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ITO_ZILLION

Florida Snakehead Fishing Tackle Tips...???

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Hopefully there are some anglers in here who also fish for Snakeheads that can help me out a bit. 

 

Just recently came across snakehead fishing on YouTube and it looks so much FUN!!! I really want to try and catch one now. I am now thinking of planning on taking a trip to Florida to try and catch my first snakehead before fall finally kicks in. 

 

1. What size reel would be sufficient for snakeheads...?

 

I know snakeheads can get pretty BIG (10+ lbs). Does that mean I would need a 'swimbait' sized reel (300+) or can I get away with 100-200 size...? I prefer the smaller 100-200 sized reels because I have smaller hands and they are also much more comfortable for fishing all day. I also know that snakeheads stay pretty shallow and are not that far from the bank so technically I would not need a big reel with big line capacity. I am thinking a Shimano Curado 200 would be sufficient, yes...? 

 

2. What rod Power and Action would be sufficient for snakeheads...?

 

Being that snakeheads can get close to 10+ lbs and live in some pretty NASTY cover, I am assuming that a Heavy or even Extra Heavy rod in a Fast action would be required. Is it necessary to go to a 'swimbait' or 'musky' type rod or will your typical Flipping, Punching or Frogging bass rod in Heavy or Extra Heavy and Fast action be sufficient enough...? I really don't want to go out and buy a swimbait type rod and also I think it might just be 'overkill'. I am thinking a 7'6" extra heavy fast action 15-30lb 1/2-3 oz punching type rod would be sufficient for snakeheads, yes...?

 

 

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I started fishing for them this summer. So much fun! I mostly fish frogs for them in a 7’ heavy with a 200 size reel. For swimbaits and chatterbaits I use a med or med/hvy. They don’t ever seem to be picky where I fish. If I put my bait within 30’ of a snake and it’s hungry, it will chase down my bait and strike. If he follows but doesn’t eat, throw at him a few more times. It’s like dangling a string in front of a cat; they can’t resist. 

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If you are heading to FL for snakeheads, take a long look at spending a day fishing for peacock bass as their habitat overlaps.  I have only caught a handful of them, but they are like someone took a smallmouth, filled it with lead shot, and strapped a rocket to it.  My biggest was maybe, maybe 16" and I have never been so sure that my rod was going to snap.  

 

I have caught 3/4 of a snakehead in FL.  I got him right up to the bank before my line snapped.  So I can report that a ML/MF rod and 10lb mono are a little light for that application 😁
 

 

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On 9/19/2018 at 5:53 PM, ITO_ZILLION said:

Hopefully there are some anglers in here who also fish for Snakeheads that can help me out a bit. 

Welcome to the forum. I fish for bullseye snakehead often and they are very fun to catch. Biggest snakehead I caught was over 10 pounds and have lost count of the ones over 5 pounds.

On 9/19/2018 at 5:53 PM, ITO_ZILLION said:

1. What size reel would be sufficient for snakeheads...?

2. What rod Power and Action would be sufficient for snakeheads...?

You will get lots of different answers to these questions since snakehead fishermen use many different types of gear to catch snakehead.

 

1. I use a size 4000 Shimano spinning reel for snakehead fishing.

2. I use a 6-7 foot heavy action rod for snakehead fishing.

 

Make sure to get a rod with plenty of backbone since you will need it to set the hook on the tough mouthed snakeheads. You will also need a reel with a good drag system since snakeheads are much more powerful than a equal size bass. A 8 pound or better bullseye snakehead fights similar to a equal sized snook going into the mangroves.

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Snakeheads fight dirty so you need some backbone. Your standard frogging rod will be perfect. Something like a 7' MH or H with some thick braid. I had a snakehead slice through my 30lb braid, and I think a lot of guys go up to 65+, since casting distance isn't an issue with them against the bank. Good luck, they're a really fun fight

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My GF's son and I fish for them a lot, he has more success than I do because I'm stubborn wanting to fish my way. No more 🙂

 

But the facts are a heavy rod, line over 15 lb, strong leader, good hooks are the norm. After losing a ginormous one this last week, I'm moving up to black 20 pound braid (from 12 lb fluorocarbon hybrid) and short (2 ft.) 50 lb. dacron leader died black.

 

In our experience with them, not one of the snakeheads (SH) I've had follow my lure would go back for a second look.

 

If they're following it and the lure hits the weeds they bail, when the lure stops moving they bail, if the lure hits the water too close to them... they bail, if you get them to look you in the eyes with a net in your hand they will do everything in their power to bail 🙂  

 

If you catch one, do not release it, they are delicious fried, and every one you kill saves LMB from being eaten by them. Places that used to be teeming with bass that have SH there now, bass are infrequently caught by us.

