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Winter Snakehead extravaganza!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
338

Most people aren't aware, but the winter sh bite is pretty good right now. They bite all year - the best time is in May, when they are fattening up for the main spawning season. They Spawn up through October.

I have to say - there is not a lot of winter fishing for these critters and god knows I haven't caught that many myself, bur rest assured......on a calm warm day, they are out there. ANY body of water that feeds into the Potomac should hold them.

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Try crank-baits that resemble bluegills. Use a stop and go, as sh's usually hit on the stops. They seem to be very sight oriented and like to play cat and mouse with me. If they see you they retreat to deeper water, only to come back 10 minutes later. For this reason, I prefer to remain still, crouch down, and make long casts.

Sh's don't go for cut bait at all, to my knowledge and.....get this.....they don't eat frogs! I know, everybody uses frogs, but they tend to strike frogs and lizards, etc, when they are nesting. They eat a diet of mostly killifish, sunfish and small eels. I find good success with double hooked worms.

75

Virginia is a little different than MD, in as VA says that you can release sh back into the wild. If you keep one, however, you must kill it IMMEDIATELY, report it to the recorded message 'snakehead hot-line' at 804-367-2925.

http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/snakehead-faq.asp
Quote:
What should someone do if they think they've found a snakehead fish?

Before going fishing, anglers should familiarize themselves with the fish species found in Virginia. There are several native species including bowfin, lamprey, and American eel that look similar to the northern snakehead. For more information and assistance with learning the identifying differences between snakehead fish and native species, please see our "Do You Know The Difference?" information page. Any unusual fish needs to be reported to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. We have established a snakehead hotline that anglers can use to report snakehead fish (804-367-2925). 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:

removing the head,
separating the gill arches from the body, or
removing the internal organs and put it on ice as quickly as possible.

Is it illegal to own a snakehead fish in Virginia?

Yes, it is illegal to own one without a permit. In 2002, the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries added the snakehead fish to the list of predatory and undesirable exotic species, making it illegal to possess a snakehead fish in Virginia without a permit issued by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Federal regulations enacted in October 2002 prohibit the importation of snakehead fish into the United States and prohibit interstate transport of these animals. Individuals who still own a live snakehead need to contact the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries immediately for proper disposal of the fish. Effective July 1, 2005, anglers who legally catch a snakehead may keep the fish to mount or eat providing they:

immediately kill the fish using one or more of the alternatives listed above and
notify the Department at the number listed above.


In Maryland you MUST kill every snakhead you catch and if you are caught with a live one in your bucket or on your stringer......it shall be WOE unto you to the tune of a $125.00 fine PER FISH!

Make sure you have a proper licence for when you are fishing - the Potomac river is funny......

There's a lot more to it - this is just the basics. Tight lines people.

TMD.


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post #2 of 15
You really did not talk about winter at all here. This was more of a how-to than a time of year. Are you catching them right now? What presentations are you using?
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC View Post

You really did not talk about winter at all here. This was more of a how-to than a time of year. Are you catching them right now? What presentations are you using?

Dave, thanks for responding. I mentioned VERY SPECIFICALLY baits to use - cranks and plastic worms. I go a little deeper this time of year as SHs are NOT spawning - they are feeding. Try a slower retrieve, but not like pike fishing. The important thing is to get the lure or worm to completely stop every few seconds. Who knows, there might be a better way - like I said, not too many guys fishing them winter time.

I have been hitting Duck Pond and four mile run Va. - they are great for winter-time.

Spring and summer I use plastic top-water frogs and plastic worms - they are spawning and you can hit them any time of day.

In winter, they are feeding and prefer baits more closely resembling there usual food - fish and eels.
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC View Post

You really did not talk about winter at all here. This was more of a how-to than a time of year. Are you catching them right now? What presentations are you using?

"Most people aren't aware, but the winter sh bite is pretty good right now. They bite all year - the best time is in May, when they are fattening up for the main spawning season. They Spawn up through October.

I have to say - there is not a lot of winter fishing for these critters and god knows I haven't caught that many myself, bur rest assured......on a calm warm day, they are out there. ANY body of water that feeds into the Potomac should hold them."

and ...

"Try crank-baits that resemble bluegills. Use a stop and go, as sh's usually hit on the stops. They seem to be very sight oriented and like to play cat and mouse with me. If they see you they retreat to deeper water, only to come back 10 minutes later. For this reason, I prefer to remain still, crouch down, and make long casts.

Sh's don't go for cut bait at all, to my knowledge and.....get this.....they don't eat frogs! I know, everybody uses frogs, but they tend to strike frogs and lizards, etc, when they are nesting. They eat a diet of mostly killifish, sunfish and small eels. I find good success with double hooked worms."

