Louisiana

This is another state with the potential for the World Record, so we should be seeing lots more pics.
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.

November 2011

Bagman,
Here it is Bagman...the website's first advertisement on a professional tournament shirt. Aside from normal competition events, I am really excited for you and your team to be recognized when the Choupic Rodeo's start in May here in Louisiana. Special thanks for the support with TEAM BOWFIN and here's to you and your website as we show our gratitude on our gear.
Reminder for everyone to visit the BAG gear store in your website and jump on board the TEAM BOWFIN logo for all those hard core finners out there. The decal is TIGHT!
DaneP, TEAM BOWFIN, 11/30/11






November 2011, Atchafalaya Basin

Bagman,
I'm Gary. I live in Baton Rouge LA and fish the Atchafalya and bayous around the area. Just found this site and thought I would send a couple of photos. The first one was caught around Bayou Corne last Tuesday. Didn't find the link to join but would like to. I find a lot of Bowfin/Choupique in south Louisiana and always enjoy the fight these fish provide.

I caught this one on a 10 ft crappie jig pole! I had 6# line, and he hit a black and chartreuse woolly jig I tie myself. Took a long time to get this one in the boat without breaking the line.
Tight Lines
Gary B, 11/07/11






September 2011, Terrrebonne Canal

Bagman,
Team Bowfin back in effect for the season. Found a spot to put on the map, where we caught two real quick like on cork and shrimp to assure the area was ripe. Two weeks later, two team followers caught nine within 2 hours, between 7 and 9 AM. Hope this helps :) Dane P.
Reminder for everyone to visit the BAG gear store in your website and jump on board the TEAM BOWFIN logo for all those hard core finners out there. The decal is TIGHT!
DaneP, TEAM BOWFIN, 09/12/11






May 2011,Private, near Houma

Bagman,
Dane P with TEAM BOWFIN in Houma, LA. Wanted to prove a point to some doubters that Choupic are active in high pressure weather when most freshwater fish are not, so I went out and hooked my biggest bowfin to date. Usual cork and fresh shrimp set at a foot and a half deep landed this giant at around 6:00PM. He weighed in at 7 LBS-13OZ on this beautiful blue bird day; right after a front came through this morning.
Reminder for everyone to visit the BAG gear store in your website and jump on board the TEAM BOWFIN logo for all those hard core finners out there. The decal is TIGHT!
DaneP, TEAM BOWFIN, 05/15/11






April 2011,Private, near Houma

Bagman,
First season catches for TEAM BOWFIN! 5 males caught in the swamps of Houma, LA on a private lease. Catching these perfect filet sizes for a fellow co-worker for Lent, these beautiful colored spawners were caught on fresh shrimp and popping cork. Water was as beautiful as I ever seen it....black-black-black. I've also included a video from an iPhone if you would like to post it.

Reminder for everyone to visit the BAG gear store in your website and jump on board the TEAM BOWFIN logo for all those hard core finners out there. The decal is TIGHT!
DaneP, TEAM BOWFIN, 04/07/11






October 2010,Private, near Houma

Bagman,
Dane with TEAM BOWFIN, finally comin' atcha from Houma, Louisiana. Caught these beautiful babies at a local golf course I work at near our pump stations at 5:30PM. Using fresh shrimp, caught one bobbing the bottom like plastic worm and the other three with a wieghted cork as if I was fishin for red's. I missed five but was very happy with just these four, as that was as many as I could fit in the ice chest that I had. Be on the look out for more pics from the team in the future.
DaneP, TEAM BOWFIN, 10/15/10






May 2010, Pearl River

Bagman,
I just moved on the Pearl River in Slidell, LA and caught my first bowfin about a month ago. My dad took a picture of it and researched it and found your website. I've caught about 6 since then. The smallest one I caught was 24 inches the biggest was about 28''. I've been using bluegill for bait and slicing them along the sides to let the scent out, but I've been losing a lot of them. Do you have any tips to catch more and some other bait to use? Here's a pic of a few that me and my brother have caught so far and we hope to catch many more.
Trey, 05/17/10






May 2010, Castor Creek Spillway

Bagman,
More Bowfin we caught at Castor Creek Spillway and apic of the Spillway.
Jonathan T, 05/05/10






