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Latest Issue Of Virginia Wildlife: Northern Snakeheads

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The latest issue of Virginia Wildlife has a short article on the Northern Snakehead.

It seems largemouth bass, bluegill and pumpkinseed each comprise less than 1% of the diet of SHs. Killifish seem to be the preferred food. White perch also seem to represent a decent portion of the diet. The article also has a far less alarming tone than one heard a few years ago. Seems the Northern Snakehead aren't the plague once feared. The size of the fish in the photos must provide incredible action on bass rigs. The fish LOOK awesome. And I understand they are delectable.

Maybe a snakehead trip is in my near future.

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This is the same thing us NOVA guys have been saying for a year or two. Just ask John Odenkirk, the guy must be one of the biggest NSH experts in the country and he doesn't seem to think they are the "frankenfish" that they were made out to be at all.

Micro, what kind of boat do you have? I'll send you a list of ramps with access to water that your boat can handle.

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I have a 1548 Tracker Grizzly with a 15hp outboard and 55# trolling motor.

BTW, anything that eats a few white perch can't be a bad thing. I'm not sure if white perch are overpopulated on the Potomac, but I tend to think there are more of them in my neck of the woods than there ought to be.

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You could easily launch and fish several of the creeks on the Potomac that hold large amounts of snakeheads. First off I would suggest Pohick, Occoquan, and Mattawoman. All have launches that you could use to fish areas that have lots of snakeheads and are protected enough for you to use your boat without having to fish the main river which could be a bit much for a 15hp outboard. I've seen a picture of an 18lb+ NSH caught out of Pohick.

As for the white perch, they are abundant during the spring run but other than that I don't think they stick around the river too much. I am a huge fan of catching white perch but most of the time I fish for them in saltwater/brackish water in creeks off the bay.

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You could easily launch and fish several of the creeks on the Potomac that hold large amounts of snakeheads. First off I would suggest Pohick, Occoquan, and Mattawoman. All have launches that you could use to fish areas that have lots of snakeheads and are protected enough for you to use your boat without having to fish the main river which could be a bit much for a 15hp outboard. I've seen a picture of an 18lb+ NSH caught out of Pohick.

As for the white perch, they are abundant during the spring run but other than that I don't think they stick around the river too much. I am a huge fan of catching white perch but most of the time I fish for them in saltwater/brackish water in creeks off the bay.

X2, I'd launch from Pohick and make a left to the dense veggies. Shouldn't take you long at all. Work those north/north east towards Ft. Belvoir.

Belle Haven is another option, quite suited to your ride.

I would throw top water frogs all day (buzz and hollow), you'll likely catch some nice LMB to boot.

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the problem I find is they ruin perfectly good baits. Not so much crankbaits but ten dollar frogs especially. They might not be as bad as some had originally thought as far as impacting the river as a fishery but they are pesky to deal with in general. They slime the boat up real bad, the livewells too and you wont get your bait back until you take the snakehead home and chop his head off. And half the time the frog is ruined beyond repair. So if you have one great frog thats working for you and a snakehead gets it down his throat then you may as well find something else that will work for you. Best bet is to have 2 or 3 of everything that works to be on the safe side :unsure: I heard a few of the FLW guys saying they couldnt stop catching snakeheads this weekend, to the point where they were catching one after another.

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Caught a 4 lber. out of Abel Lake on a baby brush hog! They were swimming amongst other largemouth bass. The bass didn't seem threatened by them.

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Caught a 4 lber. out of Abel Lake on a baby brush hog! They were swimming amongst other largemouth bass. The bass didn't seem threatened by them.

You sure it was a snakehead and not a bowfin?? Not saying it's not impossible since I believe we have em here at this local pond. It has something similar if not a snakehead plus bowfins. My buddy show me his pic which looked like a snakehead by color and bottom fin and then not to long after his pic, the buddy watch me pull out a bowfin from same pond and said definitely not the same fish.

If they are getting into lakes how so? I know for this pond they have to be transported but for lakes can they get into lakes through rivers?

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Caught a 4 lber. out of Abel Lake on a baby brush hog! They were swimming amongst other largemouth bass. The bass didn't seem threatened by them.

PICS!

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Rumor has it if you take it dead to the game warden you get a reward? Cam anyone confirm or deny this?

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Is it legal to throw snakeheads back?

According to Virginias game and fish:

Anglers are not required to report snakeheads nor are they required to kill them if caught, but the Department asks that the fish be reported and killed if possible. However, if an angler wishes to keep a legally caught northern snakehead, the fish must be killed to be in possession, and the angler must call the hotline and report the angler's last name, date of catch, location of catch and size. Kill the fish by:

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This is the same thing us NOVA guys have been saying for a year or two. Just ask John Odenkirk, the guy must be one of the biggest NSH experts in the country and he doesn't seem to think they are the "frankenfish" that they were made out to be at all.

Micro, what kind of boat do you have? I'll send you a list of ramps with access to water that your boat can handle.

I agree with the non-frankenfish, but it still is an adaptable species for water conditions, has few predators, and takes some of the food from other fish. Not something you'd want to overrun.

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Micro, ask the geese where the Snakeheads are.

They will tell you.

Maybe we can go on the Chick in July. I will get back to you after the 4th.

Take care. :)

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Has anyone here in the greater DC area taken any snakeheads this year? Have not been the hot topic they have been in the past it seems, and those reports seem to tell a positive tale. Just curious if anyone has caught some this year?

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Just caught this 14 pounder the other day with a Rage Tail Anaconda.

Super. Outstanding. Great. You did good!!!! :)

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That is a big one!

I've caught 2 so far this year. I've seen probably 3 times that many in my recent trips and also missed a couple on the hookset.

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Just caught this 14 pounder the other day with a Rage Tail Anaconda.

I can only imagine how that fish fought!!!!

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Thanks guys. Yeah, this thing put up a huge fight. It was quite a battle. I hooked it real close to the boat in about a foot or so of water. We used a net at the boat but it ate right through it. The weed bed we were fishing was full of snakeheads. My buddy caught one about 5 min after I did. You could see them rolling everywhere. Good fight but a real bummer when you are trying to bass fish.

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Some of the ones I've caught barely fought at all. It's very strange. Sometimes they run, I've seen them jump, but other times they just roll on their side like a walleye.

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Ive been catching 1 per outing this year fishing the Occoquan and Belmont Bay area. Biggest so far 16 lbs on a Zoom Speed Craw.

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Ive been catching 1 per outing this year fishing the Occoquan and Belmont Bay area. Biggest so far 16 lbs on a Zoom Speed Craw.

The Occoquan is where I caught mine. I have only fished that area a few times but every time there was at least one snakehead caught. rsb77 a 16 pounder is a monster, WTG. Does anyone know what the record snakehead is for the state? I just wonder how big they will get in the river.

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These are the largest documented snakeheads I've seen this year.

http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeqbewt/id11.html

I think the one that came out of Pohick last year was even bigger, but i don't have a link to the pic.

The only one i've caught this year was from Pohick.

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I might just have to make it a fishing trip for just one of these. I need to get my bigger boat back on water. So I can fish the Potomac river. I know my brother whats to go and hit up the Occoquan. If I remember correctly you can catch them at Aquia landing or at Fairview beach? But aren't both of those on Potomac and if so do you still have to register with Maryland? Also both spot are freshwater right or did they change that too?

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