How to Catch Bowfin through the Ice

Bowfin has several synonyms like mudfish and dogfish. They are snake-like in appearance but very aggressive in nature. This type of fish can grow up to 36 inches in length while weighing 20 pounds. Their adaptation allows them to survive in low oxygenated water and camouflage in mud.
Fishing Bowfin isn’t an easy task; they are the worthy opponent in water. Except with the aid of Fishfinder GPS Combo and ice fishing boots, catching mudfish can be tedious. Furthermore, their sharp set of teeth can easily slice a toe or finger.


Their location

Dogfish normally reside along the muddy river banks or ponds close to big rivers. Locating Bowfin through the ice or mud isn’t easy due to poor visibility; this is where a Fishfinder GPS Combo becomes useful. This device will send frequencies into the water and help you visualize an area populated by the fish.

Mudfish like keeping close to the water surface. Occasionally you might spot them reaching out of the water surface to gulp some air. This helps them to maintain their buoyancy and put up with the low oxygen concentration.

Fishing of Bowfins can be carried out at any time of the day; they have no specific feeding time. They can snap at any vegetation or small fish of their like.

How to Catch Bowfin through the Ice

What you need:

  • Ice fishing boots; these are for protecting your feet since this fish species can slice your toes. They have very sharp set of teeth hence safety precaution must be taken.
  • Fishfinder GPS Combo to help you identify the exact location of the bowfins
  • Medium light weighted fishing rod
  • Smooth but powerful spinning reel
  • A braided fishing line of about 25 pounds
  • Fishing hooks; mudfish have strong jaws and wide mouths. Therefore the hook chosen should be strong and thick enough to avoid being straitened by the fish. A good choice can be octopus hooks, owing to their curved nature.
  • A fishing rig; since Bowfins have excellent eyesight, a carefully choose your sinker and stopper. Consider using a brown or green color as it closely resembles a vegetation or root.
  • Fishing bait; since you will be fishing in ice water, night crawlers and shrimp would be suitable for stalking. Alternatively, you can use any live long striped fish.
  • Fish lure; metallic artificial lures are perfect as they are never wrecked easily

How to realize more catch

To make your fishing through ice productive consider the following tips:
Your jig color and style matters most; in addition to using the vertically hanging tear drop shaped jig, those that hang horizontally are equally perfect.
Line twisting: the usual style here is the up and down movement of the line. For a change why not grip the line between your thumb and index finger; then twist it between your fingers. This causes the jig to roll in the water yet retain its original depth.

Bore a small hole through the ice with a cordless drill ice auger, move the jig in a circular manner, tracing the circumference of the hole. This movement has proven to be effective so much in the shallow water. 

Bottom bouncing jig: allow the jig to leap off the bottom. This in effect will disturb the bottom debris and produce significant sound to attract a distant bowfin.
Chumming trick: crush some wax worms and drop them through the bored hole. In effect, the bowfins will rush and feed aggressively. Hence increasing your chances of making a catch.

Motionless bait: after the fish have become accustomed the baits movement, change your pattern. Place down your rod on the ice and allow the bait to remain motionless.

Cover the ice hole: at times it could be the excess light penetrating into the water that’s keeping off the bowfins. Envelop the hole with ice shavings.
When you are out for ice fishing, your skills are put to the test. Initially, you might make plenty catches. But soon it slows down and you blame it on the fish. That is the best opportunity to employ the above tips and increase your catch.

Catching Bowfins out of ice water calls for swapping between fishing techniques and baits; at times you can dangle your bait up and down, and then switch to spiraling. But one major thing sticks out bowfins are aggressive hence and will fight back. For this reason, carefully choose your fishing line. But don’t forget your ice fishing boots and Fishfinder GPS Combo.

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