May 2010, Castor Creek Spillway

Bagman,
Here are some Bowfin we caught in Lasalle Parish. The one on the left weighed 8 lbs and the one on the right 4 lbs. We caught them at Castor Creek Spillway on cut bait
Jonathan T, 05/03/10




April 2010, Lake Fausse Point

Bagman,
This is a pic of a bowfin that my 6 yr old caught Sunday April 11 at Lake Fausse Point, La. Angler Jack S caught it with a floating bobber and a piece of bacon! It was 25in long and 5-1/2 pounds
Matthew S, 04/12/10




July 2009, LaPlace Ponds

Bagman,
There are a myriad of ponds that run beneath Interstate 10 between the Bonnet Carre Spillway and LaPlace, Louisiana. My friends and I used to catch dozens per day when we'd go fishing there. The area is loaded with water moccasins also.
Large Herb, 007/10/09




January 2009, Bayou Nezpique

Bagman,
I've been to your site a couple of times and thought I'd let you know that choupique are alive and well in the bayous here in Southwest Louisiana. Two things I've learned about choupique. First, they fight harder than catfish. Second, they eat anything a catfish eats and more (caught one on a Beetle Spin while bream fishing). Every time I go catfishing on Bayou Nezpique (neh-pee-kay) or the Mermentau River here around Jennings, I manage to catch at least one of them. I caught one out of my kayak a year or so ago that tried to drag me up into the backwaters, he was fighting so hard.
The pictures are from late September of 2008 of my older boy with his catch. They were caught bank fishing on Bayou Nezpique in Jennings, Louisiana.
Frank, 01/19/09




October 2008, Hollywood Canal

Bagman,
On October 12, 2008 my cousin and I caught 10 Bowfin/Choupique in Gray, Louisiana (Lafourche Parish). My Aunt has a corner lot right on the Hollywood Canal. We fish right from her backyard!!! We started fishing here last year around this time, or more towards the time of last year's time change. We never caught more than 5 in one day. Matter of fact, Super Bowl Sunday, of this year was the last time we have caught any .... Until today!!! 10 beautiful Bowfin ... 2 of the smaller ones was thrown back after a picture was taken. 8 were caught on a large cane pole (Calcutta) with a natural cork float (Plastilite CB7) about 3 foot deep. The pole was strung with 150 lb kite line (Black Death) and a # 8 gold Eagle Claw hook was used. Fresh shrimp was the bait. 2 were caught using a Sturdy Stik saltwater pole, Abu Garcia 5500 C3 strung with 80 lb braided line, Eagle Claw # 8 gold hook, and a regular float. Shrimp was also used. Last year we caugh about 30 to 40. We hope to do much better this year!!! We're off to a good start.
Enjoy the pic,

LSUfan, JimmyB, 10/13/08




June 2008, Wallace Lake Dam

BAGman,
A place to go to catch bowfins is a place called Wallace Lake Dam in Shreveport Louisiana. The best part about it is the water moves slowly and not many people go out there. Me and brothers can usually catch bowfins that weigh at least 10 pounds. Sometimes you can see 4-8 bowfins as they gulp some air. But the only problem is there are a lot of snakes there and it is extremely rocky along the banks so sometimes you can lose a fish as it thrash along the rocks.
Good fishing to all.
AllanW 06/16/08


February 2008

BAGman,
I catch a lot of good bowfin at the following spot.
Bodcau Bayou

ChrisM, 02/25/08


November 2007, Pearl River

Bagman,
Another great day of 'finnin in Louisiana ! This was the only Bowfin I caught all weekend, but boy was it worth it !!
MikeT 11/01/07




