The bowfin, also known as Amia calva, is a freshwater fish species native to North America. It is also commonly referred to as the mudfish, dogfish, and griddle. Bowfins can be found in slow-moving, shallow waters such as swamps, marshes, and backwaters of rivers, as well as in larger bodies of water like lakes and reservoirs.
Although they generally aren’t considered very tasty unless knowledgeably prepared, they are a popular game fish because they respond to a variety of lures and baits and put up a hard, challenging fight. They usually weigh anywhere from 2-8 pounds, but the largest one ever caught was MUCH bigger.
And the record catch in Florida comes close to that world record. Read on to find out more about the bowfin and the largest specimen ever caught in the state.
So now that you know a little about bowfins, let’s get to those records. Remember that on average they grow only to 2-8 pounds. So get this: the largest bowfin ever caught in Florida weighed 19 lbs! This state-record fish was caught by Jim Brown in Lake Kissimmee in November 1984.
That catch, glorious as it was, didn’t quite make the world record, which was set by Robert L. Harmon on January 29, 1980, in South Carolina. He reeled in a bowfin weighing a whopping 21 lbs. 8 oz!