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Bowfin (Amia calva)



  • Size 20 lbs
  • Food Value Low
  • Game Qualities Good
  • Habitats Lake, River

Rarely sought after despite its strong fighting ability, the Bowfin is an under-appreciated freshwater sportfish that originates from the Jurassic Period. The only surviving member of the Amiiformes family, the Bowfin can gulp air directly from the surface into its air bladder, which effectively works as a lung. And able to survive in unusually high temperatures, this fish can be found in waters that most other species can't tolerate. Catch one, and you will be holding a living fossil.

Bowfin are rarely sought-after for food as their meat is fairly bland with a poor texture. They can be good if they are cleaned properly and smoked or fried into fishcakes. Their relatively poor flavor is redeemed by their quality as a sport fish, however: Bowfin give a better fight than most fish their size. Just be sure to watch out for their sharp teeth when you bring them out of the water!

The species is native to the southeast of the USA, inhabiting the area from St Lawrence River to the north, south to the Gulf Coast, and between eastern Texas to the whole of Florida.

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