No matter what you call them – dogfish, bowfin, mudders, etc. – the fish with the scientific name of Amia calva is incredibly strong.
During the five summers I spent in northern Minnesota as a multi-species fishing guide, my clients and I never targeted dogfish specifically, but each summer we’d hook one or two by mistake. And the result was almost always the same: busted tackle.
We’d see more dogfish than we’d ever catch; it wasn’t uncommon to spot them sunning themselves around thick cover in shallow water while we casted for largemouth bass or northern pike. Sometimes you could entice a “doggo” to strike by dangling a Texas-rigged creature in front of its jaws, but we also caught them chucking and winding spinnerbaits. And while you could catch numbers of bass or pike from the same spinnerbait, one bite from a dogfish generally resulted in a mangled mess of metal. (And a bit of cursing from the lure owner.)
Holding a dogfish for a photo often proved to be a challenge, too. Unlike bass or pike of the same length or weight, a dogfish seems to have incredible strength throughout their entire body. No matter how you grabbed them, they seemingly could twist and torque free from your grip. And then they’d proceed to bust whatever gear was laying on the floor of your boat. Not good.
I think it’s a bit of a stretch to say that dogfish have a bad temper . . . but it sure seems that way. And so the end of this video didn’t surprise me in the least.