Anyone fish for snakeheads?

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Richard Lodge
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Anyone fish for snakeheads?

Post by Richard Lodge »

So, I'm thinking ahead to fishing in the Potomac in the Harper's Ferry area next year during the ORCA National. I've read a fair amount about snakehead fishing closer to Washington, D.C. (either as a by-catch hooked by folks fishing for largemouths, or catching snakeheads on purpose) but there aren't mentions that I can find about snakeheads in the Harper's Ferry area. So, have any of you fished for and caught snakeheads? And does anyone know if these introduced (not as invasive as bighead and silver carp) fish can be caught where we'll be gathering next year?
Thanks for the info. Richard

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1badf350
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Re: Anyone fish for snakeheads?

Post by 1badf350 »

I havent heard much about them being caught that far up river. Probably because of all the dams between there and DC. Mike N. Might know. I'll see what info I can find tomorrow. Heck, I live here and I've never tried snakehead fishing. I hear they taste pretty good.
-Chris R.

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sdlehr
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Re: Anyone fish for snakeheads?

Post by sdlehr »

I've caught a few snakeheads here in S Florida while fishing for largemouth bass. The next one I catch will be brought home for dinner, I found out they are a good-eating fish too late for the first few. Not sure how you would target them more specifically....
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oc1
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Re: Anyone fish for snakeheads?

Post by oc1 »

Use a surface bait that makes a lot of commotion. A friend of mine here in Hawaii has a snakehead farm; but that would be like shooting ducks in a barrel.
-steve

Richard Lodge
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Re: Anyone fish for snakeheads?

Post by Richard Lodge »

Thanks for the replies, guys. Yes, everything I'm reading about them says they are good eating (if they are out of half-way clean water). And they are definitely fish that hit bass-type surface baits. Many articles talk about guys fishing for bass and being surprised when they haul in a 5-6 pound snakehead. Now that would be an interesting surprise!

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Mike N
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Re: Anyone fish for snakeheads?

Post by Mike N »

https://www.wvdnr.gov/wildlife/magazine ... aders.shtm

“A second “poster child” is the snakehead fish. Found originally in a 4-acre pond in Maryland in 2002, it has also been found in the Potomac River drainage in Virginia . A study is underway to determine their distribution and if they are reproducing. These fish were eventually eliminated with a fish toxicant but not before generating a great deal of national publicity. This led to their listing as an injurious species under the federal Lacey Act which prohibits their importation and interstate transportation.“

Snakeheads have not been found in WV waters (yet).

https://wvdnr.gov/Fishing/snakehead.shtm
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sdlehr
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Re: Anyone fish for snakeheads?

Post by sdlehr »

Mike N wrote:https://www.wvdnr.gov/wildlife/magazine ... aders.shtm
A study is underway to determine their distribution and if they are reproducing.
Not pertinent to the original question regarding WV, but this species is surely reproducing in the Florida fresh waters I frequent. I've even caught them in remote ponds on the edge of the Everglades that don't seem to be connected to larger bodies of water or directly to the Everglades a few hundred yards away.
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Midway Tommy D
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Re: Anyone fish for snakeheads?

Post by Midway Tommy D »

sdlehr wrote:
Mike N wrote:https://www.wvdnr.gov/wildlife/magazine ... aders.shtm
A study is underway to determine their distribution and if they are reproducing.
Not pertinent to the original question regarding WV, but this species is surely reproducing in the Florida fresh waters I frequent. I've even caught them in remote ponds on the edge of the Everglades that don't seem to be connected to larger bodies of water or directly to the Everglades a few hundred yards away.
Maybe they share genetics with this little guy. :lol:
Love those Open Face Spinning Reels! (Especially ABU & ABU/Zebco)

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sdlehr
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Re: Anyone fish for snakeheads?

Post by sdlehr »

Take a look at this, they absolutely can live for hours out of water, but I don't know if they can ambulate on dry land like a lungfish can.... the first one I caught I thought at first was a catfish because of the wide mouth, but that thought didn't last long...
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oc1
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Re: Anyone fish for snakeheads?

Post by oc1 »

The native bowfin can breath air as well. They look like snakeheads too but are not related.
-steve

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sdlehr
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Re: Anyone fish for snakeheads?

Post by sdlehr »

Right, Steve, the Snakehead has a spot on the tail that the bowfin doesn't. I've never caught a bowfin.
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Don Champion
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Re: Anyone fish for snakeheads?

Post by Don Champion »

I've caught several Bowfin (also called dogfish) over the years. They are a aggressive fish. I once caught a 7 pounder on 2 lb. test line with an ultralight. That thing ran through some lily pads severing them all before I landed it.

bettybarr
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Re: Anyone fish for snakeheads?

Post by bettybarr »

Maybe we should have a special recognition for the one who catches the biggest snakehead in our Fishing Tournament. We can post photos!
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Mike N
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Re: Anyone fish for snakeheads?

Post by Mike N »

Harper’s Ferry is in a pristine trout and smallmouth bass area of West Virginia.

Here is a recent Field & Stream article:

https://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/a- ... pers-ferry
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Bill Sonnett
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Re: Anyone fish for snakeheads?

Post by Bill Sonnett »

Image
No Snakeheads in Michigan but plenty of Bowfins. Male Bowfins have the dark spot just ahead of the tail. Many Many regional names. Caught one on a spinner but all the rest on topwater plugs. Nothing around here can come close the explosion they create when they hit on top, usually next to the boat!
I love to get old reels, work on them until they run as smooth as silk and the take them fishing using pre-1960 plugs, mostly surface fishing for Largemouths after dark.

Richard Lodge
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Re: Anyone fish for snakeheads?

Post by Richard Lodge »

Interesting information, Bill. I grew up in southern Indiana and never saw a bowfin. Sounds like a great sport fish for sportfishers.

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Robin Sayler
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Re: Anyone fish for snakeheads?

Post by Robin Sayler »

Here's a fun fact about bowfins...in the winter they kind of miss being able to gulp air from the surface. Last winter I almost had a heart attack when one came up my ice fishing hole and took a breath.
I would like any unusual pflueger casting reels!

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