Sometimes, trash fish make the day.

Spent all day today working hard to catch bluegills and catfish, but was skunked on both. And, I almost never fail to catch ‘gills, it was a surprise. But, the day wasn’t a total loss. I did catch an 8 lb bowfin, better know as a grinnel in S.E. Texas and Louisiana, maybe Arkansas and a dog fish, I understand, in parts of the Midwest. Also caught a 3 lb one. Those things put up a good fight, though their teeth are a bit fearsome. When you hook one, you think at first you have a 10 lb catfish, then, as you get close to the kayak, it jumps high, making you believe its a big ol’ largemouth, and then the thing dives, pulling your rod tip down into a deep U. Finally, you get it to the kayak and its a bowfin. Some curse them, but it is great fun while it lasts.

Its just fun to catch fish!
Way to go. 8 lbs is a nice fish, bigger than mnay people have ever caught of any kind. I don’t have any idea what one of those fish you caught even look like.

When I get too hung up on catching “ego fish” I try to remember what it was like as a kid when I enjoyed anything that pulled on my line. My grandkids keep me in tune with that. Carp and suckers are fun for kids, and me. When my boys were small they loved to catch dogfish sharks when we were salmon fishing, which are merely a pain in the neck for “serious” fishemen.

They sure can
I hooked a large carp last fall while fishing for lake trout. The thing pulled me pulled me out to the middle of the bay and shook the hook.

It was a nice ride while it lasted.

Trash fish
Where I live the fish are TROUT and/or SALMON, period. Imagine my delight last summer when I started hauling in yellow perch and bluegills on spinners and flies. Much fun to catch and pretty tasty too. Recently discoverd that catfish exist here as well. Now I got a reason to use that baitcaster and some dead minnows.

For those catfish, try raw shrimp.
Works well.

Also known as choupique (shoe-pick) down this-a-way.

Great fighters and also prized by our “bucket brigade” fishermen. Those would be the guys fishing from the bank and sitting on an upside-down bucket.

They’ll typically use fresh/dead shrimp just 6"-1’ under a torpedo cork in stump filled backwaters when targetting them.

I’ve been trying to figure out what fly they might hit. Sounds like great fun.

A commercial market exists here where they’re caught for their roe which is a low grade caviar that ends up being blended with higher grade caviar to boost profits.

Here’s a sci. defininition of the Bowfin
and picture. They’re an ancient family of fish.

You Betcha!
My step-dad called those Grinnels “Cypress Trout.” Tell you what, I’d rather EAT a Walleye but I’d have more fun CATCHING a Bowfin! If you ask me, they’ll out-fight most bass. Gotta watch those teeth, too. Speaking of teeth, Fly Fishing purists may get nauseaous to hear this; my first fish (first several fish) caught on a fly were Gars. Used to have fun skittering a muddler minnow or other large fly on top in some of the little creeks emptying into the Mississippi River when I was growing up. And several times carp and White Perch (drum) saved the day when nothing else was biting. So called “Trash” fish have provided many an enjoyable day for me! WW

I agree about "trashfish"
If it wasn’t for searobins the other day, the fishing would have been a bust. It’s nice to have a bent rod with a fighting fish.

Even in salt, it’s true
Some of my favorite fishing days have involved pulling in nothing but sand trout and some of the smaller species of croakers, ladyfish, and getting totally skunked on specks, reds, flounder, even sheepshead. I found the sand trouts and croakers to make nice panfish when fresh. Ladyfish, not so much. I’ve even made bouillabase from supposed “trash” fish, along with several other kinda gourmet recipes. I have been thinking of writing a cookbook to convert gourmet and ethnic recipes to use trash fish.

I think of croakers as little redfish,
they are cousins. Croaker have a nice firm textured flesh and make as good of an eating mess of fihs as almost anything in the bay unless you are into some pomapano. I’ve watched fishermen hook up with jackfish, fight it for 30 minutes, then cuss because they thought they had a big red on the line. Never understood that, especially as most real fishermen these days practice catch and release with reds anyway.