“What is this crazy thing?”  Kyle thought he had another catfish on the river bank but a closer  inspection made him

jump back and call for Shawn to help him with this prehistoric looking fish  Shawn had never seen one in the flesh but was convinced he was looking at a Bowfin, I had just told him there was an upsurge of Bowfin in the Connecticut River a few days prior to their catch.  They quickly snapped a picture on a cell phone and  sent it to me for confirmation.

This scenario is happening up and down the Connecticut River! Connecticut Outfitters in Wethersfeld  can attest to this, they have had numerous customers come into the shop with a picture or description of a Bowfin wondering what they had caught!

The Bowfin

Bowfin can be caught on the Connecticut River

 

“The bowfin is a primitive type fish and the sole representative of an ancient fish family dating from the Jurassic period, appx. 180 million years ago. Other names — grinnel, brindle, blackfish, spot tail, mudfish, dogfish, shoepike, cypress bass, cypress trout, choupique, scaly cat, buglemouth bass, German bass, brindlefish.”

Bowfin identification

“Body color of the bowfin is dark olive above with lighter sides and cream-colored belly. The long dorsal fin is dark green with a narrow longitudinal olive-colored band near the top margin and another near the base. The males have a dark spot on the caudal fin, bordered with yellow or orange. Lower fins are green, vivid as fresh paint, during the breeding season. There are 66 to 68 scales in the lateral line. The dorsal fin contains 47 to 5l soft rays and the anal fin 9 or l0 rays. The head is more or less flattened on top and the mouth is large. The teeth are sharp and strongly set in the jaws. Weights of 6 to 8 pounds or more are commonly attained. The swim bladder serves as a lung, giving the bowfin air breathing capability”.

Bowfin are well known for their incredible strength and fearlessness and a tackle busting fight that will get an anglers adrenalin rushing!

5 pound Bowfin Landed by Kyle Paris

 

How to catch a Bowfin

Your rod and reel:   I have caught many Bowfin while bass fishing with a  typical bass fishing rod and reel although folks who actually target the Bowfin will often use stronger tackle with lines rating up to 40 lb. test and stronger hooks on their lures or bait

Yes, Bowfin will strike lures with a vengeance!

  •  A Bowfins diet is very similar to that of the bass, loving crayfish, live fish, shrimp, insect larvae, frogs and more and they have an incredible appetite and are very capable predators changing their diet from insects to live fish when they reach an approximate size of  only 4 inches .
  • When using fresh cut bait nothing beats a nice chunk of fresh eel! That is what Kyle caught his Bowfin on.

  • To locate a spot that would be an ideal habitat for Bowfin, look for lakes or slow moving rivers  with underwater vegetation, rocky areas, undercut banks and other structure.

Although some folks eat the Bowfin and claim it is good table fare, they contain up to 5 times the mercury levels of any fresh water fish so I’m not an advocate of eating Bowfin.

Right now is the best time to catch Bowfin they love warm water and can thrive in many water conditions, including low oxygen and polluted waters  since they have an air bladder that operates much like a lung allowing them to breathe air and live out of water for extended periods of time.

The most productive method would be cut bait fished in the Connecticut River in one of the coves or bends from Middletown north up the Ct River, Keeney Cove in Glastonbury is one very good location. Your rig will be a simple hook and sinker set up as you would for Cat fish or other bottom fish.

The Bowfin is said to fight better than many well known game fish and they are very colorful and beautiful fish, so why not target the Bowfin on your next fishing adventure.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BlackOpsfishing.com presents the weekly fishing report with Downloadable PDF
Delivering the most up-to-date, hottest and precise fishing reports on the planet! At this point all reports are relative to the CT area but we will soon be covering many more areas. Please subscribe to our blog and youtube channel, we at BlackOps truely appreciate your support. The first 100 subscribers will be entered in a contest to win a BlackOps Hoodie! Also becoming part of the BlackOps Mafia will improve your fishing skills and knowledge and it”>ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Here is the 3rd Ever Audio and Video Ct Fishing Report for April 20,2012….Enjoy

 

