Bowfin Resources

” Stand clear of the tackle!’ cried a voice like the bursting of a rocket.”

– Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Bowfin Country is  where we go, and it is where we often go fishing. But how to navigate its uncharted waters? This is when the wise angler retires his tackle and turns to printed words, to discern in them a path to follow. But just as true as the fact that not every angler catches fish, not all writers are cartographers of Bowfin Country.

While the Writings section of this website offers my crude maps of that wild land, this section is more like the map room in a fine museum, where only the best maps are on display. I include here only works published by legitimate scientific authorities, and post them to help readers learn more about the Bowfin, a wonderful but misunderstood native species, and its world.

I. On-line Bowfin Science Resources

  • The U.S. Geological Survey website features an excellent Bowfin page, replete with range maps and other useful data. The bottom of the web page also offers a useful bibliography of Bowfin-related articles and sources.
  • Fishbase is a scientifically curated database of fish species. Its Bowfin page provides excellent summaries of the fish’s range, biology, size and history.
  • Dr. Solomon David is one of the country’s top Bowfin experts (he is particularly specialized in Gar species). His Bowfin article is essential reading. Follow him also on twitter and Facebook @primitivefishes
  • The North American Native Fishes Association, or NANFA, often publishes articles about Bowfin on its searchable website. For an example, see here.

II. Articles about Bowfin Fishing

  • One of the earliest article published about Bowfin fishing in the 21st century, this article by Bob Frye of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review talks about a Bowfin caught in the city limits: Pittsburgh Tribune Review  September 21, 2008.
  • A 2017 article in Outdoor Life profiled Bowfin Fishing. Here is an excerpt.
  • The February-March 2021 issue of Fly Fisherman magazine featured the Bowfin in its cover story about fishing for native species.
  • The November-December issue of Wildlife in North Carolina magazine contained my article “All Bowed Up,” a tribute to the Bowfin. In it, I cite Eugene Hester’s 1996 article about Bowfin fishing from the same magazine. Both can be read in the digital archive reserved for magazine subscribers.