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State Record Bowfin Caught

July 6, 2011


The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has confirmed that a bowfin caught by Chris Hoffman of Hamilton, NJ, is officially a new state record.

Mr. Hoffman was fishing for largemouth bass from his boat in the Delaware River near the Mercer Generating Station in Trenton, NJ. on July 4, 2011, when the fish grabbed a 4" soft plastic Senko around 7 p.m. Reeling it in on 6 lb. test P-Line with a Shimano Reel and Mojo Bass Rod combo, Chris claimed that he was lucky the bowfins formidable teeth did not snap the line

The 10 lb. 14 oz. bowfin, was 29.9" long and had a girth of 14.6". It broke the old record, set 23 years ago in 1988, by 2 lb. 10 oz.

The bowfin belongs to a primitive family of fish named Amiidae and is the only surviving species of that family. The bowfin is a formidable predator that readily feeds on frogs, fish and a wide variety of other vertebrate prey and insects. It should not be confused with the snakehead, an invasive species now occurring in the lower Delaware River and some of its tributaries. Snakeheads should be destroyed if caught (see page 33 of the Freshwater DIGEST).

The New Jersey State Record Fish Program was revised in May of 2007. It revolves around a specific list of eligible species, and is based on weight alone (there are no line classes). The program goal is to increase awareness of fishing opportunities for species that are regularly sought after and routinely found in the freshwaters or off the coast of New Jersey.

For details on program, see the Record Fish Program page at

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Depattment of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402
Last Updated: July 6, 2011