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May
10

CT Fishing Report #5 5/9/2012

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BlackOpsfishing.com presents the 4th weekly CT Fishing Report with Downloadable PDFDelivering the most up-to-date, hottest and precise fishing reports on the planet! At this point all reports are relative to the CT area but we will soon be covering many more areas. Please subscribe to our blog and youtube channel, we at BlackOps truely appreciate your support. The first 100 subscribers will be entered in a contest to win a BlackOps Hoodie! Also becoming part of the BlackOps Mafia will improve your fishing skills and knowledge and it”>ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Here is the 3rd Ever Audio and Video Ct Fishing Report for April 27,2012….Enjoy

 

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Connecticut’s trout fishing season opened April 21,2012! This year has been a truly amazing fishing season for trout. We had one of the warmest winters on record, with the warm water trout grew much, much faster in the hatcheries! This year trout are on average 14or 15 plus inches! The BlackOps Fishing Mafia, myself included (Fi-Shawn) have been killing trout throughout CT. Strating with catch and release fishing in the Salmon River TMA area. We did very well before the season even opened! catching 3-10 trout each outing. Fly fishing was awesome too! I went last weekend and fished near the covered bridge on the Salmon River. I don;t fly fish much at apparently the flies I used haven’t even hatched this season yet (oops!) I used caddis flies, and may flies and was hammering the trout! I had a blast because it was my first time catching trout on a plain fly with the ol’ fly rod. Now let’s get back into spinning! First I would like to give everyone out there that doesn’t know much some useful trout fishing tips and fishing secrets to increase your catch!!

The Rod…First off use a trout fishing specific rod! You will feel the bites better and they are designed so they flex just right and a medium size trout can feel huge! My favorite brands are Fenwick, G.Loomis, and St.Croix, a cheaper favorite would be a 4 ft. ugly stick!

The Fish… I will cover a bunch of different trout species that are found throughout the U.S. but mainly what we have in CT! Brown trout are a silver sort of brown with darker speckles, rainbow trout have all sorts of colors and no spots, brook trout are the most beautiful fish especially the native brook trout, they have whit orange, reds, and spots that can be shades of purple you really have to see them, they are so beautiful. The tiger trout is pretty cool, its a hybrid trout a cross between a brown and a brook trout.

The Spots…Throughout the country you will find different species of trout in lakes, ponds, streams and rivers! You will need to use different tactics in each body of water to produce the most fish. Many states have a stocking program and have TMA (trout management areas) Theses areas in CT especially are stocked heavily you can count on catching almost year round in these areas. When fishing streams and rivers you’ll want a good pair of wading boots, this allows you to maneuver just right to fish the holes properly. Look for the back sides of pools. I like to find big, slow moving pools with fast moving water on either side. Normally you will cast up stream and let your bait or lure drift down stream. You want to keep most baits near the bottom with a split shot 1-2 ft. away from a small hook around size 8. I normally fish the salmon river in CT, Jeremy River, Farmington River, Nachaug River and Black Ledge River. Also Day Pond in West Chester CT can be killer! Power bait kills it, try my method below and you cant go wrong, morning and afternoon are best!

What to use…I always use 4lb test on my reel with a 4ft. trout rod, I will sometimes use a 2lb test leader. I use tons of Berkley trout fishing baits, usually when the fishing is slow. When fishing lakes or ponds i use a slip weight with a barrel swivel. I attach a 2 foot long a 2-4 lb leader line the other side of the swivel with a size 8 hook. This method is great for Berkley power bait. The new Gulp power bait is phenomenal, this method is also good with shiners, crawlers, meal worms,and corn. When fishing rivers I looovvveee rapala X-Rap’s! I use the smallest ones up to a 3 or 4inch sometimes. The trout replications are very good, my SECRET, SECRET is to dunk my X-Rap in some Berkley Gulp Juice (i shouldn’t even tell you this :P) Seriously though… I’ve killed it when no one is catching with the X-Rap and Gulp Juice!!! Also spinners and spoons work well too.

Always remember to bring your forceps with you for catch and release!

You would be surprised a small trout will eat a big rapala, but when you are searching for breeders in the river use a big Rapala and bring some polarized glasses!

