So I went out last night for about 30 minutes since I was in the area. Caught a 22 inch bowfin about 4 lbs on a rubber worm. Well, I decided to take it home since it was nice sized and seemed appetizing. Now I usually do not take that many fish home but always eat what I take home. I do not like wasting fish or killing them for no reason. I have cleaned and eaten gar in the past and have heard bowfin are of similar taste. Well I got home about 10:30 pm last night and hit the internet looking for information on Bowfin cleaning and cooking. Well, I found several recipes but no info on how to clean them. I also found alot of posts of people having bad experiences eating bowfin. More bad then good. So after about an hour of searching, I decided not to eat the bowfin. So, here I have a barely alive fish in my sink, and I'm feeling bad. So after a few minutes of thinking, I go to my car and grab my cooler (big igloo style maybe 100qt I think). I have the plan of putting the fish back in the water. So I fill it up with water and place the bowfin in it. I work him in the water by the tail and eventually fully revive him after about 15 minutes. If noone has ever seen a bowfin swimming aroud and coming up to the surface for air, it's really a cool sight. So eventually I throw a couple nightcrawlers in there for him. He ate one. So now it is about midnight, and I definitely do not feel like going anywhere. I know bowfins are really sturdy fish and can withstand alot, so I decide that in the morning I will take him back and let him swim on. So I get up, look in the cooler, he is still moving around, does not seem to be injured or depleted. So I take him back to the lake, ease him into the water, and he swims away to fight another day. Made me feel pretty good to be able to release a fish like that after what it had went through. I hope all that read this will think twice before taking a fish home without a well thought out plan on what to do with it. And no I do not consider any fish a trash fish, carp, gar, bowfin, they all deserve to be in the water with all the others. If you know what you're doing, by all means, take them to the table if you wish, but do not just kill a fish because you think it is trash. Here are a couple of pictures of him in the cooler last night.
180.8 KB Views: 6
116.1 KB Views: 6