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Snakehead Advice?

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Hi,

 

Newbie here---to this site, that is.

 

I'm about to attempt Snakeheads for the first time on Tuesday.  I had to tackle up a bit in preparation: a few new topwater frogs, couple of chatterbaits, and I dug out my topwater plugs, including a couple of the medium-sized Whopper Ploppers.  I'm also taking an old-schooler: a weedless Johnson Silver Minnow.  Maybe a swimbait.  I'll be using spinning gear on M and M/H rods, strong braid.  Not sure yet whether I'll be fishing from kayak or just targeting spots from shore.  Might begin with the latter and then resort to the former after a couple hours if I'm getting skunked.

 

Whenever I take on a new species like this I always like to seek out advice from more experienced anglers.  I've been reading around online a lot and watching YouTube videos, so I have (I think) a decent sense of what my strategies ought out to be, namely, sight-fishing when/where possible and tossing directly to where I'm seeing boils; otherwise looking for heavy cover (spatterdock, etc) in shallows and casting right into the thick of it.  Does this seem right?  Do you tend to go along the edges of the spatterdock fields or right up in it?  (The latter, I assume, would work well with a weedless lure like a frog, but not with something like a Whopper Plopper or a chatterbait, as I assume they'd get caught in the stuff.)  Is open water worth trying?  Also, I've read conflicting advice on re-trying a spot once you hit one: some folks say if you're lucky enough to get one, you're better off moving to a new spot because it's unlikely there'll be two in the same area; other folks say that they do school up, so it pays to keep hitting the same spot.  Maybe time of year matters for that?

 

Basically, I'm asking: any tips for a novice?  Anything you wish you knew your first time out for snakes that you'd be willing to share?

 

My planned location is Dorchester County, MD: Blackwater NWR.  I've been there hiking with my family once, but that's it.  So if anyone has specific location advice, I'd be extremely grateful, though I understand if folks are tight-lipped about that.

 

Thanks in advance for whatever you can share.  This is a terrific site!

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My most productive lures for SH in md have been buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, and chatterbaits, with the latter two being tops. I haven't had the opportunity to fish for them in the potomac, but have done quite well in bowie ponds and rivers near savage/laurel.  

 

I've seen them in groups of 10-12 at certain times of the year, in very shallow water, so I imagine where you find one, there will most likely be others around. 

 

I've learned a good bit about them by fishing for them in clear water river pools and can tell you I've dragged a spinnerbait or chatter over their backs over and over again and they either swim off or ignore it completely. If you can see them, my experience is a well place cast, that runs the bait directly in front of their face, is the deal when they may not be in the mood to feed. Time of year and day obviously plays a factor. 

 

If you can't see them, a frog, buzzbait, or spinnerbait through pads or whatnot would be a good Idea. 

 

I would use a md heavy rod with some decent sized braid, as you suggested. 

 

If you want a nice place to catch them in bowie, pm me. I wouldn't walk around this place at this time of year (crazy amount of ticks) but a kayak would be perfect. Good luck!

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I like tossing a buzzbait at dusk.

I caught one lastnight around 9 pm.

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I don't target them.  Maybe why I catch so many.  I haven't been on the Potomac for a few weeks, so I don't know what they're doing right now, but it was probably about this time last year...maybe a few weeks later...when I would paddle into huge boiling schools of them in the shallows of Gunston Cove - I'm guessing they were spawning, but I really don't know. 

  I catch most of them on plastics - Cut-R's, especially....but that may just be because I throw Cut-R's and Rage Bugs ....a lot.   But, I've also caught them on chatterbaits quite a bit.  I've always heard that frogs are best, but I've never caught one on a frog.  They're fun enough to catch, but I'm generally disappointed when I do -- takes me off the bass for too long...between the fight to the yak...and then wrestling to get my lure back

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