 

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On 9/21/2018 at 10:37 AM, bostonsox2904 said:

Snakeheads fight dirty so you need some backbone. Your standard frogging rod will be perfect. Something like a 7' MH or H with some thick braid. I had a snakehead slice through my 30lb braid, and I think a lot of guys go up to 65+, since casting distance isn't an issue with them against the bank. Good luck, they're a really fun fight

Yes a frog fishing rod is good for snakehead fishing. I only use heavy action rods for snakeheads and leave the light stuff home unless I want a extra challenge and then I will go down to medium heavy or lighter. I use heavy action rods since my goal is catch more shakeheads over 10 pounds and light gear is not the best choice for these powerful fish that tend to live in areas that they can easily break you off if you can not control them. I would not recommend eating snakehead often since they live in polluted canals that have methylmercury. Predator fish that live in those waters tend to have high levels of methymercury and other pollutants so its not worth affecting your health.You will be better of eating fish from the ocean and they will taste better than snakeheads.The true value of snakeheads is the fight they give and that they hit a wide a variety of lures, especially top water frogs.

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" I would not recommend eating snakehead often since they live in polluted canals that have methylmercury. "

 

That's kind of a broad brush stroke but I'll underscore the "often" comment. They are actually found in abundance in West Broward in much different environs that could cause the water to stagnate.

 

The canals and lakes I fish in are pristine clean clear water with good visibility and a healthy water aquaculture. Bass and Peacocks (if you are lucky to get one) taken from the same areas are very edible.

 

Are there dirty murky areas I fish and do not eat what I catch? For sure, do I eat ANY fish from waterways close to large roads or commercial farming? Nope, but at those places I kill and then release the Snakeheads on the bank for the vultures to eat.  

 

 

 

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Best of luck trying to convince people to eat snakeheads that live in filthy polluted bodies of water. Methymercury is not the only pollutant found in the canals snakeheads live in, there is also pesticide runoff and other nasty chemicals that runofff into the canals. It is a common misconception to believe that ''clean clear water'' with ''good visibility'' is actually clean and often those bodies of water can be more polluted than some canal systems.A simple internet search will reveal that you have to limit your consumption of many predatory freshwater fish in South Florida since many bodies of freshwater are polluted.The state even recommends that pregnant women avoid eating some predatory freshwater fish such as bass, that should let you know how bad the pollution problem is. Snakehead have been in South Florida for well over 18 years now and nobody can get rid of them. They are here to stay whether you like it or not and they will most likely be here after you are gone. Might as well enjoy fishing for snakeheads since they are pound for pound more powerful than a largemouth bass. As for largemouth bass populations, I catch more of them than I do snakeheads in the areas I fish for snakeheads and many of those largemouth bass are over 20 inches in length which is a very nice size for a bass living in a canal system.

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What are some of the best lures or techniques for snakehead...??? 

 

I mainly see guys using TOPWATER type lures. I take it hollow body frogs, soft body/texas rig frogs, wakebaits, buzzbaits and walk-the-dog type lures are all FAIR GAME...yes...? 

 

Being that snakeheads have some pretty nasty sharp teeth and will basically tear up a bait to 'SHREDS'...Best leave your expensive/good baits at home and opt for the cheaper lures for snakeheads so I can feel better about throwing them away when they are all torn up to shreds...yes...?

 

Do other types of lures work for snakeheads...? Say like...spinnerbaits, swimbaits, chatterbaits etc. or any sub surface type bait...? How about bottom contact baits...jig, dropshot, shakey head etc...?

 

For the guys that have posted and are from/live in florida.......

 

How much does a fishing license in Florida cost for a day or multi day...? Can I buy a Florida fishing license from any Walmart or Should I go to a local tackle store/bait shop or should I go to a big box store like Bass Pro Shops...?

 

Also...I know that Florida has alligators and other reptilian wildlife that could potentially pose a threat on my life/wellbeing while bank fishing for snakeheads so.......

 

As long as I mainly stick to more 'urbanized' areas of Florida on my trip....I should be safe from alligators, pythons and snakes...yes...?

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They bite the same lures a largemouth bass does. Good luck on your fishing vacation, you should have a good time fishing for snakeheads since the South Florida snakehead fishery is thriving. You should also try catching some peacock bass,clown knifefish, jaguar guapote,Midas cichlids, and other exotics to add to your list of species of fish caught.

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I have a nephew that was taken to S. Florida by a friend to fish for snake heads. The lures his friend used was basically a homemade topwater. He had cut off pieces of a old broom handle and drilled through the center and up to the center in two places, did some minor sanding and attached heavy hooks. Because snake heads do some much damage to lures they figured why bother buying new, factory made lures.

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I've had a smaller (~4 lb) SH take a wiggle tail swimbait but not larger ones. I read somewhere that they were genetically programmed to HATE frogs, I agree 🙂

 

 

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 Leave the mono at home and use braid or tie a braid to mono leader. - They will cut the mono. One more tip dont let them see you. 

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