Club History

The MN Bowfin Club (MBC) was founded by Chuck Fields in 1999 as a way to encourage live release of this "rough fish" in MN. Most anglers were catching bowfin and killing them, and Chuck wanted to help start to change this mentality.

The Minnesota Bowfin Club started with a limited membership of 25 anglers and a cost of $2.00 for a Lifetime Membership (to cover the cost of mailing in the pre-Internet era).

At the end of the 2001 season, mailings of annual results were stopped and year end results were posted on the Baxter Bass Snatchers website. Many of the 25 members of the Bowfin Club were also members of the BBS.

In the spring of 2001, two MBC members were ticketed for fishing for bass out of season while perusing bowfin. They were observed catching, then immediately releasing bass which were not in season at the time. The ticketed MBC members contested the ticket in court, and the case was thrown out. In December of 2001 a letter was written to the MN Department of Natural Resources on behalf of the MBC to get some guidance and an interpretation for club members since the MBC rules specify using artificial bait only, fishing for a species which has NO closed season, and releasing any other fish which might be inadvertently hooked. A reply to this letter from the MN DNR was never received.

In 2002, the MBC applied for, and received permission from the DNR to conduct an 'Open' fishing tournament on Farm Island Lake on 5-5-02 (prior to the opening of both bass and walleye seasons). All appropriate requirements and forms were submitted to the DNR. Club President Chuck Fields was appreciative of the fact that the MN DNR had no problem granting the MBC a permit to hold this tournament. A number of 2 person teams competed in the 4 hour tournament. Although no bowfin were caught during that tournament, it gave anglers a chance to compete "head-to-head" on the same lake at the same time. Due to the effort involved in obtaining permits and coordinating a more traditional style tournament, that was the only time MBC has used that particular tournament format.

In 2003, MBC opened it's membership up to the general public, and was no longer confined to the original 25 Lifetime members. This was made possible because club Member Joel Stokka developed the MBC's first website.

In 2009 an official MBC message board was added.

In 2010 Chuck Fields stepped down as MBC Club President, handing the duties off to two-time MBC Club Grand Champion Dave Maas. Dave Maas launched the 2nd MBC Website on 4-25-2010. MBC Grand Championship rules were revised and updated. A Facebook Page and Group were established.

In 2014 MBC Grand Championship Rules were changed so bowfin caught at anytime day or night or now eligible to be entered.

MBC Grand Champions since 1999 with winning fish length:

1999 Ken Fields 25"
2000 Chuck Fields 23.75"
2001 Guy Henkensiefken 23"
2002 Dean Sauer & Tom Swanson (tie) 26.5"
2003 Dan Quinn 31"
2004 Dave Maas 30"
2005 Alan Steinbauer 28.5"
2006 Dave Maas 30"
2007 Chuck Steinbauer 26.5"
2008 Dennis Lothspeich 26"
2009 Scot Zeidler 26.5"
2010 Chuck Fields 28"
2011 Dennis Lothspeich 27.75"
2012 Nick Jacob 25"
2013 Adam Henkensiefken 24.5"
2014 Joe Torbert 30"
2015 Chuck Steinbauer 26"
2016 Barry Mowers 26"