I would also like to mention Horse Pond in Salem, CT. It’s a great little place, easy to find with easy handicap access!! It’s also a trout park and is stocked regularly. Good Luck to everyone who tries any of my spots or tips! Talk to you guys soon!! : )

One Last Secret- You can find worm inflators at almost any bait shop. Pump up your crawlers on a slow day, use a decent sized weight to keep it from floating to the surface, I’d use my slip rig.
-Fi-Shawn

 

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Apr
30

CT Fishing Report April 27,2012

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BlackOpsfishing.com presents the 4th weekly CT Fishing Report with Downloadable PDF
Delivering the most up-to-date, hottest and precise fishing reports on the planet! At this point all reports are relative to the CT area but we will soon be covering many more areas. Please subscribe to our blog and youtube channel, we at BlackOps truely appreciate your support. The first 100 subscribers will be entered in a contest to win a BlackOps Hoodie! Also becoming part of the BlackOps Mafia will improve your fishing skills and knowledge and it”>ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Here is the 3rd Ever Audio and Video Ct Fishing Report for April 27,2012….Enjoy

 

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Apr
25

CT Fishing Report # 3 4-20-2012

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BlackOpsfishing.com presents the weekly fishing report with Downloadable PDF
Delivering the most up-to-date, hottest and precise fishing reports on the planet! At this point all reports are relative to the CT area but we will soon be covering many more areas. Please subscribe to our blog and youtube channel, we at BlackOps truely appreciate your support. The first 100 subscribers will be entered in a contest to win a BlackOps Hoodie! Also becoming part of the BlackOps Mafia will improve your fishing skills and knowledge and it”>ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Here is the 3rd Ever Audio and Video Ct Fishing Report for April 20,2012….Enjoy

 

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I used to fish every trout season opener with the crowds of anglers rubbing elbows and moving further and further into both sides of the stream until their rod tips almost touch, of course I found quieter holes to fish but it was and is still a zoo out there!

If you chose to go to a lake for opening day trout be prepared for launch ramp disasters and lakes that need traffic lights to accomadate all the boaters trying to hit the water by the traditional 6 am opening.

Many people think that “fishing season” opens on the third Saturday in April but that is NOT the case!

The third Saturday in April marks the traditional opening day of trout fishing season only, You can fish 365 days a year in Connecticut like i do!

You can even fish for trout in the catch and release sections of some rivers known as TMA areas, the Black Ops crew was fishing the Salmon River TMA section hard until Friday before opening day, we even caught several large trout over 3 pounds known as “breeders”.

I feel bad for the folks who go on opening day of trout fishing season thinking the fish are fresh and eagerly ready to bite unaware that we already caught and released their dinner:)

The last several years I would go on a Cod Fishing trip instead of fighting the hoards of “Scrods” for a spot on the river, this year I fished the Salmon River’s lower section and never even saw another angler.

I like to fish alone, I still have flashbacks from 1975 when I was a teen and took a friend “Morris York” fishing with me, it was rugged journey to my spot and it started pouring rain, when we finally got there, ole Morris was ready to leave, I said cool but I’m staying, Morris whined that he didn’t know the way home but I knew he did, still he hung with me, probably afraid to go back by himself.

I would love to have a video or pictures of the fish that I was about to catch but I don’t so It’s just another story to tell.

I was fishing with worms and I made my first cast into my favorite pool on the Blackledge River, my worm didn’t even hit the water and was slammed by a big impressive brook trout, every single time I casted my worm another big brookie would take it! Every time! It was insane!

After a while I realized I was almost out of bait and looked around for Morris, who was sitting under a tree shivering cold and looking miserable. “Dude, find me some worms I yelled” but Morris wouldn’t move!

Finally I forcefully persuaded Morris to get me some worms but he was crying as he brought them to me, get more I yelled and Morris cried more,  eventually I unwillingly caved and brought ole Morris home, I had caught over 20 beautiful big brook trout, one every cast in one single hole, with the rest of the river left to fish!!! It was like a dream come true and Morris was like a nightmare!

Where ever you are Morris I’m still pissed! You “Scrod”! If we ever meet again you best have some worms with ya!

Whew, I held that in a long time 🙂

 

This year I fished the lower Salmon River, I just messed around using live bait and learning how to make videos of myself and still catch fish, I also tested my Panasonic waterproof camera.

Here is My Salmon River  fishing adventure video! Hope you enjoy it!

