New Line Class World Record – Bowfin

Fishing the French River contains many hidden surprises for avid anglers. Many of us have our interests from the baits we cast to the fish species we prefer to catch. But it’s always good to remember that sometimes thrill seeking for our favourites should not reel past our opportunities for the lesser favourite species of fish.

Chris Crilly with his world record 29 inch French River Bowfin.


Chris Crilly is an avid bass fisherman from Burke, Virginia; however, during his stay at Bear’s Den Lodge he managed to catch two bowfin. At first he thought nothing of this until he mentioned the unusual size of his bowfin.  Searching through the record book, lodge owner Brenda Barefoot realized that Chris could have a Line Class World Record fish depending on the test of the line. After some encouragement, Chris sent in what the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum required.

Official Tests for the 25lb line class.

This is the third line class world record recognized by the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame for Bear’s Den Lodge, with many more opportunities awaiting in the French River Delta.