Had a double header in one pic one was 6lbs 3oz the other was 5lbs 5oz.
Thank you,
BruceB, 10/12/10

September 2010, Taunton River

This was caught by Brian P at the brickyard in Taunton on Saturday Sept 4 2010 it weight 7lb 8oz.
Susan S 09/08/10

August 2010, Taunton River

Here are a couple pictures of some good size bowfins in MA. I see someone already posted my honey hole so since the secrets already out here's some good pics. Check out the chunk taken out of the 5lbs 8oz tail. Something even bigger must have done that. I have heard that there's 12 pounders in there but these are the biggest I have caught so far. Hope you enjoy.
Thank you,
BruceB, 08/31/10

August 2010, Taunton River

I caught this in the Taunton River on 8/12/2010. it was right behind the VFW in Taunton, Mass in the "Brickyard"
Thank you,
BrandenM, 08/16/10

April 2009, Thirty Acre Pond

I caught this bowfin 4/26/09 at 30 acre pond in D.W. Fields park. I called fish and game to help I.D. it (I let it go not knowing exactly what it was at the time) :( They told me this was a catfish, I said NO its not, described it, and the guy assured me that a bowfin is not what I had and that were absolutely none in Mass other than the Connecticut River (rarely). I have a different opinion. I caught a larger one last summer in same pond. I noticed there's no record for my state, if I bring one of any size to my local bait shop will it automatically be the record?
Thank you,
Bocephus, 04/29/09

It is up to the state to recognize records. You could start a campaign to have bowfin recognized for sportfishing records in the state. They are remiss for not acknowleding "America's Toughest Sportfish For 100,000,000 Years!©"

October 2006, Nemasket River

I netted a juvy bowfin in the Nemasket River in Middleboro MA. Besides Lake Waldo in Brockton MA, I've never heard or seen them in the South Shore of MA. This river is also part of an extensive system, so these fish could be spread all over the place. It was pretty exciting to find one. Hopefully I can catch a large one on a rod and reel.
I thought I'd send you an email because I didn't see any reports of them in my area. I sent a similar note to the Fisheries Division and here's their reply:
Bowfin have been reported before in the Taunton River Watershed, upstream from Waldo Lake in Brockton and downstream from the Three Mile River in Taunton. The Nemasket River would be a new record. Did you take a picture?
Bowfin could be occassionally encountered throughout the Taunton River in the mainstem and below fish passage barriers in tributaries to the mainstem.
Steve H
Southeast District Fisheries Manager

-JayT, 10/23/06

May 2006, Longmeadow Cove

I was recently informed by a local fisherman that there was a fishing tournament near this cove in the Connecticut River , and every year they catch bowfin. I, being a fan of this fish, decided to check it out. I've been seeking out more places to catch bowfin ever since I caught a 2 lb fish when I was 7 years old in Scoville Reservoir, located in Wolcott CT. Someone illegally stocked bowfin in the lake and they have been there ever since, despite numerous drainings and attempts to get rid of them by the town. A testament to the fish's toughness, that's for sure.

I hiked to this cove up in Massachusetts and lo and behold there was nothing BUT bowfin, bass, and carp back there. I can confirm the bowfin are present. I hooked one and fought it to shore but alas the hook didn't penetrate well enough into that tough bony jaw and she fell off the hook. I scrambled frantically to grab her to get a photo but to no avail. This area is shallow muddy and weedy. I saw many huge splashes. the fish were over 5 lbs. Some of the silhouettes of bowfin and carp in this area were absolutely huge and it is hard to tell them apart when observing them from the waters edge. But I suspect this time of year the bowfins that are present in the Massachusetts portion of the CT River come here to breed. The conditions are essentially perfect for bowfin spawning. I saw large splashes big tails sticking out of the water, some with a vivid spot on them. (Are they known to stick their tails and heads out of the water when spawning?)

I don't think anyone knows how the bowfin got into this river to begin with, but one thing is certain; they are there. The CT DEP can confirm this as well as the Massachusetts EPA . I'm going to do my best to catch one, get a pic and officially enter bowfin into the record books. Now all i have to do is get one from Scoville Reservoir and I can claim the CT bowfin record!

DannyB 05/09/06

February 2005, Connecticut River

This is a bowfin that I caught in the oxbow in Northampton, Massachusetts this month weighing in at over 9 lbs and 32 inches! In Massachusetts, we don't see these much - in fact, I had no idea what it was at first. I caught it on a live 6 inch creek chub (pike bait). It was a big, strong fish to catch through the ice. We are still talking about it! By the way that bowfin was promptly released after the pictures. Thanks,
Art B 02/20/05

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