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BlackOpsfishing.com presents the second ever audio and visual, weekly fishing report with Downloadable PDF.Delivering the most up-to-date, hottest and precise fishing reports on the planet! At this point all reports are relative to the CT area but we will soon be covering many more areas. BlackOps Fishing reports are combined reports from the most popular tackle shops around CT. Finally, there’s a place to find real, honest information on where to fish, what to use and how to use it. View our website and other blog posts for more fishing tips and information. Please subscribe to our blog and youtube channel, we at BlackOps truely appreciate your support. The first 100 subscribers will be entered in a contest to win a BlackOps Hoodie! Also becoming part of the BlackOps Mafia will improve your fishing skills and knowledge and it’s ABSOLUTELY FREE!
Also becoming part of the BlackOps Mafia will improve your fishing skills and knowledge and it’s ABSOLUTELY FREE!

 

the bait and tackle store

Connecticut Outfitters Wethersfield, CT.


Special thanks to Fishing Connection in Preston and Connecticut Outfitters in Wethersfield for their valuable input!

 

 

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If you love fishing as much as I do, the most important tool you should bring even before your rod is a good old fashion pair of forceps, or a good hook removing device. There are many, many reasons to always carry a pair with you, most importantly to save the one thing that makes fishing what it is….the fish! I can’t remember all the times I’ve hooked a smaller fish and found that it was almost digesting the hook! There are way too many people out there that just grab the line and rip the hook out! This has to stop, all you need is a nice pair of forceps and you’ll save the lives of many fish, and keep our beloved sport alive for years to come!
It really hurts me to see a beautiful trout or bass etc. floating down the river.

 

 

Many people don’t realize how close we as humans are to ruining fishing forever, with all of our pollutants and garbage we put in the water. On top of this there’s way too many “scrods” or uneducated fisherman out there killing almost every fish they catch! If we as fisherman do not learn the proper techniques of catch and release fishing our sport may be shut down across the US within the next 10-20 years. Every fish counts, even without us fisherman the chances of a fish surviving until it’s full grown are low because of the food chain. When someone rips a fish’s gills or guts out with the hook and it dies, it lowers these odds and this fish will never reproduce.
Handling the fish is just as important as hook removal. ALWAYS wet your hands before handling a fish. Fish have a protective slime covering on their skin, this protects them against disease and many other things. Dry hands, some nets and improper handling can remove this coating and expose the fish to life threatening elements. If you think you are unsure about how to properly release a fish then please keep reading and memorize all of my pointers so you too can help preserve our sport!

Catch and release fishing is the way to go, since I could hold a pole I always believed in catch and release. It all starts with the fight, when you are reeling in a fish have fun, relax don’t yank the fish too hard and don’t lift the fish and plop him on the ground. Take your time with it, when you get the fish close to shore, prepare your fish friendly net or hands by wetting them. Slowly pull the fish into the net, or up to your hand holding the rod with the other hand. If the fish doesn’t have big teeth you may hold it by the lip ( Large mouth bass is the best for this) DO NOT TOUCH THE GILLS OF THE FISH OR LAY THE FISH ON THE DRY GROUND . If the fish has a smaller mouth like a trout you’ll want to gently wrap your hand around the fish about halfway down it’s back. Now using your forceps carefully and gently remove the hook. Be careful when handling the hook and fish, lower the fish back into the water. Sometimes I like to hold them in place for a second and help them gather there energy so they can swim off : )
It feels great to catch a really beautiful fish and it feels even better to know you successfully released it alive and healthy! Thank’s for reading! Until Next Time ; ) -Shawn
Remember to always carry out what you carry in plus at least one other piece of garbage, if we all do this someday our shorelines and river banks will be clear of garbage.

Categories : Fishing Facts
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 BlackOpsfishing.com presents the first ever audio and visual, weekly fishing report with Downloadable PDF Delivering the most up-to-date, hottest and precise fishing reports on the planet! At this point all reports are relative to the CT area but we will soon be covering many more areas. Please subscribe to our blog and youtube channel, we at BlackOps truely appreciate your support. The first 100 subscribers will be entered in a contest to win a BlackOps Hoodie! Also becoming part of the BlackOps Mafia will improve your fishing skills and knowledge and it’s ABSOLUTELY FREE!

 

the bait and tackle store

Connecticut Outfitters Wethersfield, CT.


Special thanks to Fishing Connection in Preston and Connecticut Outfitters in Wethersfield for their valuable input!

 

 

Categories : Fishing Report
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