October 2007, Flag Lake

Bagman,
I am in the Air Force and being stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base gives me access to many great fishing holes that the public don't have access to.
Last Thursday I was fishing for bream on Flag Lake and managed to hook a bowfin that my elderly partner immediately classified as a Gar. It didn't look like any gar that I'd ever seen so I unhooked it and threw it back and went home to research my new catch. After about an hour of searching Google for freshwater fish I found a picture of the Bowfin that matched my catch. I then found your site and am very thankful for the wealth of information you have available.
In the last three days I've caught 2 ¬Ĺ bowfin using cut up bream (I only kill the ones that swallow the hook). I say ¬Ĺ of a bowfin because on Saturday something absolutely nailed my rod that I had pushed down about 4 inches in the mud. The hit was so hard that it jerked the pole out of the ground and almost pulled the whole thing of the spillway and into the water. I managed to catch the pole, jerked hard to set the hook and then fought this bad boy for 15 minutes. I could get him to the bank, look him in the eye and he'd jet about 25 yards the other way. I finally thought I'd tired him out and went to pull him onto the bank but he was too heavy for my pole and because I usually fish for bluegill I didn't have a net or gloves to grab his mouth. I had him halfway out of the water and he jumped, threw the hook and I was left there with an audience asking what kind of demon fish that was. I'd say he was about 2 ¬ĺ feet long and had to of weighed around 14-15 pounds. I'm definitely going to be searching for that fish for a long time.
I eagerly await your reply. I hope to meet some more Bowfin Anglers that would like to go out on the Barksdale AFB lakes with me and try their hand. E-mail me - richarde at bowfinanglers.com
Thank you,
Richard E, 10/22/07




October 2007, Pearl River

Bagman,
Finally downloaded some pictures from last weekend. Here's the fin that made the trip worthwhile. I have narrowed down the best bait to use for these guys. It seems that a large blue gill is their favorite. It's too big for the Gar to take....although they will play with it, but one good tug usually scares them away. They also love it when I catch Shad and make cut bait. Hope you have a great weekend !
MikeT 10/05/07




October 2007, Pearl River

Bagman,
Just another routine day of fishing in Bogalusa, LA ! I love this place. I usually catch one or two quality 'fins with each trip. This was the prize of the weekend at 8lbs 8oz.
MikeT 10/03/07




February 2007, Atchafalaya Basin

Bagman,
I live in south Louisiana, in the Atchafalaya swamp. When I was young (I am an active 72-year-old), we used to fish for the bowfin. We used crawfish for bait and fished the ditches and sluggish bayous. We didn't eat them, but other folks found them very good food fare. We used a hand line with two hooks and a cork. We would throw it out and watch the cork. The bowfin was a very slow taker. He would just barely nibble the bait, making the cork move ever so slightly, and then all of a sudden he would take the bait and take off. Many would get off because of the hard mouth.

Some people used a long cane reed pole and when their cork went under, they would set the hook and almost jerk the fish's head off, surely implanting the hook. I once saw a lady jerk one, but instead of it being a choupique, it was a big bream. The bream came off her hook in mid-air and went into the canal across the road! We all laughed!

As kids, we were always in the swamp playing and exploring. We killed many large cottonmouths, but we all had a forked stick so we caught many alive. My mama would have been horrified. Once there was a drought and this slough completely dried up. The surface mud was cracked and we walked across it without going through. There was no other entrance to the slough. A hard rain came and we went into the swamp the next day and the slough had a foot of water in it and the choupique were just swimming and dancing so to speak. We knew that there was no way for the choupique to enter the slough and were under the mud when the slough had dried up.

I remember once they were building a garage for a dealership. Across the highway there was a slough that was stopped up with lilies and cattails. This was another time of a long period without rain. There was a ditch that ran from the slough back into the swamp. This ditch was the only area that had water and this is where the choupiques were. We could see thousands just lying in the clear foot deep water. We went home, got some old broom sticks, and some big fish hooks. We straightened the hooks then nailed them on the broomsticks with chicken wire staples. Back to the swamp, we had a time spearing the choupiques and tossing them in the grass behind us. That's the way it was then and we never thought twice about it. We started home, but we stopped across the street where they were erecting the building and told some of the laborers that we had caught all these choupiques and if they wanted them to bring a wheel barrow. They laughed and said they would go get them after work. Next day, they stopped us and told us that they had gotten two wheel barrows full and couldn't stop laughing. Well that was some of my experience catching them, Ha Ha!
Leo G Sr., 02/05/07

Some will contest portions of this, but it is certainly a familiar and persistent anecdote. We weren't there, but you can visit Myths and decide for yourself.