What are you busting his hump for? Not sure what kind of treatise on Snakehead fishing your looking for but I thought he addressed your issues adequately especially if you consider the photos provided which seem to allow some room for assumption that yes, he is catching them right now. Why don't you re-read the post. If you have specific questions then ask the guy.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swimbaiter View Post

"Most people aren't aware, but the winter sh bite is pretty good right now. They bite all year - the best time is in May, when they are fattening up for the main spawning season. They Spawn up through October.
I have to say - there is not a lot of winter fishing for these critters and god knows I haven't caught that many myself, bur rest assured......on a calm warm day, they are out there. ANY body of water that feeds into the Potomac should hold them."
and ...
"Try crank-baits that resemble bluegills. Use a stop and go, as sh's usually hit on the stops. They seem to be very sight oriented and like to play cat and mouse with me. If they see you they retreat to deeper water, only to come back 10 minutes later. For this reason, I prefer to remain still, crouch down, and make long casts.
Sh's don't go for cut bait at all, to my knowledge and.....get this.....they don't eat frogs! I know, everybody uses frogs, but they tend to strike frogs and lizards, etc, when they are nesting. They eat a diet of mostly killifish, sunfish and small eels. I find good success with double hooked worms."
What are you busting his hump for? Not sure what kind of treatise on Snakehead fishing your looking for but I thought he addressed your issues adequately especially if you consider the photos provided which seem to allow some room for assumption that yes, he is catching them right now. Why don't you re-read the post. If you have specific questions then ask the guy.


LOL! Take it easy there feller! He's just busting my chops! I can take it. wink.gif

Jigs work well too. I don't really think color matters, I like bright colors - white, red, etc. I don't really think that they are as picky as folks might think.....the important thing is to keep moving - when SH see you, they get shy.

Sorry, don't have recent picks. Going next week and I promise to bump this thread. biggrin.gif


Dave, you guys got them up your way? There is a TON of them down here.

Forget it if it starts to ice up - they disappear.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swimbaiter View Post

"Most people aren't aware, but the winter sh bite is pretty good right now. They bite all year - the best time is in May, when they are fattening up for the main spawning season. They Spawn up through October.
I have to say - there is not a lot of winter fishing for these critters and god knows I haven't caught that many myself, bur rest assured......on a calm warm day, they are out there. ANY body of water that feeds into the Potomac should hold them."
and ...
"Try crank-baits that resemble bluegills. Use a stop and go, as sh's usually hit on the stops. They seem to be very sight oriented and like to play cat and mouse with me. If they see you they retreat to deeper water, only to come back 10 minutes later. For this reason, I prefer to remain still, crouch down, and make long casts.
Sh's don't go for cut bait at all, to my knowledge and.....get this.....they don't eat frogs! I know, everybody uses frogs, but they tend to strike frogs and lizards, etc, when they are nesting. They eat a diet of mostly killifish, sunfish and small eels. I find good success with double hooked worms."
What are you busting his hump for? Not sure what kind of treatise on Snakehead fishing your looking for but I thought he addressed your issues adequately especially if you consider the photos provided which seem to allow some room for assumption that yes, he is catching them right now. Why don't you re-read the post. If you have specific questions then ask the guy.

Jeez, someone need a timeout here? I did not read that this was winter info and I was not busting chops. I thought that this info was very generic and it did not seem season specific. Relax, dude. You have 35 posts so I doubt that you know the ropes here. Your post was extremely informative and I am glad that you taught me a lesson.

Mad deckhand...thanks for the clarification. I caught about 75 of those critters this year and it was the first that I targeted them. Now you have me wanting to go out and harass them in the cold too!
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC View Post

Jeez, someone need a timeout here? I did not read that this was winter info and I was not busting chops. I thought that this info was very generic and it did not seem season specific. Relax, dude. You have 35 posts so I doubt that you know the ropes here. Your post was extremely informative and I am glad that you taught me a lesson.
Mad deckhand...thanks for the clarification. I caught about 75 of those critters this year and it was the first that I targeted them. Now you have me wanting to go out and harass them in the cold too!

Wintertime bite is much more sporadic.....75? Cripes! That's a nice mess of fish - from Jersey?
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
I shore fish mostly. Don't know if the hole up deep - I'm sure they do.


Dave, I was NOT very clear about the difference in the OP, sorry. In the winter, they are feeding.

SHs are wacky - sometimes I catch them right at the bottom, other times, five feet in front of me.
post #9 of 15
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post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mad Deckhand View Post

Wintertime bite is much more sporadic.....75? Cripes! That's a nice mess of fish - from Jersey?

Yes.....I got eleven in one afternoon......seven in another, six, four, eight, in other trips. Seems like when I caught them I caught many. When I didn't I couldn't find one! I was fishing every day when the weather was right.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC View Post

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Not to spot burn, but Duck pond has the big'ins. Wont say what part I fish, nor four mile, but damn.....them suckers fight.

I've had quite a few skunks, During the rain is tough, but the big daddy's come in close the next day. biggrin.gif

Switching to a bait-casting setup this year. I think the spinning reels are noisy and spook them. icon24.gif
post #12 of 15
I cannot say that I have gotten giants but I got some in the 24" range.....they are new to these parts!
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC View Post

I cannot say that I have gotten giants but I got some in the 24" range.....they are new to these parts!

Doesn't take very long for them to get big. They grow fast.


Damn, Dave - think you scared Swimbaiter off for good!

cwm27.gif
post #14 of 15
Thanks for the info MD....I had them figured out in the warmer months.....I may see if they cooperate in the colder ones!
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC View Post

Thanks for the info MD....I had them figured out in the warmer months.....I may see if they cooperate in the colder ones!

Have a good night - have to get up at 4:00 frown.gif

Tight lines bro!
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