Like gar, you know when bowfin are present because they surface non stop. A lot of folks think they're big shad surfacing, kind of like large shad do come winter. When lots of Dogs are present, odds are in your favor. There's a nice backwater on the Des Plaines across from lake Andrea along 165 that holds quite a few dogs year round. That is Wisconsin so make sure you have a Wis fishing license. QAlso Des Plaines Lake has a good population of them. Get your bikes for Des Plaines lake because that's a long walk. Or just paddle there.
Like Peter said, toss baits for pike and bass and boom here comes the dog.
Nature and shit.