January 2007, Stephenville

Bagman,
I am glad I found your web site. I grew up on Choupique as a young boy in South Louisiana. They are hard to come by these days. While growing up, only a handful of folks were eating this fish. I can remember them being sold for $2.00 each in the mid 80's. They were considered trash fish. Even today I found some pictures online and a co-worker said, "We throw them back". But things have changed and they are being marketed for their eggs only. This is the best eating fish in the world when cooked fresh out of the water. I will pass this web site to a few fans I know.
I have seen 'em 5ft before. There is a place called Stephenville near Morgan City La.. My father fished for them there back in the 70's and 80's, before the rest of the world decided they were not trash fish. They truly caught some monsters back then.
Thanks,
Eric L, 01/05/07




October 2006, near Luling LA

Bagman,
My dad and I landed a few more nice fins around Luling,LA.
NathanF, 10/09/06




Bagman,
I caught this choupic in Luling, LA using a blue and white spinnerbait. Caught four more after this one
NathanF, 10/01/06




September 2006, Vermilion River

Bagman,
This is a picture of my first Bowfin, which was caught right off the Vermilion River in Lafayette, Louisiana, and was 4 pounds 10 onces. I caught it in a coulee that my friends and I go to to catch spotted and alligator gar. I had no clue that it had Bowfin. I saw it, cast at it, and it took my cork and was fighting without a hook in his mouth. For 10 seconds, it wouldn't let go and was putting up a good fight with just with the cork in his mouth. When he finally spit out the cork I thought he was gone but he came right back and took my bait. It took me about a minute to get him in. Since then I have caught a couple more in the same spot but the coulee seems to be controled mostly by gar.
JoelJ, 09/01/06




June 2005, Pearl River

Bagman,
I caught this nice sized Bowfin almost a year to the day of my first catch (See below, June 2004). The interesting thing about this fish was what I found when I went to pull the hook out of his mouth. The day before, something broke some 10 lb test line that I was using to fish for catfish. I re-spooledwith some braided line and was fishing for gar when this monster took the bait. When I went to pull the hook out of his mouth, there was my nice, shiny circle hook with a small piece of my green 10lb trilene in his mouth !! At least I now know what broke my line !!
MikeT 06/03/05




January 2005, Chinaquapin Canal

This is Carolyn T, with her bowfin caught in the Chinquapin Canal, Maurepas Louisiana, on January 23, 2005. She hooked it three times before landing it and, not wanting to be caught, that fin came off once again! Carolyn tackled it on the ground - before it could get away again! She's proud of this one!
Mike K 01/27/05




November 2004, Toledo Bend Spillway

We had another windfall day today, 28 November. That fish yesterday was caught on about a three inch long rosie (baby carp) and #4 snell hook rigged with sinker and standard cork. Weather conditions were 58 degrees and sunny. The water was running from the Toledo Bend spillway on the Texas side of the lake, and was running fairly hard, about 10 mph. We are not sure of the water temp. Attached are several more pictures of the fish we caught today, on the Louisiana side of Toledo Bend Lake. They were caught between 10-11 am, (on the Louisiana side of the Toledo Bend Spillway this time). Again, we caught them on Rosies, this time Carolina Rigged. Water was not running as hard. Air temperature was 63 degrees. Wow! What a great two days of fishing!
Respectfully,
MAJ Bill B and Sara B
Fort Polk, La

[ED Note: Be sure to check the Texas Map for their catches on the other side of the spillway.]




September 2004, Atchafalaya Basin

This is my first time on the site and I absolutely love it. My friends always tease me for catching huge bowfins, but I always tell them they're the most fun fish to fight. I catch an average of 4 bowfin each time I go out b@$$ fishing. Now that I found this site, I will be sure to catch many more and send you as many pics as possible. Here is a pic of my 10 1/2 pounder out of Henderson, LA (located in the Atchafalaya Basin), it was caught in August 2004. P.S. When will you be holding a bowfin tournament? Thanx alot I enjoy the site!
Good Finnin',
Joseph T 09/18/04

[ED Note: No plans now for tournament, but who knows what the future holds?]




June 2004, Pearl River

Great Web Page !!! I have attached a photo of a Bowfin I caught at my in-laws on the Pearl River in Louisiana. This whopper weighed in at 15 pounds (using bathroom scales) and was 35 1/2" long. The amazing thing is I caught it on 6lb. test line. Was fishing with a fillet of shad, for catfish. Using a medium action 6' 6" Berkley rod, Shimano 2000 series reel and a Tru-Turn #2 catfish hook. This bad boy fought me for 18 minutes. What a rush !!! All I can remember was setting the hook and..... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzip. He took off !!
Mike T


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